The Anaheim Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections held its next-to-last meeting last night (I’ll post the video when it is available). It’s main business was voting on recommendations about the structure of the Anaheim City Council — specifically, whether to expand the size of the council, and whether to continue electing members at-large or switch to a single-member district basis.
The underlying dynamic has been a united bloc of CAC members appointed by Mayor Tom Tait and former Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, who have been coordinating from the get-go with a left-wing coalition led by OCCORD and UNITE-HERE Local 11 to achieve a recommendation for 8 single-member council districts. The other the six committee members are more disparate and have not approached the matter with the same single-mindedness; half of them were appointed midway through the process to fill vacancies left by resignations.[This has been the case from the very beginning when the CAC elected its chair and vice chair. Martin Lopez (a Galloway-appointee and secretary of the UNITE-HERE Local 11 union) nominated Tait-appointee Vivian Pham (a liberal Democrat who has only lived in Anaheim for two years and provides major funding for OCCORD) to be chair — before she had even arrived at the meeting. The motion was seconded by Tait-appointee Bill Dalati (another Democrat and a past council candidate). Pham then nominated Dalati for vice chair, which was seconded by Lopez. It was clearly plotted out ahead of time.]
OCCORD and UNITE-HERE ran one of their human wave drills, mustering 15 or so bodies to the microphone during public comments to rattle of scripted support for eight single-member councils districts. This is part of their attempt to create, for the CAC’s public record, the mirage of broad support for single-member council districts among Anaheim residents.
The professional facilitator hired to run the last two meetings where draft recommendations have been voted on, segregated last nights voting on council structure into two separate ballots: one on the size of the council, followed by a vote on the at-large v. single-member district.
On the size of the council, five members (Anthony Armas, Sandra Day, Amanda Endinger, Gloira Ma’e and Keith Oleson) voted to expand the council to six members, plus the directly-elected mayor. The Tait-Galloway bloc voted to blow the council up to eight members, plus a directly-elected mayor. CAC member Vic Real was apparently unable make up his mind and abstained. Oddly, the facilitator resisted acknowledging the reality that a a 6-member council won a majority vote.
On the at-large versus single-member districts question, it was a 5-5 split, with Vic Real joining with the Tait-Galloway bloc to support carving Anaheim up into ethnic fiefdoms and push it down the road to becoming a dysfunctional mini-Los Angeles.
I’ll have to confirm, but I think that means the preliminary recommendation is to put both alternatives before the voters.
A draft report will come back to the Citizens Advisory Committee on May 9, when they will have the opportunity to amend it and take a final vote, before forwarding their report to the City Council and disbanding.