Mayor Pro Tem James Vanderbilt

James Vanderbilt was elected to the Anaheim City Council in November 2014 and represents the city at large.

Born and raised in Anaheim, Vanderbilt has lived in the city nearly his entire life. As a graduate from Canyon High School in east Anaheim, he was awarded the Gleitsmann Award, the highest honor for community service and academic achievement. He earned a scholarship from the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Division that allowed him to enroll and complete his undergraduate studies at University of California, Berkeley.

He has received four college degrees from public colleges and universities including a master's of public administration with an emphasis in public finance from California State University, Fullerton. He has previously taught as a member of the adjunct faculty for the North Orange County Community College District, School of Continuing Education.

Vanderbilt has served Anaheim in several roles. As a college student he worked for the Anaheim Community Services as a summer park supervisor. He has served on many appointed and elected positions, including seven years as a member of the Anaheim Community Service Board, five years as member and chair of the Anaheim Planning Commission and 10 years as board member and president of the Anaheim City School Board.

As a strong believer in the local government processes, transparency and fairness, Vanderbilt has adopted the Four-Way Test from the Rotary International as a means to evaluate issues before the City Council. Before taking a public position or voting on a city resolution, ordinance or other action item, Council Member Vanderbilt believes it is important to consider a variety of factors, including without limitation:

Are all facts of a matter known and true? Does the discussion include all relevant facts and figures, pros and cons that are presented in way to show the whole picture? Are core elements of a proposal presented prominently with peripheral aspects considered proportionately?

Is it fair to all concerned? Are there checks and balances in place to ensure maximum public and stakeholder participation in the decision making discussion? Has both the spirit and the letter of the law been followed? Are democratic principles applied?

Does it promote goodwill and friendship for Anaheim residents? Does it meet the expectation of the residents of Anaheim for consistent and fair decision making? Is it an appropriate role and responsibility for city government to take action on the issue? Does the decision consider some measure of mitigation?

Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Does it enhance the quality of life for all or most Anaheim residents in some manner? Will the implementation of a new or renewed initiative include measurable outcomes that can demonstrate program success or benefits for all or the majority of Anaheim residents and stakeholders?

Please do not hesitate to contact Vanderbilt or his staff with questions or concerns regarding the governance of the city of Anaheim.