As has been reported in the media, a lawsuit was filed last week by the “People’s Homeless Task Force”seeking to rollback the recently-approved agreement to sell Angels Stadium to team owner Arte Moreno and keep the Angels in Anaheim for at least 30 years.
What is the “People’s Homeless Task Force”? It consists of half a dozen of progressive activists who use a variety of group monikers. Sometimes they are the “People’s Homeless Task Force.” Other times they are “Housing Is A Human Right OC.” All are active members of the Anaheim Democrat Club.
And twice a month at Anaheim City Council meetings, you can watch them at the dais during public comments denouncing the council majority and slavishly praising Councilmembers Jose F. Moreno and Denise Barnes. We’re talking about primarily about Mike and Jeannine Robbins, David Duran, Wes Jones and Lou Noble. Other “People’s Homeless Task Force” members include left-wing activist Linda Lehnkering.
When not fulminating during public comments, these gadflies sit in the chamber and heckle councilmembers and members of the public with whom they disagree. While they claim to speak for the “community” and “the people,” they hold ordinary people in contempt – probably because normal people shrug off their hectoring and moralizing.
Litigation Is Policy Weapon Of Choice
Since their politics and tactics generate sparse community support, the claque behind the “People’s Homeless Task Force” utilize litigation to advance their policy agenda.
In April 2019, the the ACLU sued the County of Orange on behalf of the People’s Homeless Task Force. The Boar of Supervisors had moved general public comments from the beginning to the end of their meetings, and modified the rules governing public comment in the interests of greater decorum. Jeannine Robbins and her band of activists felt those changes cramped their style and want to them removed, alleging they violate the Brown Act.
In February 2018, the People’s Homeless Task Force also vigorously opposed efforts to clear the Santa Ana River Trail encampment – a miles-long village comprised of hundreds of homeless living in tents. In February 2018 they filed a lawsuit to prevent the County from removing the encampment. Their contention: clearing the SART homeless encampment was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Now, the same group of left-wing Anaheim activists is now trying to derail the proposed Angels agreement with another lawsuit, claiming the council violated the Brown Act.
The proposed agreement would keep the Angels in Anaheim for at least another 30 years, while selling the stadium and surrounding land to an Arte Moreno-led development partnership for $325 million – slightly above the fair market value as determined by the appraisal commissioned by the council while Tom Tait was still mayor.
This agreement would get the city out of the stadium business. If the Angels decided to modernize the existing stadium – one of the oldest in Major League Baseball – or build a new one, Arte Moreno would have to pay finance. No taxpayer subsidies.
Councilman Jose F. Moreno – no relation to the Angels owner – has been the chief opponent of the agreement. The Robbins and the other members of the People’s Homeless Task Force are close political allies of Moreno.