By Ricardo Toro:
The absence of Latinos in the City’s Charter Review Committee is surprising, as we have been eloquently complaining about our exclusion from adequate representation. Not even our good Mayor Tait appointed one of us. The composition of this committee, all whites, has reopened discussion on race and on the CVRA (California Voting Rights Act); a recent discussion is taking place in theVoice of OC.
My take on this is that I am a “gavacho”- (white-) looking Latino who would not vote for a Latino “just because.” I did not vote for Steve Chavez Lodge — and I would not vote for him in any kind of electoral system. As a bloc, Latinos in Anaheim are under-represented. Our voting registration and votes do not reflect our population size; who knows when this situation will change. In the meantime, the current at-large election system perpetuates the under-representation and disenfranchisement. Its proposed replacement by an at-large districts system, the Santa Ana system, will maintain this pattern.
The appointment of the controversial former Mayor Curt Pringle, currently a lobbyist, to this Charter Review Committee is also surprising. He is perceived as the force orchestrating the crucial decisions taken by the city council: the reluctance to create district councils to enhance our democracy; the opposition to a Civilian Police Review Board; the firing of the City Attorney and the resignation of the previous City Manager; the subsidies to developers; the appointments of anti-immigrants advocates in the election committee and now in the charter review committee.
I did not know about Pringle’s influence until I got involved in the last council election. I knew that he had been Mayor twice, that he was involved in the placing of security guards at some Santa Ana polling places when he run for state office, and that years later he was supporting the opening of a Mexican superstore in Anaheim which had been denied a liquor license. He has been demonized by his critics, called by some as the “whitest man alive”, and it has been that his “ghost” presides in the council chamber.
Who is this man vilified by many? Wikipedia provides a summary of his background:
Read the full story here: