Sharon Quirk-Silva continues to show True Leadership in Fullerton

Sharon Quirk-Silva

Yesterday afternoon Fullerton City Councilmember Sharon Quirk-Silva again demonstrated for her four colleagues on the City Council what leadership looks like. Sharon sent out following to the Fullerton community. Since here words say all that needs saying, here they are.

Dear Fullerton Community Members,

First and foremost, I extend my condolences to the Thomas family. As a member of our Fullerton community, as a member of our City Council, and as a mother, I am deeply disturbed by the events that led to the death of Kelly Thomas.

For the well-being of the Thomas family and the residents of Fullerton, I will continue to ask the questions and demand the actions that I feel necessary to make sure that justice is done.

Current status: All the officers involved in the Thomas incident have been placed on administrative leave. The city is working with the District Attorney and the FBI to ensure that a full investigation proceeds in the most transparent and expedient manner.

Yesterday, I requested that the city manager seek the resignation of Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers. I feel that the leadership required from our chief during this crisis was lacking. Citizens of Fullerton need to have confidence in a police chief who can not only provide expert, professional crisis management, but who is capable of being the face of the city when a police crisis occurs. I believe we were failed on both counts. All of us who are privileged to hold leadership positions in this city should be held responsible and accountable for the well-being of our city.

As we move forward, I understand that there are some things that we cannot address immediately, and for this I ask your patience. We need to wait for final reports from the D.A. and the FBI before we can make a final judgment on the officers involved (and for their own safety, I don’t feel it is advisable for their names to be released publicly at this time).

However, there is something we in city leadership can do immediately as we grieve Kelly Thomas and begin our healing: revisit our policy on the homeless in our city and county.

Homelessness and mental illness are serious and complex issues that all cities grapple with, but what can we do to better understand their challenges in Fullerton? How can we work with local and county agencies and churches to make connections for families who struggle with mental illness? How can we find necessary resources for those without a home? At the very least, we can all try to gain a better understanding of their plight (see my P.S. below).

Finally, I love the City of Fullerton! We are a loving, resilient community, and we will make our way out of this very difficult period.

Sincerely,

Sharon Quirk-Silva
Fullerton City Councilwoman

P.S. While speaking to a homeless woman named Kirsten yesterday, I asked her what she might need that could make a difference for her and others on the street. First, she said that, for a woman on the street, it would be safety and shelter. Next, she said, simply: “socks!” She wanted some socks to keep her feet warm and clean. She said that some churches and shelters used to provide a pair, but not anymore. This is a request that we as a community can take immediate action on.

If you have any extra socks and/or travel-size personal hygiene items: toothpaste, soap….please drop them off at City Hall. I will personally pledge to deliver the items to the homeless on a regular basis now and in the future. I know that socks and hygiene items will not solve the issue of homelessness or mental illness, and they won’t bring Kelly Thomas back. But our actions might allow us to better understand the Kelly Thomases who are still out there struggling to live day to day with no place to call home.

On Monday August 8, Anaheim Councilmember Lorri Galloway sent us the following statement:

I went to the Fullerton city council meeting last Tuesday to verbalize support for Justice for Kelly Thomas, a homeless drifter with mental illness. I also went to support Councilmember Sharon Quirk-Silva, who is the lone voice in calling for the release of video tapes of the brutal beating and calling for police department accountability. As elected officials, we have the opportunity to use our voices collectively and demand justice for someone who did not have fame, fortune or title. But to the gracious God that we serve, Kelly’s life was no less important than the king of any nation or the president of any country. I challenge all of my elected official colleagues to stand along with us. Let us be united in this quest for justice.

Lorri Galloway, Anaheim City Councilmember

  7 comments for “Sharon Quirk-Silva continues to show True Leadership in Fullerton

  1. Rampant Corruption
    August 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    This gives me some hope that not all of our elected leaders are only in it for their own agrandizement. Is there any chance Ms. Quirk-Silva will run to replace Shawn Nelson on the BOS?

  2. chris
    August 7, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Good to see someone in the council not sticking with these demons and trying to cover it up and do nothing.
    The right people to hold these positions should be people of god and not the u.s. government

    • phillip pullion
      August 7, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      Its actually people with morals and knows whats right and wrong and should be on the board. I am glad someone else is finally sticking up fot Kelly Thomas and requested the resignation of Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers. He and the mayor should also resign for poor response to this terrible distrubing incident. I hope that the video will be released soon and that the reports be finally released.

      • chris
        August 8, 2011 at 10:00 am

        Well yes good morals are of a good person,
        The sob’s running the council and chief and police involved do not have good morals, They do NOT Follow the bible. The believe in murder and covering it up. The video needs to be released. Im just worried they will try and edit the video, Sorry I dont trust any authority or court officials. Notice how it is the chief, and da that are telling people to calm down and let the investigation take its course.

        They are all dirty filthy pigs. They are all corrupt with the blood of Kelly Thomas

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    August 8, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I’ll give Sharon credit for speaking out first, but what took so long in the first place?

  4. August 8, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Um, credit where due. Kudos to Sharon for speaking out; you’re right that it took a long time; and lastly she wasn’t “first,” teabagger Bruce Whitaker spoke out first. It’s just Jones, Bankhead and McKinley who are covering for the cops, and recall efforts are underway. (Conveniently, that could also destroy the develop-Coyote-Hills majority!)

  5. August 8, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Vern — I disagree; she said nothing for 23 days. I disagree with Chris. She didn’t show leadership. She caved in to pressure. Add her and Whitaker to the recall. I’ve lost a lot of respect for her.

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