On Tuesday evening Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman celebrated the violence outside of City Hall that disrupted the business of the City Council. In an message to her fellow residents of the central Anaheim neighborhood known as the Colony Eastman wrote; “In spite of how it happened, it was a big time win for all who opposed seeing that placed on the November ballot, Tonight we celebrate a win with no shots fired!”
For an elected council member to claim victory of a political agenda because community outrage and protests prevented action by the council is a deplorable example of cognitive dissonance. In the small world of Eastman’s mind, the outrage and resulting violence of Tuesday night could not be connected to the actions of the council majority she leads. The only way to resolve her disbelief was to rationalize the events as a victory for her cause.
The Colony message board is not accessible to those who aren’t members. Below is Eastman’s message to her hive:
To everyone who sent an email and/or came out to City Hall to support the Council tonight. It’s finally quiet in the hood and I’ve had time to collect my thoughts.
There was a time during the meeting when we were being told things were escalating outside and our PD was only able to just hold out until back up from County and other cities arrived, that I looked at all my friends in the chamber audience and regretted my earlier plea to show up and show support. I am most grateful that you all were there for the quiet show of support and happy that everyone was safe.
It appears to have been quiet now for almost an hour so I trust we will all get a good nights sleep. The bonus now is that a threat of seeing either the TOT [room tax] issue or districting on the November ballot is past.
In spite of how it happened, it was a big time win for all who opposed seeing that placed on the November ballot. We could still be asked to vote on both issues in the future if 15% of the registered voters in the city sign a petition requesting it. We may also be facing a recall if some of tonights speakers follow through on their threats, but that will be a fight for another day.
Tonight we celebrate a win with no shots fired!
Thanks my friends for standing with us!
The Colony enclave in Anaheim, sometimes referred to as the Mother Colony, is an island of historic homes established at the birth of the city. The enclave is surrounded by the central Anaheim neighborhoods of predominantly low income, Latino residents. While there are no gates, the lines of division are visible as you pass through the boundaries of the Colony. In social circles many Colony residents seem to be of one mind when it comes to issues of community and politics. A hive-mind of collective thinking, is reflected in Eastman’s communication to her fellow colonists.
The Voice of OC reported on the response to Eastman’s written comments:
Jose Moreno, president of Los Amigos, says that Eastman’s comments are evidence that a small group has sway over City Hall.
“It’s a really cynical way of saying we have sustained control of the power structure of Anaheim. The status quo has won,” Moreno said. “So it shows that [Eastman] was not at the dais last night listening with an open mind and an open ear and with compassion for our community. … Nobody won last night.”
On Wednesday Eastman tried to walk back her commentary. Eastman sent a prepared statement to Voice of OC following publication of her comments:
Shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning, following a contentious and emotional city council meeting, I sent an email to the Colony residents’ email group thanking my neighbors for attending the city council meeting. My immediate concern was with the safety and well-being of those in attendance and I am grateful that they returned home safely. For that, I commend the Anaheim Police Department for their efforts to keep residents safe.
In the email, I used a common phrase that was perceived as inappropriate and insensitive in light of the serious issues going on in our city right now. Very simply, it was late, I was exhausted and it was the wrong choice of words. For that, I sincerely apologize to those who were offended.
Those who know me understand my heart and that I love Anaheim. It is very disheartening to see what’s going on right now in our city. I intend to continue doing everything in my power to work with my neighbors throughout Anaheim, as well as with our city staff, to seek solutions and more importantly, begin the healing process.
What is confusing about Eastman’s walk-back is that she claimed in her original message that she had time to collect her thoughts before she wrote her message. In he apology she writes that she was exhausted and made “the wrong choice of words.”
Cognitive dissonance, revisionist history, or hive-mind; what ever the reason, Eastman has created an unsettling buzz in the heart of the city of Anaheim.