By Ricardo Toro

Although I got involved in the recent city council election process, I still feel like a newcomer to the city affairs. My previous participation was as a volunteer in a sanctuary for Central American refugees, at the Unitarian church, more than 20 years ago.  The UU was located at Manchester Avenue, next to the freeway. Being a newcomer one runs the risk of being naïve, of reinventing the wheels or just spinning them. Bu, hopefully, one may add a productive perspective to the debate.


Significant discussions are going on in the non-corporate, less affluent Anaheim.  One is between middle class residents and working class Latinos, expressed in the regulation of garage sales, and probably on the operation of ice cream trucks.  This reflects demographic changes, integration, diversity.   In predominantly middle class neighborhoods, the garage sales regulation is a welcome one.  Eventually acceptable preservation and integration of ways of life will occur. The important debate is how to address the marginalization of the poor and working class, which has a much more negative impact. An exchange of ideas through one of the Blogs, and maybe meetings between these two camps, about the different concerns and mutual goals could be a positive manner to address them(1).

The other debate is within the leadership of the Latino community.  The lawsuit against the city’s current electoral system by Los Amigos has been accepted by people who were previously reluctant.  For 35 years this group, Los Amigos, has navigated the political waters as well as it could, and it has been overall a positive influence. However, they continue to be negatively characterized by the talented editor of the OCWeekly, who was born and raised in Anaheim. Differences can be productive, but the existing one is discouraging and counterproductive (2). Historical references and description of current events are not enough to change the problems afflicting our community.  An agenda and a movement are needed to change them.  There are a couple of fine community organizing groups, but they are limited in their scope and immediate impact.  The progressive movement, started with Duane Roberts‘ campaign, and supported by many Latinos, has the potential of becoming a viable political project.

Read the full article at the Orange Juice Blog: