Community Meetings On Drawing Six Council Districts Kick Off On May 12

The city will begin holding a series of community meetings where the public can give its input on the boundaries of the six single-member council districts into which Anaheim will be carved due to the passage last year of Measures L and M.

From the City of Anaheim:

Anaheim’s current At-Large electoral system will, for the first time, change to a By-District system made up of six districts. Participants will provide input and insight into where the City Council voting boundaries will be drawn.

The first of a series of meetings will be held Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 200 S. Anaheim Blvd., 1st floor.

“We encourage our residents to make the time to attend and participate in these important meetings,” said Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. “This is a unique time in Anaheim’s history, and the first in more than 150 years for residents to participate in changing our electoral system. Residents will have opportunities to present their ideas to a panel of retired judges, including submitting maps with suggestions for district boundaries. We welcome our community members’ taking part in shaping Anaheim’s future.”

Public input from the meetings will be reviewed by an Advisory Committee composed of five retired Superior Court judges – James Jackman, Nancy Wieben Stock, Stephen J. Sundvold, Thomas Neal Thrasher, and Edward J. Wallin. The public and Committee will have the assistance of an expert demographer at each meeting. The Committee will make its recommendation to the City Council by October 6. The Council will hold public hearings and make the final determination by the end of this year. The new districts will take effect for the November 2016 elections.

The Advisory Committee meetings will be broadcast online and Anaheim’s local cable Channel 3. Visit www.anaheim.net/districts for more information.

Single-member council district were and are a bad-idea for Anaheim that will more likely than not lead to more squabbling, worse governance and enervate the city’s ability to act with energy. But the voters have every right to adopt bad policies. Now that they have, the trick will be adopting council districts shaped more by geography and natural communities of interest rather than a racial gerrymander intended to produce a certain number of councilmembers from this or that racial or ethnic group.

5 comments

  1. I find it very curious that somehow you equate an honest practice of democracy as being so dangerous for Anaheim, in that respect, the national momentum to be overwhelmed by oligarchical “ubermenches” and corporatism can also in tandem be denounced as anti-democratic.

    With all due respect to your point of view, I find this anti-democratic mentality as being counter revolutionary to the fundamental principles of freedom and liberty for “all” individuals. Although we could get into a debate regarding the founder’s principles in creating an independent nation, I can be safe to state that sacrificing citizen’s rights was not the original intent. Otherwise we’d all be forced to bow in subservience to money and power until, as history has proven under such conditions, a new revolution erupts. After all, “demos” means the people, so where are the wants and needs of the people being served when their choices, demands and actions can no longer effect their everyday living environment, and unable to influence “their” government. Democracy begins as soon as we walk out of the door of our respective homes. You seek efficiency in governance, fearing that the city would cease to be dynamic, so are you pining that possibly business can’t go on as usual? Perhaps, but democracy is a messy business, if you want absolute efficiency in governance you will have to consider another political system.

    In regards to your innuendo on racial gerrymandering of the districts, you can’t deny the diversity of the city’s population and racial composition, yet the fact is that 53% of the city’s population is Hispanic only demonstrates the past democratic representation failure of past policies, which can historically qualify as suppression.

    Representative voting by district creates a system of that will not require the vast funding needed for city-wide campaigning, which in the past restricted candidates for city council emerging strictly from the more privileged sectors of the city.

    The loss of the at-large representation process will also, by force, redefine the practices of special interest lobbies in financing the respective district campaigns, making it more difficult for lobby interests from owning the city “so efficiently.”

    • Only vested interests fear change. Anaheim is too big for at large elections. Only Disney/union backed candidates have a chance. The reactionaries just fall back on the tired “racial” Balkanization nonsense to protect their turf.

  2. “I can be safe to state that sacrificing citizen’s rights was not the original intent. Otherwise we’d all be forced to bow in subservience to money and power.”

    Mr. Duron must be new to Anaheim. Welcome sir, hang in there, watch a few Council meetings, you will catch up soon enough. Money and power already demand our subservience, absent the few of us who refuse to bow to the Kleptocracy and their superior wisdom in how Anaheim should be run, without the input or even exercise of basic rights of its citizens. In the eyes of the Council majority, a handful of “professional” department heads at City Hall, and most especially in the eyes and computer screens of those who publish here, those who fail to bow to that power are merely “politically motivated and misinformed” peasants, whose value is limited to paying taxes and showing up to vote as ordered by the Chamber of Commerce. While the power structure has become much better at hiding their wheeling and dealing behind multiple layers of corporate and government structure, it is pretty obvious to see what is going on, and I am sure in no time at all you will understand that the train has already left the ($200MM) station when it comes to reining in the power of our local government. But you do express a nice sentiment, and one can only hope that someday we see the checks and balances back in place. For now, it is all about the checks, none of the balance.

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