New Letters from Latino Groups on Anaheim Districting

Anaheim-Yes-on-Districts

TheLiberalOC has the latest letters sent to the Anaheim City Council on districting from MALDEF and LULAC.  The first letter is from LULAC; it’s a final version updated from a draft copy we received last night:

Tom Tait, Mayor

City of Anaheim

City Hall

200 S Anaheim Boulevard

Anaheim, CA 92805

Dear Mayor Tait and Councilmembers:

Greetings to you from the state office of California LULAC.  As posted on our national website (www.lulac.org), “The Mission of the League of United Latin American Citizens is to advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States.”  This communication is on behalf of the nearly 100 LULAC Councils in California.

California LULAC strongly opposes the Anaheim City Council’s proposal to reject the “People’s Map” and further delay adopting a district plan until as late as July 2016. The Council’s decision to delay the transition to district elections is step backwards for Anaheim and it’s (sic) citizens and will further subject the City to costly litigation. We urge you to adopt the Committee’s recommended map, and sequence the elections to put District 3 on the November 2016 ballot.

Latino citizens and voters of Anaheim have advocated for responsive representation through a district elections system for years. In addition, hundreds of residents and a panel of retired judges worked tirelessly throughout 2015 to select a map.  Now, on the eve of achieving a by-district election system, the Council has attempted to stall this transition and start the districting process all over again.

Latino voters have waited long enough. Anaheim’s residents have had enough.  The action by the council is an unconscionable move to delay a fair and just resolution to this issue.  If the Mayor and Council  are true to their sworn duty to serve residents, then they must finally take action to preserve our country’s democratic principles, adhere to state and federal voting rights laws, and protect Anaheim’s reputation and future.

Moreover, keeping Anaheim residents and prospective candidates in the dark about district lines for the November 2016 elections is not in the best interest of Anaheim residents.  Indeed, it will only serve to disenfranchise Latino voters from electing a candidate of their choice in 2016, and will reduce the time that those candidates have to mount an effective campaign.  This action also places the City dangerously close to being out of compliance with the settlement agreement in Moreno, et al., v. City of Anaheim.

There’s only one clear path forward, the Council must adopt the People’s Map and place District 3 on the ballot in November 2016. The People’s Map has received broad community support and Latinos living in the Latino majority district should have the opportunity to elect its council representative as soon as possible.

Finally, there are many eyes on this case both statewide and nationally.  Should the Mayor and the Council fail to resolve the issue of voting rights, we will explore all appropriate economic and political remedies in order to defend the rights of Anaheim’s residents.

Dave Rodriguez, State Director for California LULAC.

 

The second is from MALDEF:

December 14, 2015

Via U.S. Mail

Tom Tait, Mayor

City of Anaheim

City Hall

200 S Anaheim Boulevard

Anaheim, CA 92805

Re: Anaheim’s 2016 District Elections

Dear Mr. Tait:

In our December 3, 2015 letter to this Council, the California League of United Latin American Citizens and MALDEF adamantly opposed the Anaheim City Council’s proposal to delay the election of the only Latino-majority district, District 3, until 2018. We reiterate that the proposal violates federal statutory and constitutional law prohibiting intentional discrimination in voting.

On December 9, 2015, the Council voted to postpone indefinitely the motion regarding the adoption and sequencing of the electoral districts until the new American Community Survey data is released, and thereafter to schedule a new series of public hearings for further consideration of alternative mapping proposals. The U.S. Census Bureau has not indicated when block group level mapping data will be released in 2016.

To the extent the resolution delays the timely implementation of district elections in Anaheim in 2016, including providing voters adequate time to evaluate candidates who have, in turn, had an adequate time to mount a campaign in any district that contains a majority Latino citizen voting age population, the delay in the process would lead to the same legal harm and potentially actionable intentional discrimination claim set forth in our December 3, 2015 letter. To be clear, any delay in an election in a Latino-majority district to 2018, whether caused by undue delay in implementing district elections overall or by failing to sequence elections in a district system to provide a Latino-majority district vote in 2016, could elicit legal challenge under the federal Voting Rights Act.

In order to avoid costly litigation and potential liability for intentional discrimination, we urge the Council to adopt a districting plan without delay, and order that an election be held in a Latino-majority district in November 2016.

Denise Hulett

National Senior Counsel

MALDEF

 

And OCCORD issued a statement last weekend:

Stop the Anaheim Power Grab!

On December 8, Democrat Jordan Brandman and the Council Majority which includes Lucille Kring and Kris Murray, stood against the will of the people for their own political gain. They voted to throw “The People’s Map” for Anaheim district elections away and start the districting process all over next year.  Anaheim residents may not know until July what district they live in or which districts will be up for election in November 2016.  Grassroots candidates will not have enough time to have a fair shot to challenge these professional politicians.

For five years we fought for district elections in Anaheim, finally prevailing in 2014’s general election. Throughout 2015, we worked with hundreds of residents of residents from every ethnic group and every part of the city to draw a fair map that keeps neighborhoods whole and gives the Latino community the chance to elect half the council seats. A respected panel of retired judges unanimously selected our map and named it “The People’s Map”.

On November 3, the City Council unanimously approved The People’s Map. The City Attorney said that it would stand up to any legal challenge. But last Tuesday, Jordan Brandman who hypocritically claims to support the Latino community, voted to throw out the map, and start the entire process over in February of next year. We feel he is putting his own personal political ambitions above democracy and the voices of the residents he was elected to serve.

This action is a slap in the face to all of Anaheim. We will fight back. The residents of Anaheim deserve true democracy.

We call on all neighbors, partners and allies to turn out in force to City Council next Tuesday, December 15 for a 4 p.m. press conference and 5 p.m. Council meeting.

“IT’S TIME ANAHEIM!”

PLEASE RSVP with Marisol Ramirez at mramirez@occord.org or by phone at 714-621-0919 ext 17

Anaheim City Hall
200 S. Anaheim Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92805

(free parking in rear)

Articles to read regarding this issue:

Anaheim City Council Stalls Transition to District Elections
http://voiceofoc.org/2015/12/anaheim-council-stalls-transition-to-district-elections/
Anaheim goes back to the drawing board with voting districts
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/voting-695380-latino-council.html
Anaheim’s Latino-majority district will have to wait
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/city-693002-district-council.html
Anaheim Council delays approving map for district elections
http://www.scpr.org/news/2015/12/09/56137/anaheim-council-delays-approving-map-for-district/

 

 

  7 comments for “New Letters from Latino Groups on Anaheim Districting

  1. December 14, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    D’oh. I figured that’s what they’d say and what they meant, and I’m glad I misinterpreted Zeke’s silence last Tuesday.

    I wonder what Boy Wonder will come up with next for a justification to postpone Latinos’ representation another few years? I’ve already got him pegged as someone who can never admit he was wrong … or else his orders are too strict to disobey.

  2. December 15, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Spoken like a true Tait foot soldier Vern.

    • Cynthia Ward
      December 15, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      So whose foot soldier does that make you, Dan? When will you answer someone with facts instead of simply going on the offense with personal insults?

      I heard something yesterday that is apparently a common phrase in law school;

      When the law is in your favor, argue the law.
      When facts are in your favor, argue the facts.
      When neither the facts nor the law are on your side, attack the other person.

      Given the level of attack around here, and the lack of corresponding fact, I would say the side Dan is on has no arguments left to make and can do nothing but throw stones and twigs from their positions behind the rocks. But Vern is the foot soldier?

      • December 15, 2015 at 3:45 pm

        I’m issuing documents as they come in Cynthia without editorial comment or without surmising who’s stupid, who’s unethical or making up stuff like what your friends at OJ do. I’m playing it right down the middle. Please don’t forget to bless yourself as you kneel before the altar of Tom Tait.

      • December 15, 2015 at 3:52 pm

        He is pretty valueless as a commentator, isn’t he? Still, props on putting up these documents, I’ve been very busy.

        • Pinky
          December 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm

          Busy must mean “drunk”

  3. Pinky
    December 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    Busy? You mean hung over

Comments are closed.