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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Ana Wards’

Could Vietnamese Groups Use the California Voting Rights Act to Sue Santa Ana?

Posted by Chris Nguyen on December 20, 2012

There’s been much discussion about the ACLU lawsuit against the City of Anaheim to force Councilmembers to be elected by district rather than at large, as voters in the entire city vote for every Councilmember.  The lawsuit cites the California Voting Rights Act of 2002’s requirements for racial representation on City Councils.  Anaheim is 53% Latino.

As Gustavo Arellano at the OC Weekly noted, Anaheim had an 80% nonwhite Council as recently as 2006, with Latino Councilmembers Richard Chavez and Bob Hernandez (both elected in 2002), Asian Councilmembers Lorri Galloway and Harry Sidhu (both elected in 2004), and white Mayor Curt Pringle (elected in 2002).  I might also note Lou Lopez served on the Council from 1994-1998 when he gave up his Council seat to run unsuccessfully for Supervisor.

With the election of white Councilmembers Jordan Brandman and Lucille Kring replacing termed out Asian Councilmembers Lorri Galloway and Harry Sidhu, Anaheim has its first all-white City Council in a decade.  What impact this will have on the lawsuit against Orange County’s largest city is to be seen.  Brandman has asked to agendize a possible lawsuit settlement for the next Council meeting .

Meanwhile in the County’s second-largest city, Santa Ana has had an all-Latino Council since 2006.  With six council wards, each Councilmember (other than the directly-elected Mayor) represents 16% of the city.  However, Santa Ana elects its Councilmembers at-large from these wards.  In other words, voters in the entire city still pick the Councilmember representing each ward.

Santa Ana’s Asian (mostly Vietnamese) population is highly concentrated in the western portion of the City.

In the redistricting plan adopted at the beginning of 2012, Ward 6’s border with Ward 3 moved south, and increased the Ward 3 Asian population by 16%.  The relatively square Ward 4 became much more rectangular by yielding most of its western territory to Ward 6 and picking up the southeastern portion of Ward 6.  This increased the Ward 4 Asian population by a whopping 209%.  However, these changes decreased the Ward 6 Asian population by 27%.

Prior to the 2012 redistricting, 46% of all Santa Ana Asians resided in Ward 6, 24% lived in Ward 3, and just 5% in Ward 4.  With the new districts, just 33% live in Ward 6,  27% live in Ward 3, and 17% live in Ward 4.

Can anyone say cracking?

The California Voting Rights Act of 2002 states that a violation “is established if it is shown that racially polarized voting occurs in elections for members of the governing body of the political subdivision or in elections incorporating other electoral choices by the voters of the political subdivision.”  It goes on to say, “The fact that members of a protected class are not geographically compact or concentrated may not preclude a finding of racially polarized voting…but may be a factor in determining an appropriate remedy.”

In practice, the most common remedy under the California Voting Rights Act of 2002 has been to have ward elections in which voters only vote one Councilmember to represent their ward and do not vote for any other Councilmembers (basically, ward elections make city council elections a lot more like supervisorial elections, legislative elections, and U.S. House elections).

Anaheim is being sued for violating the California Voting Rights Act of 2002 because citywide voters have not elected a Latino to the current City Council.  Could Santa Ana be sued for violating the California Voting Rights Act of 2002 because citywide voters have never not elected an Asian to the City Council in 31 years and the Council’s redistricting plan presents a major “cracking” of the Asian population?

Posted in Anaheim, Santa Ana | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

AD-69: Anaheim Saved Republican Moreno, Pushed Democrat Perez into Third, Averting Dem vs. Dem Slugfest in November

Posted by Chris Nguyen on June 28, 2012

Last week, I blogged two city-by-city breakdowns of the results in two Assembly races.

First up was AD-72, which showed Mayor Troy Edgar (R-Los Alamitos) and Businessman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) the top two in four cities, OC Board of Education Member Long Pham (R-Fountain Valley) and Planning Commissioner Joe Dovinh (D-Garden Grove) the top two in two cities, and Pham and Edgar the top two in Garden Grove.

Next up was AD-74, which showed Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) and Businessman Robert Rush (D-Newport Beach) alternating as first and second place in each city in the district, with the sole exception being Newport Beach, where Councilwoman Leslie Daigle (R-Newport Beach) slipped in ahead of Rush but behind Mansoor.

Up today is the final OC Assembly race that featured more than two candidates: AD-69.  First, let’s recall the districtwide numbers:

Orange County Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly (D) 10,939 39.2%
Eligibility Technician Jose “Joe” Moreno (R) 5,980 21.4%
Union Leader Julio Perez (D) 5,738 20.6%
Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez (D) 4,651 16.7%
Businessman Francisco “Paco” Barragan (D) 605 2.2%

So let’s take a look at how the voting broke down in the four cities of AD-69: Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Orange.

(Thanks to Matt Rexroad and Chandra Sharma at Meridian Pacific for the map, which I’ve cropped here and to which I have added graphics.  Note that the population numbers on the map apply to each whole city, not just the portion of the city in AD-69.  The bulk of Santa Ana and a sliver of Garden Grove are in AD-69 while a sliver of Santa Ana and the bulk of Garden Grove are in AD-72.  A sliver of Orange is in AD-69 but the bulk of it is in AD-68.  Anaheim is divided into nearly even thirds, with the western 1/3 in AD-65, the central 1/3 in AD-69, and the eastern 1/3 in AD-68.)

Daly was consistently first in each city while Barragan was consistently fifth.  Moreno, Perez, and Martinez swapped around for the second, third, and fourth place positions.  The humongous Daly head is indicative of his first place finish in all four cities; taking his head out of the individual cities allows us to more closely examine second and third place, which actually differed in the four cities.  In each individual city, the candidate with the larger head came in second while the candidate with the smaller head came in third:

  • Moreno came in second with Perez third in Anaheim and Garden Grove.
  • Perez came in second with Martinez third in Santa Ana.
  • Moreno came in second with Martinez third in Orange.

Here’s their vote totals broken down visually by city:

Since Daly came in first by such a large margin (indeed, Daly’s Santa Ana total nearly bested everyone else’s districtwide total) and Barragan fell to fifth by such a large margin (Daly’s Garden Grove total outpaced Barragan’s districtwide total), let’s take a closer look with just Moreno, Perez, and Martinez, who were closer together in the results:

It’s clear that without Anaheim, Perez would have made it into the top two and on to November, rather than Moreno.  Moreno’s final vote total was 5,980 while Perez’s was 5,738.  Without Anaheim, Moreno would have had 4,105 while Perez would have had 4,308. (Anaheim gave Moreno 1,875 votes and Perez 1,430 votes, a 445-vote margin).  Perez lost districtwide to Moreno by 242 votes; without Anaheim, Moreno would have lost to Perez by 203 votes.

Anaheim was a crucial stronghold for Moreno, as he came in fourth in Santa Ana but second in Anaheim.

However, with so few cities in AD-69, and Santa Ana such a strong majority of that district (59% of registered voters in AD-69 live in Santa Ana, and 60% of ballots cast in AD-69 were from Santa Ana), it would be more useful to break this result down into regions smaller than cities.  Luckily for this purpose, the City of Santa Ana has Council wards.

Here, the larger head came in first while the smaller head came in second:

  • Daly came in first with Moreno second in Wards 3 and 6.
  • Perez came in first with Daly second in Wards 1 and 4.
  • Perez came in first with Martinez second in Wards 2 and 5 (Martinez represents Ward 2 on the Santa Ana City Council, by the way).

Despite the fact that Perez won four wards and Daly only won two, Daly actually won Santa Ana by a 10% margin.  How?  Well, 48% of registered voters in Santa Ana live in the two wards that Daly won: Wards 3 and 6.  49% of Santa Anans who voted in the AD-69 race live in Wards 3 and 6, so those two wards did not have disproportionate voter turnout – they just have a disproportionate share of the voters to begin with.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so…

The overwhelming majority of Daly and Moreno’s votes in Santa Ana came from Wards 3 and 6, with 59% of Daly’s Santa Ana votes and 66% of Moreno’s Santa Ana votes coming from those two wards.  By contrast, 29% of Perez’s Santa Ana votes and 38% of Martinez’s Santa Ana votes came from those two wards.  Here’s each candidate’s vote totals broken down visually by ward:

Once again, due to Daly’s landslide first-place finish and Barragan’s distant fifth-place finish, let’s take a closer look with just Moreno, Perez, and Martinez, who were closer together in the results:

Perez’s vote totals were fairly evenly spread out across the wards, Martinez got a bump from Ward 3, but Moreno’s performance was very strong in Wards 3 and 6 and disastrous in Wards 2, 4, and 5.

Had Perez done a stronger push in Anaheim or a three-prong strategy in Anaheim, Santa Ana’s Ward 3, and Santa Ana’s Ward 6, there’d be a Democrat vs. Democrat intraparty battle in AD-69 in November between business-backed Tom Daly and union-backed Julio Perez.

Posted in 69th Assembly District | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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