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'ABC7 Listens' visits Anaheim

February 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
More than 300 people packed into St. Anthony Claret Catholic Church in Anaheim on Monday night to talk about concerns surrounding their community.

The meeting was part of the ABC7 Listens series, where the station's top managers meet with community members.

From increased crime to library funding, residents voiced their concerns. Some took the chance to talk about positive programs, such as the nonprofit Cops 4 Kids.

"We go out into the neighborhood of the motel kids, which we have 2,000 in Anaheim," said Jim Cain, who takes part in the program.

Much of the discussion centered around the controversial GardenWalk development. The Anaheim City Council recently voted 3-2 in favor of granting up to $158 million in tax breaks for two planned luxury hotel projects.

"I believe that this is a bad deal for the people of Anaheim," said Lorri Galloway, Anaheim mayor pro tem. "There is no guarantee that this gift of government money benefits directly the citizens of Anaheim and its communities."

Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray said it will create jobs.

"We're using our local resources to help generate two new hotels, 3,200 skilled construction jobs that start right away and, long-term, 1,200 permanent jobs just with those two hotels," Murray said.

The meeting was not meant to be a debate, but a chance to listen to the issues that matter to these Orange County residents.

Are there issues and concerns in your community you would like ABC7 to know about? You can request an ABC7 Listens meeting in your town by e-mailing the station at abc7communitymeeting@abc.com