Is Race An Issue For Measure D Opponents?

This February voters in Santa Ana will have an opportunity to decide on a controversial ballot proposition that would extend the number of four year terms for city councilmembers from 2 to 3.  The proposition known as Measure D has brought together a small, but vocal, faction of voters led by Councilmember Michele Martinez. 

For Martinez and others like School Board Member John Palacio and local dentist Dr. Arturo Lomeli the fight is about what they see is bad public policy.  For others like Art Pedroza, Measure D gives them an opportunity to grandstand and stir up anger towards politicians they disagree with.  However, there is yet another faction of folks, the “usual suspects”, that have long carried water for anti-Latino and anti-immigrants movements in our community.

The fact that these folks are involved in the efforts to defeat Measure D leads me to ask, is race a factor in their opposition to Measure D?

The results of the November 2006 elections led to Santa Ana becoming the first city in Orange County to have an all-Latino city council.  This definately did not make the “usual suspects” happy at all.  The thought of these Latino councilmembers getting another term does not sit well with these folks.  If Measure D passes the chances of an Anglo getting elected to the city council anytime soon become much slimmer.

Many of those working against Measure D were involved in the recall of School Board Member Nativo Lopez.  The efforts against Nativo were perhaps the worst demonstration of race baiting and bigotry ever seen in Santa Ana politics.  Among this group are folks that support the Minuteman Project, immigrant bashers Lupe Moreno and Rosie Avila and those that have continually sought to use code enforcement as a means to attack the immigrant community.  Measure D has now replaced vendor trucks at the top of their agenda.

When you hear folks condemning Measure D make sure you ask yourself “why”?  Is it because it is bad policy?  Is it because they always complain and grandstand?  Or is it something more sinister?

Leopards can’t change their spots and these folks just can’t change their ways.  The thought of a continuing all-Latino city council is something they just don’t want to see happen.  They will do anything in their power to eliminate it and today it is opposing Measure D.

There are many good folks with legitimate reasons opposing Measure D.  However their entire effort is tainted by those folks who have a long track record of Latino/immigrant bashing.

  18 comments for “Is Race An Issue For Measure D Opponents?

  1. December 17, 2007 at 7:44 am

    That is the most absurd thing I have heard in a long time.

  2. December 17, 2007 at 8:18 am

    I drive South on the 5 freeway because it’s the direction I want to go in, and I keep my distnace from the other cars and ignore the drivers, but if I learned Gilchrist himself was on the highway with me, I would not necessarily exit and head the other direction. I already know where I want to be and how to get there.

  3. December 17, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Hmmm…. need to also ask if anyone has done any kind of research on who might support/oppose Measure D. It’s way too minor for that, but I am seeing opinion based only in anecdotal evidence, which is fine if it can be shown to be representative of some reliable dynamic. I am sure, Sean, that the range of folks opposing “D” goes from right to left , or left to right. But in lieu of any polling, those who have canvassed already–Martinez did a neighborhood canvass last Saturday–might offer response here. What have they seen on turf? What I’d really like to know is whether the “uncommitted” type of “moderate” voter supports or opposes. Thanks for the post, man. -james

  4. cook
    December 17, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Term limits are bad.

    Measure D is term limits rehashed.

    Only voters should determine term limits and only at the voting polls.

    After measure D fails in February, then we the voters can vote in June on pulling the council term limit law out by its roots and tossing it on the scrap heap with other failed 1960’s style experiments. (Santa Ana 2 term limit law 1966)

  5. anon
    December 17, 2007 at 9:28 am

    The notion of a two term limit does not date from the 1960s. None other than Washington established it as a principle, and it stood til FDR. In the 1950s–not a bastion of “experiments” as you put it–the US Congress introduced the idea into the Constitution formally. I actually don’t care all that much about term limits, but you are mistaken about the history. And they do have a way of complicating dynastic and careerist ambitions, even if only in a fairly minor way.

  6. December 17, 2007 at 10:28 am

    Sean: Glad to see you’re continuing to blog, but here’s to hoping you don’t mention Art in every post…

  7. December 17, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I have yet to read Sean discuss the merits of Measure D.
    He tries to attack it by showing that those opposing it are a broad range of community activists from across the political spectrum.
    Sean, please tell us how the RESIDENTS (those who don’t happen to be incumbent councilmembers or the mayor) benefit from it’s passage.

  8. Sean H. Mill
    December 17, 2007 at 11:10 am


    I have no intention of stopping my blogging. The only reason I mentioned Pedroza at all was because he is the “head revolutionary” out on the corner yelling at parked cars. Other than that I have no reason to mention him. I’ll be more than happy to let him be the one doing all the attacking.

  9. Sean H. Mill
    December 17, 2007 at 11:21 am


    I find Measure D a bit weak to tell you the truth. I would have preferred that it included term limits on the Mayor. However when it actually included them Michele Martinez and other so-called “revolutionaries balked at them and they were removed.

    The adding of another term to the Councilmembers does add to the clout they will have and helps put them move closer to the power of the Mayor then they currently have.

    Again, I have never said that I support Measure D. I just don’t think that it is the major deal that some folks are making it out to be. Many of its opponents are simply making a lot of noise and grandstanding on this issue

  10. cook
    December 17, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    “but you are mistaken about the history.” (anon, on December 17th, 2007 at 9:28 am Said: )

    I made no mistake, Santa Ana’s council term limit law took effect in 1966. I am not talking about presidential politics.

    Do you believe in term limits?

    For the area that I live, my Congressperson and Federal Senators have been in office for more than two terms and over 8 years. So “Mr/Ms anon” if you have voted for any of those politicians more than twice…… You don’t believe in term limits!

    Term limits have not produced the promised benefits and should be cut out of the fabric of our society like a cancer.

  11. December 17, 2007 at 8:43 pm


    Thanks for taking Stanley Fiala with you. Please feel free to keep him! 🙂

  12. Anonymous
    December 19, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Sean, you have many things to say that are worth hearing, but this post is simply ignorant! In addition to Dr. Lomeli and John Palacio, there are other folks who can see through the greediness of a few city council members and are NOT racist.

    Stick to the issues and put the mud down!

  13. December 19, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    I clearly stated that I believe that Art and John oppose this because they see it as bad public policy. There are however some involved in the fight against D that have a history of supporting immigrant bashing and racist policies. There are also supporters of the Minuteman Project involved as well.

  14. Anonymous
    December 19, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    I hope that Sean will focus on the merits and negatives of Measure D for Santa Ana instead of talking about the always colorful cast of characters on both sides of this argument.

  15. cook
    December 19, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    Term limits is the lazy voter act. Why bother to vote if term limits does the job for you.

    Term limits violate the ideal that every vote counts by denying voter their choice of representation.

    Term limits should be repealed as bad public policy.

    Measure D needs to fail, not because it extends terms of councilmember’s, but because it restricts voters rights to pick and choose their choice for a office.

    Is measure D racist? Who cares, if you are not racist, then you are a liar.

Comments are closed.