Jonathan Zendejas, Author
November 2, 2020
Jeanine Robbins, an Anaheim resident of 29 years, is one of the four candidates running this year for Anaheim’s City Council, specifically District 4. Originally from Santa Ana, Jeanine grew up as the oldest in a family of four children. With her father working and her mom being a stay at home mom while she grew up. Mrs. Robbins attended Saint Anne’s Catholic School, then Mater Dei, and ultimately graduated from UCI with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Today, Jeanine is married and has two kids: Daniel, 26, and Laura, 25, living in their home in the District 4 area.
AE News sat with Mrs. Robbins; we asked her about the changes she would like to see in Anaheim. She told us about creating affordable housing and creating better living wages, “Both of my kids, even though they have good jobs, still live at home because it’s impossible for them to afford to move out.” She explained she would mandate that any developer who wants to build complexes here in Anaheim has a minimum of 15 but preferably 20% affordable housing to low income and very low-income people. “To have a city that’s built on a service industry that’s built around the resort, with service workers not being able to afford to live in the city that they work is appalling to me,” she exclaimed. She went on by saying how “People need to be able to afford to live off just one job.” and told us that she plans on fighting to raise the living wages in Anaheim.
With homelessness and increasing rent prices becoming bigger issues in Anaheim, Mrs. Robbins told us about what she would do to prevent those issues from becoming any bigger. She mentioned how she is a proud founder of The People’s Homeless Task Force, and Housing is a Human Right OC that directly addresses homelessness in Anaheim. The People’s Homeless Task Force sued the City of Anaheim for taking homeless people’s belongings, especially their prescriptions, regardless of what these homeless people were doing. Eventually, this forced the city to create shelters. However, because of a complex system with there not being affordable housing, the shelters become warehouses. She explains that shelter is not the only thing that homeless people need,“So our group, the People’s Homeless Task Force, we step in and fill the gaps when people are housed. We help them furnish their new apartment; we help them get a refrigerator, help them with jobs, anything to help them be successful.” Mrs. Robbins told us that because of these increasing rent prices, we see so much homelessness, “If we can keep people housed, then eventually we can solve homelessness. But we need to able to keep them housed, to begin with, and these extreme rent increases will not allow that to happen.”
Recently, the City of Anaheim gave 6.5 million dollars to the tourist industry, and it has caused controversy amongst politicians, citizens, and social media. We asked Jeanine what she thought about the whole situation, “I am so opposed to that. There are so many people in our city that are struggling due to COVID. People need rent assistance, people need food assistance, the children need wifi in order to their school work.” She wished that the City of Anaheim would have used that money for the residents since she believes that the tourist industry can maintain itself afloat during these hard times. We also asked Mrs. Robbins about the recent selling of the Angel Stadium and its built land. She also told us she was opposed to that decision made, “Our organization, the People’s Homeless Task Force… we have sued the city over the sale of Angel Stadium. The entire deal was conducted in secret… out of the view of other council people as well as out of the view of the public.” The City of Anaheim was accused of violating the Brown Act, which essentially allows the people to access all meetings made by their city. This is the reason that the People’s Homeless Taskforce is suing the City of Anaheim.
Ever since the massive outbreak of COVID-19 in the U.S., every single city and state has had to take action. When it comes to Anaheim, the numbers have been extremely high in certain zip codes, and it has become the 2nd city with the most COVID-19 cases in Orange County behind Santa Ana. It has been on the CDC’s watch list for some of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases by city in the US. “I do not think Anaheim is doing its due diligence in handling the COVID-19 disaster, the pandemic,” Jeanine told us. She believes that the city council can do better when handling this situation, especially for rental assistance applications.
To shed some light on the rental assistance situation, many people in our community have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 recently and require financial assistance, especially when it comes to being able to afford their rent. So the City of Anaheim started the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to help provide some aid to the community. However, the program asked for additional documents during the first round of applications. Documents that needed to be scanned and sent online to the city. Some people did not have the capabilities to do that and were pushed off the list. She also went on to say how the city should better handle the reopening of the tourist district and that there are so many concerns that needed to be taken into account, “How will hotels have people maintain social distance at all times, especially in hallways and elevators?”
When we asked Jeanine what she would do to provide equity for all Anaheim neighborhoods, she told us about potentially requiring Disneyland and other entertainment places in Anaheim to pay its fair share and use that money to redistribute it to every single neighborhood in Anaheim, creating equity to some extent. She spoke about imposing a $1 tax per person when they visit an attraction and a $1 tax per person per hotel room. “Those people would still come here. They aren’t going to stay away because, for a family of four, they are going to pay four extra dollars.” To get a better idea of how much revenue this could bring in for the city to redistribute amongst the community, we researched and, according to NBCLosangeles.com, that last year Anaheim, 2019, had a total of 24.4 million visitors, which is the 6th consecutive record-breaking year for tourism numbers.
“For the last decade, for 10 years, I have been fighting for the residents of Anaheim,” Jeanine told us. She shared that 5-years ago, she led the ban on short-term rentals with her husband, different union groups, and other community members because they were taking over several neighborhoods, and now those same people support her campaign today. “I don’t accept any money from any special interest. All my money has come from friends, nothing from any special union, nothing from the police department, the fire department and certainly nothing from the resort area.” Jeanine went on to say that she will “take that chair and owe nothing to anybody.” She wants the people to know her donations have no strings attached, and she is all for the people; meanwhile, other seats in the council seats are secretly bought out by these special interests. “I have been standing at that podium for 10 years, taking a stand on every issue… and because I have been working with the residence for all these years without being a politician, I believe that I am the person for this position.”
As the Founder/Director of Welead OC, I am thrilled to announce our endorsement of Jeanine Robbin’s race for Anaheim City Council, District 4.
Jeanine’s campaign perfectly reflects the mission and ideals of Welead OC. Her campaign organization is a true People-Powered/Grassroots movement; rejecting corporate, developer and police union PAC support. She was at the forefront of the fight for Anaheim’s district-held elections, the first city in Orange County to successfully put the issue directly to the voters through Measures L&M in 2014. The historic passage of district-held elections ensured the Anaheim City Council would at long last be a fair and balanced representation of Anaheim’s residents, guaranteeing people, not just Anaheim’s big corporate interests, would have a voice in city government.
When the homelessness crisis exploded in Orange County, Jeanine was one of the founding members of a homelessness task force that mobilized the city’s residents and leadership to address its underlying causes and bring solutions to the table. To that end, she has advocated on behalf of rent control and just evictions, a growing problem impacting thousands in our county as we all navigate the Covid-19 pandemic.
As an Anaheim resident, Jeanine has represented her community by speaking out at more than 200 city council meetings, advocating on behalf of neighborhoods to curb short-term rentals and speaking out against unfair and unjust corporate subsidies at tax-payer’s expense. She believes elected officials should be held accountable and that transparency is an essential component to good representative government.
As an Anaheim city councilmember, Jeanine will battle to the end for a living wage and affordable/stable housing. She will advance the principles of and advocate for Social Justice causes, Sanctuary cities and all issues pertaining to equal justice for all.
Jeanine’s rejection of corporate support allows her to be unencumbered by special interests, focused instead on the critical work needed to represent the people of the 4th District and the people of Anaheim.
Welead OC is dedicated to recruiting, training and electing Progressive Democratic women in Orange County for local elections. We believe Jeanine is the right woman and the best choice to represent District 4 that for too long has ignored its residents over the interests of money. And it is for this reason I, along with Welead OC, am beyond proud to endorse her candidacy.
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