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Creating Wards In Anaheim Would Be A Mistake

Posted by Chris Emami on July 3, 2012

It has been brought to my attention that some misinformed people are pushing for a system that would separate Anaheim into different wards for the City Council races. I will disclose up front that I am a resident of Anaheim Hills and an appointed member of the Anaheim Housing Commission. The concept of putting wards in place is simply a waste of time and resources.

Only 3 other Cities use a Ward system in Orange County (Santa Ana, Newport Beach, and Seal Beach) and Santa Ana has a bizarre system where the entire City votes for the Councilmembers despite the fact that they have to live in the wards.

Anaheim currently has 4 members of the Council (including the Mayor) that live in Anaheim Hills and one minority on the Council. These members were all fairly elected to the Council by the entire City, whether you like them or not they and according to the 2010 Orange County Registrar of Voters Statement of Votes Kris Murray, Gail Eastman, and Tom Tait all won the area covered by the Anaheim Union High School District (http://www.ocvote.com/fileadmin/user_upload/sov/gen2010/sov-web.pdf).

Lets take a look back at the winning candidates for Anaheim City Council/Mayor going back to 2002:

2002- Curt Pringle, Bob Hernandez, & Richard Chavez (All 3 did not live in Anaheim Hills)
2004- Lorri Galloway & Harry Sidhu (Both do live in Anaheim Hills)
2006- Curt Pringle, Lucille Kring, &  Bob Hernandez (Only 1 lived in Anaheim Hills)
2008- Lorri Galloway & Harry Sidhu (Both do live in Anaheim Hills)
2010- Tom Tait, Kris Murray, & Gail Eastman (2 live in Anaheim Hills)
(All data comes from http://www.ocvote.com/)

These numbers show that both candidates from Anaheim Hills and the flatlands win races for the City Council and Mayor. It is not some conspiracy that has been put together to keep candidates on the City Council that only live in Anaheim Hills as 2010-2012 is the only time frame i the past 10 years where we have seen 4 Councilmembers living in Anaheim Hills.

Voters should  have a right to vote for the best candidates running for City Council regardless of where they live and what race that they are. In my opinion this not only should be the rule for Anaheim but any City including Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Newport Beach.

Arguably the 2 front-runners for Anaheim City Council in November are Lucille Kring and Steve Chavez-Lodge (neither on lives in Anaheim Hills). Much like the stock market Councilmembers in terms of where they live are cyclical. Sometimes candidates from the flatlands win and other times candidates from the hills win.

I can’t believe that I am saying this but one of the better articles that I have seen on statistical reasoning against switching to a ward system comes from Gustavo Arellano at the OC Weekly who penned this http://blogs.ocweekly.com/navelgazing/2012/06/aclu_anaheim_lawsuit_latinos.php. He and I may not agree on much in terms of policy but he absolutely hit it out of the park with this story even though I don’t agree with some of the ways he expressed his position in the article.

Hopefully the system in Anaheim stays the same and we can continue to simply vote for candidates that will represent all of Anaheim not just their specific wards.

5 Responses to “Creating Wards In Anaheim Would Be A Mistake”

  1. Esquire said

    You folks at OC Political better leave the legal analysis to Chris Nguyen, Craig Alexander, Charles Hart, or Brenda McCune because Chris Emami isn’t very good at it.

  2. Connor Duckworth said

    If a referendum gets on the ballot, the voters will have to decide. A high propensity of the voters in the city each election are from A.H.
    Should be interesting to see if they end up deciding their own fate.

    I believe more than just the two people listed as the front runners are out of AH. The Dem front runners happen to be from the lowlands as well.

  3. Danny said

    For what it is worth, Newport uses the same live-in-the-ward, run-citywide system that Santa Ana does.

    Only in Seal Beach do you genuinely run in only the ward you live in.

  4. Greg Diamond said

    “Voters should have a right to vote for the best candidates running for ______________ regardless of where they live and what race that they are.”

    Did Chris Emami really just endorse replacement of the state-based U.S. Senate with a body that has nationally elected members? Pretty radical, if so. It will require some Constitutional amendments, of course.

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