Yesterday Norberto Santana of the Voice of OC (EA) did a post on a report by a group called OCCORD that accused the cities of Santa Ana and Anaheim of “rubber stamp” planning. Among other things the planning commissions in these towns were identified as living preponderantly in small enclaves and it notes the undue influence of out-of-town developers.
I’m having a little trouble separating the message from the messenger. See, the troubles are real all right. We’ve seen the same operation in Fullerton, as with the creeps who are trying to ram Amerige Court and the hideous Jefferson Commons down our throats. Our electeds got their drinkies, and their boat rides and their thirty pieces of silver from slimers like Steve Sheldon; and we got the shaft. Yet while I can’t disagree with thing the obvious OCCORD conclusion that development in Anaheim and Santa Ana is all tied up by goons with financial ties to people like Kurt Pringle and Miguel Pulido, I have to wonder what it is OCCORD is really promoting.
A quick trip to OCCORD’s website rewards visitors with a list of boardmembers and contributors that reads like a veritable who’s who of leftist, labor, and low-income housing advocates. Here’s what they say they are about:
In Orange County, California, top-down economic development policy and institutionalized anti-immigrant sentiment have served to exclude low income, immigrant communities from government decisionmaking processes, and in many cities, rapid demographic changes have created a political environment in which people are increasingly disconnected from their elected representatives. As a result, income inequality is growing faster in our region than in the nation as a whole, and our sense of community is declining.
I notice with satisfaction the name of Lorri Galloway who not only has approved just about every developer-wet-dream megaplex put in front of her in Anaheim, but also supported SunCal’s mammoth project on Anaheim Boulevard with its sham veneer of “affordable housing.” And that may be a telling.
So what’s the real deal? OCCORD seems to be promoting authentic, popular participation in land use decision, of the sort promised by Pam Keller when she first ran for Fullerton City Council in 2006. Pam ended up voting for a bunch of megaprojects, herself, so maybe the whole thing is just some sort of make-people- feel-good-about-looking-like-they’re-trying-to-do-something-anything, scam. Or maybe they actually want “immigrant communities” to have input into decision making land use processes – especially the development of subsidized housing projects.
I think the mistake of swapping “top-down” development policy driven by developers, and that driven by the professional houseacrats and do-gooders, and social conscience hand wringers is a distinction without much of a difference. Overbuilt, overbearing, subsidized, architectural monstrosities built on public debt are bound to follow either way. Will OCCORD ever come out against the idiotic Redevelopment housing policies and ethnic cleansing pogroms? Not likely if there’s a jaw-droppingly expensive “affordable” project of some kind, any kind, at the end of the bureaucratic rainbow.