As a public service to the Voice of OC, the OC Register, the OJ Blog and the Anaheim Blog, we’re reprinting the complete statement made by Anaheim Council member Jordan Brandman at last night’s meetings which call for a new set of hearings on the District Maps. We offer this without editorial comment and eagerly look forward to the fantasy crafted by the underemployed blogger at OJ about what it all means…..
Jordan Brandman —
Thank you all really truly for coming tonight. As many of you know, I endorsed the ballot initiative to create districts, signed the ballot argument in support, and actively campaigned for its passage. I have fought for an Anaheim City Council that reflects the diversity of our community, and I will continue to do so.
Throughout this process, we have all worked tirelessly to accomplish those goals, and we have taken pride in the thoroughness and transparency of these proceedings. Since the first public hearing, all of us have had the best of intentions to implement this new system of governance using the map that has been recommended by the districting committee. And we concluded that portion with unanimity. However, during the second hearing that unanimity broke down as this body tried to develop a sequencing plan for which districts would be up in the 2016 cycle.
In the time since, it has become clear to me that it is not the sequencing of the districts but the map itself at issue. While everyone has worked in good faith to see a map approved that guarantees representational equity, the proposed map is the epitome of the perfect being the enemy of the good. It forces this council to choose between ensuring that historically underrepresented communities have the opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice in 2016 and geographic equity.
Furthermore, upon further review and conversations with several community leaders, I believe not having a map with two Latino majority CVAP districts on the ballot in 2016 could expose the City to further lawsuits, as the recent letter from MALDEF contends. Therefore, since this map has led us to an impasse, I move we postpone indefinitely the consideration of the proposed ordinance before us. Instead, I propose that we direct to staff to set up hearings beginning in January 2016 for further consideration of maps that were already submitted to the Advisory Committee on Electoral Districts where the map included 2 or more Latino majority CVAP districts. I believe there is a sufficient number of alternatives in the maps that have already been submitted.
Based on the statistics available to us, I believe that demographer consultant map 2 may be the best alternative, with Council Districts 1, 2, 3, and 5 up for election in 2016. That arrangement would provide for two Latino majority CVAP districts in central and east Anaheim, and two west and south Anaheim districts on the November 2016 ballot.
That said, if the council would like to explore other alternatives, I look forward to that discussion and any thoughts staff has. Nevertheless, I think it is clear at this juncture that the map and election sequencing as proposed in the ordinance before us is not in the best interests of the City of Anaheim, and I hope we can find an alternative that accomplishes the aims we established at the very beginning of this process. Thank you.