Note to Santa Ana City Council: Your words could haunt you!

Maybe a Rooster will show you the way?

With the recent uproar over Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez’s inflammatory anti-Semitic remarks I thought it would be useful to point out some things to the members of the City Council sitting on the sidelines with their fingers held high in the air in a futile effort to assess wind direction in a tornado. 

You really don’t have to look too deep to find some guidance as to what direction to go. First, and most importantly, you have the City Code of Ethics and Conduct approved and enacted by the voters of Santa Ana in February of 2008 that clearly defines the words and actions of Ms. Alvarez as being contrary to the Code of Ethics and Conduct that you have all pledged to uphold.

Specifically the Code of Ethics and Conduct states that:

Attitudes, words, and actions should demonstrate, support, and reflect the following qualities and characteristics for the well being of our community.

  • I treat my fellow officials, staff and the public with patience, courtesy and civility, even when we disagree on what is best for the community.
  • I treat my fellow officials, staff and the public with patience, courtesy and civility, even when we disagree on what is best for the community.

But if that is a bit too difficult for some of the Council members to grasp, then perhaps their own words from July 19, 2010 could be helpful in guiding them to their next steps.

Most of Councilman David Benavides colleagues walked out during his presentation of recognition to the members of the Fourth of July Celebration Committee because a member of that committee is a member of a recognized hate group. The minutes to that meeting sum up their comments by stating:

The record sanitizes their remarks significantly. Councilwoman Alvarez stated:

“I walked out because I want nothing to do with recognizing people that are full of hatred particularly against residents of this community. There is one thing to have freedom of speech; there’s another to sit here and as a Council and recognize people of such hatred.”

Councilman Vincent Sarmiento - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Councilman Sarmiento said:

“What we do here is a reflection on the entire Council. It’s a Council action, it’s not the same thing as done by one individual… Some times they’re not deserving of recognition because they are hate filled, they are intolerant, they are hostile and I think this Council has distinguished itself by recognizing those that do good things in the community — Those that make the community more cohesive, more understanding and more tolerant… They’re very divisive, very critical, and they’re racist and that;’s not something I can support.

The things I expouse are that we live in a diverse community and I think we want to celebrate that and we don’t want to have folks who have opinions that are so different from ours to be recognized here and given this sort of treatment.”

Below is the video , courtesy of George M. Collins, from the July 19, 2010 meeting. The Council member comments begin at the 5 minute mark.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdK9vrniKII[/youtube]

The City Council should consider that what Councilwoman Alvarez said from the dais regarding a property owner and member of the business community of Santa Ana was “hate filled, intolerant, and hostile” What she said at the 3:12:00 mark in the video (HERE) was not the type of behavior that the City Council should recognize with the highest appointed position in city government, the position of Mayor Pro Tem.

When you consider that after making her comments Ms. Alvarez then responded to Mr. Chase’s vocal objection to her racist and inflamitory remarks saying; “Mr Chase, you are out of order.” When you consider Ms. Alvarez’s response to the objection of her colleagues to her remarks using her position chairing the meeting to attack Councilman Bustamante for walking out because of her comments, she has demonstrated the lack of moral integrity, and professional decorum, to hold any position of leadership on the City Council.

The members of the Santa Ana City Council will have the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to the voter approved Code of Ethics and Conduct by taking clear action to distance themselves from the behavior of Council member Claudia Alvarez at their meeting on Tuesday September 6th. They are limited in what they can do to three things. They can remove her from her position of leadership and prestige as Mayor Pro Tem; they can publicly and orally rebuke her for her comments and behavior with a formal motion of censure, or they can do nothing.

Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido

Mayor Pulido, and Councilmembers Martinez, and Tinajero have thus far remained in inexcuseable silence on this matter. Member Sarmiento is waiting to determmine which way the wind is blowing. More than a press release from the City Manager’s office that fails to even mention Councilmember Alvarez by name is required as a response.

Regardless of party affiliation this is not a time to sit quietly and ignore hate speech in the hopes that it will blow over. Claudia Alvarez’s half-hearted and seemingly insincere apology is not enough for Jewish community leaders, and it should not be enough for the residents of Santa Ana or the City Council.

  9 comments for “Note to Santa Ana City Council: Your words could haunt you!

  1. August 29, 2011 at 10:04 am

    This council is only concerned about discrimination against Hispanics. Carlos and David have spooken against her bigoted remarks, now the rest of the council has to stand up and denounce her remarks.
    Miguel and Dennis DeSnoo stop calling Democrates and asking for support with their silence. Council must do something; sanction, removal of pro tem title, remove her from other commissions where she represents the city; force her to resign. Get your head out of the sand and DO SOMETHING to show the world you do not support her bigotry.

  2. August 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

    Did we forget who she insulted? She personally insulted the Chases with her racial slur and does not even have the decency to apologize personally to them. Alvarez is just as much a racist as the Minutemen devolved into. She deserves to lose her position as pro tem and deserves censure as well. The people of Santa Ana should seriously consider a recall if she won’t resign.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    August 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    In this case, silence equals support for her comments. If the members of the city council are holding a wet finger in the wind to see which way the public opinion is blowing instead of judging Alvarez’s remarks at face value, the stunt of walking out on Benavides because of hate or racism is a joke.

    Its been 5 days and no one has the backbone to stand up and say what needs to be said? Really?!

    The PBID isn’t perfect; so fix it. But don’t stand by silently and allow bigotry to rule.

  4. Marcus
    August 29, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Everyone needs a good laugh, especially on a Monday. Thanks for this great article. I’m still rolling on the floor in laughter. Santa Ana has and follows a “Code of Ethics?” hahahahahah… What a joke. At best it was “window dressing” for the “dumb” media. Didn’t work, keep trying. so who is “ethical” down there? Paul Walters?

    • August 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm

      “who is ‘ethical’ down there down there? Paul Walters?”

      Marcus, you are a funny (but glaringly truthful) man.

  5. Hatergate
    August 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    One thing is clear. Claudia is a bigot. Sal, Michele, Vince and Pulido are apologists for this bigot. NewSantaAna blog is anti-Semitic. Theo Hirsch is a failed artist who is racist. Where is Sean ” momma’s boy” Mill? Too busy blogging as Ken Lay?

    Love how they attack your lawyer as a Jew hater even though he ran for council on a ticket with two Jews. Morons all of them. Claudia needs to resign.

  6. cook
    August 29, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    I think we are going to have to wait until next Monday. The council members already took immediate action last Monday.

    If you have not watch the archived tape recording, let me describe the reactions I saw.

    Council members from ward 3 and 4, verbally rebuked what was said.

    Council member from ward 5, said nothing, and he has never been at a loss for words.

    Council member from ward 2, read her prepared statement, and there was a appearance of disbelieve in her behavior.

    Council member from ward 1 and our Mayor, chose not to return for closing comments. I don’t think they had left and were watching the meeting in the ready room.

    So I think to myself, What is going on? The mayor pro tem isn’t a racist and isn’t stupid. What she said and how she said was preplanned. So what is really going on?

    • August 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      what about Ward 6? Not a peep out of him right?

      • cook
        August 29, 2011 at 11:33 pm

        sorry, ward 6 did not say a word, I miss wrote ward 5 by mistake.

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