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Why did Anaheim Council block vote to create districts?

Anaheim residents hold signs in support of a vote to increase the number of city council members and establish voting districts at a meeting last year. Latinos in the community feel that they currently lack representation in city government.
Bear Guerra/KPCC
Anaheim residents hold signs in support of a vote to increase the number of city council members and establish voting districts.

During a special council meeting, the Anaheim City Council voted three to two to reject a ballot proposal that would create voting districts that would help increase Latino representation.

During a special council meeting, the Anaheim City Council voted three to two to reject a ballot proposal that would create voting districts that would help increase Latino representation. In its stead, council members decided to create a citizens advisory committee that would be used for feedback on elections and community involvement.

The decision was delivered to a large group of community members after hours of heated debate and testimony and angered many of the attendants. Anaheim is the largest city in California to practice at-large voting, and though Latinos make up close to 52% if the city’s 336 thousand residents, only a few have ever been elected to council seats.

Anaheim’s mayor, Tom Tait, Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, and Disneyland Resort all backed the proposal, along with scores more of the city’s residents. The council’s vote was enough to incite outrage, but Anaheim was already in turmoil after a string of heated demonstrations over fatal police shootings of two Latino men.

How will the decision play out? And when will this city’s woes finally rest?

Guests:

Ed Joyce, KPCC’s Orange County Reporter

Kris Murray, Anaheim City Councilmember

Eric Altman, Executive Director, Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development

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