The city of Anaheim's hot summer has been years in the making, writes Gustavo Arellano, the editor of OC Weekly whose family has called Anaheim home for many, many decades. From his piece on the recent events in what he calls "my beloved hometown:"
I try to not write about Anaheim politics, mostly because I have kith and kin who work for the city, and I want to shield them from any retribution caused by my rants, but mostly because—for once—the anger that accumulated over the years about what's going on rendered me silent. Not anymore. My beloved hometown has turned into a joke, and it's about damn time residents rise up.
Anaheim was never a perfect city, but it was one that worked—not a corrupt nightmare as is Santa Ana, not a Stepford community as is Irvine, but a living, breathing mini-metropolis of diversity, distinct neighborhoods and a shared sense of civic pride. Yeah, the City Council constantly preferred developers over residents, but at least prior incarnations understood the importance of caring for the whole city instead of just parts.
But during the past decade, the council (led for years by former mayor and eternal Great Whore of OC Politics, Curt Pringle...has done its best to impersonate—take your pick of metaphorical elite ignorance—Marie Antoinette, Nero or the One Percent. It has awarded millions of dollars in subsidies to hotel and retail developers and dumped even more millions on the so-called Resort District, the area around Disneyland that's now slowly bulging into Angels Stadium. Within City Hall, staff has been directed to favor the well-to-do at the expense of the hoi polloi, all with impunity when it's not conducted in secret.
Meanwhile, the rest of the city has slowly crumbled.
And, he suggests, something is amiss in the Anaheim Police Department too — "a department that cares more about confiscating witness videos than tending to the still-twitching body of [Manuel] Diaz just moments after officers shot him in the head (as seen in video exclusively obtained by the Weekly)...."
Arellano writes an ongoing series at the OC Weekly about the Orange County historical figures who were racists active in the local Ku Klux Klan.