Council Member James Vanderbilt
James Vanderbilt was elected to the Anaheim City Council in November 2014 and represents the city at large.
He has been a resident of Anaheim’s district 2 since 2015. Born and raised in Anaheim, he attended Adelaide Price Elementary, El Rancho Junior High School and Canyon High School. Vanderbilt has also lived in districts 3 and district 6 during his more than 40 years in the city.
Vanderbilt holds a bachelor’s in public administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in public administration from California State University, Fullerton.
Vanderbilt has an extensive history serving Anaheim residents. As a high school student, he was a member and president of the Key Club service organization. During breaks in his college education, he worked for Anaheim Community Services as a summer park site supervisor.
Since 1992, Vanderbilt has served on the:
Anaheim Community Services Board (seven years as a member)
Anaheim Planning Commission (five years as member and chair)
Anaheim City School District (10 years as a board member and president)
A former Naval Reservist, Vanderbilt currently serves as a reserve Captain with an Army Combat Support Hospital. A decorated veteran, he was twice honorably discharged following recall and deployment for Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.
Vanderbilt is a member of the faculty at California State University, Los Angeles, where he teaches public policy and state and local government courses.
He has the distinction of having worked at the local, state and federal levels of government as well as working or teaching at the elementary, secondary, community college, state university, and University of California levels of education.
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 Anaheim City Council.
Before taking a public position or voting on a city resolution, ordinance or other action item, he 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
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 Council Member Vanderbilt or his staff with questions or concerns regarding the governance of the city of Anaheim.