Pressure Mounts on Alvarez to Resign from Santa Ana City Council

Claudia alvarez

Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez - Santa Ana (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

The OC Weekly is reporting that the ADL has stepped up its pressure on Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez and has called for her to resign her seat (OC Weekly gets testy when we don’t credit them for breaking news). And to make matters worse for Alvarez, there’s a new online petition calling for her resignation.

From OC Weekly managing editor Gustavo Arellano’s story: 

Last week, they sent her a letter asking her to apologize to developer Irv Chase; she barely did. Because of that, they’re asking for Alvarez’s resignation–again, not so much because of what she said, but rather because she’s an arrogant pendeja.

“In the letter, we asked Ms. Alvarez to make a much more sincere and personal apology to the Chase family, the Jewish community and to the Santa Ana community,” wrote ADL regional director Kevin O’Grady in a letter just sent out to reporters. “The Councilmember has not responded to our letter. Councilmember Alvarez’s unwillingness to go beyond Thursday’s half-hearted apology highlights her lack of understanding about the tremendous impact of her comments. This dearth of sensitivity and judgment illustrates that Ms. Alvarez is ill-equipped to carry out her duties as a Santa Ana Councilmember. For these reasons, ADL calls on Claudia Alvarez to resign her seat on the Santa Ana City Council.”

O’Grady is referring to Alvarez’s mealy-mouthed mea culpa to television stations, reporters–basically everyone except Irv and his son, Ryan, whom she explicitly said she’d refuse to personally apologize to.

Now, the online petition, which is gathering steam, has this to say:

The people of Santa Ana have enjoyed an antagonistic and bullying relationship with the Santa Ana Mayor Pro-Tem Alvarez for many years. On Aug. 24, 2011 Alvarez made clear that she’s also an anti-Semite focused on dividing our community and citizens by race, ethnicity, creed and faith.

When Claudia Alvarez compared a Jewish property owner to Hitler and accused him of ethnic cleansing she no longer represents me as a citizen of Santa Ana.

Furthermore, the apology offered by Alvarez is weak, insincere and does not make clear her views on the Jewish faith and people.

The council must act by removing her appointment of Mayor Pro-Tem and asking for her resignation from council. The rest of the City Council has no choice but to act to correct this egregious, embarrassing behavior of their governing body.

The petition just got started and is up to 17 signatures. We don’t place a lot of faith in these sort of initiatives because they seldom work. But with the online petition, people are brave enough to place their names to the document instead of hiding behind an anonymous handle on the blogs and news media websites.

So, the ADL, LULAC, the DPOC have all come out with statements condemning Alvarez for her anti-semitic statements and insincere apology.  We anticipate the OC GOP will issue a statement similar to Barbaro’s comments.  Alvarez’s supporters are mostly anonymous blog commenters and some business/property owners in the PBID who don’t benefit from the business tax.  In the middle on this controversy, very quiet Santa Ana city council members, most of whom walked about on a city council presentation over a single word uttered by a volunteer they viewed as racist, who refuse to recognize bigotry uttered by one of their own who is also the pit bull on the council during public comments to ward against “personal attacks.” 

The Voice of OC got the inside scoop from some council members.

From their story:

Despite the condemnation from Jewish leaders, Alvarez’s City Council colleagues have shown no indication that they will take action against her.

Councilman David Benavides said he would wait to see how she handles the situation.

Councilman Vince Sarmiento said he also wanted to wait, saying that taking action could be dangerous because “it unwinds the will of the people.”

“I’m also very glad to know that Claudia did do the right thing and make a public apology and retract public comments she made,” Sarmiento said. “I think that’s a good first step.”

Sarmiento also said the controversy presents a good opportunity to have a dialogue about discrimination in the community and the impact of inflammatory statements.

“I think this is an opportunity where we can sit down and talk about relations having to do with different community groups,” Sarmiento said.

I’m hoping when Council member Sarmiento begins this dialogue about the impact of inflammatory statements, he’ll question the use of the terms “hater” so freely uttered last summer in respect to Council member Benavides.  The question remains to be seen; which city council member is going to make a motion about censure or rebuke at the next council meeting?

  18 comments for “Pressure Mounts on Alvarez to Resign from Santa Ana City Council

  1. junior
    August 30, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    “Sarmiento also said the controversy presents a good opportunity to have a dialogue about discrimination in the community and the impact of inflammatory statements.”

    Someone should remind Vince that we already had that conversation and from that developed, through Measure D, the Santa Ana Code of Ethics and Conduct.

    Or was the the true purpose of Santa Ana’s Measure D to extend the term limits of (primarily Claudia) and the other City Council members?

  2. August 30, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Well, pardon me if I don’t hold my breath waiting for any of the losers on the SA City Council to take any action. The entire dais should hang their head in shame for the way that all of them collectively and individually have acted. Alvarez is disgusting. She won’t lose her kob with the most corrupt DA in California. But, she should resign immediately from public life.

  3. August 30, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    My phone has been ringing for the past 20 minutes regarding this post on New Santa Ana http://newsantaana.com/2011/08/30/liberal-oc-blogger-compared-various-local-electeds-to-hitler-and-other-nazis/

    It’s riddled with factual errors.

    Let’s begin with an easy one. 1. We have never called on Claudia Alvarez to resign. Haven’t. We have been consistent in going after her, an elected official, for comments she made which are in league with Marylin Davenport and Deborah Pauly. It’s called consistency.

    Easy point #2: Claudio Gallegos left this blog a number of months ago with our blessings and well wishes. Claudio did some remarkable work researching voter trends and population shifts that a number of groups used for redistricting work. And Claudio’s new employment doesn’t provide him with the time to blog for us. He is still a friend and someone we see often. But to call him a LiberalOC blogger is inaccurate.

    Third: the blog posts mentioned by Mr. Pedroza were published on a blog he founded, owned and managed. They did not appear on The Liberal OC. Mr. Pedroza has a long memory of what people have said in the past but perhaps we can remind him of statements he’s made himself about a number of things, like this:

    February 28, 2006|By Property of The OC Register

    Blogger Art Pedroza is among Republicans now shifting their allegiance from Van Tran to Lupe Moreno in the 34th Senate race.

    “I have a feeling a lot of conservatives who were backing Van will go over to her,” he told me with some excitement this morning. “She’s a Hispanic in a district that is heavily Hispanic….” He went on to say that being a woman neutralized Lynn Daucher in that regard, and that Moreno is ardently anti-abortion rights, while Daucher favors those rights. And, of course, Moreno is an ardent opponent of illegal immigration — that issue is what got her into the race in the first place.

    “Obviously, she’s a polarizing figure,” he said. “Whether she can prevail, I don’t know. But she’ll do better than people think. Before, she was an interesting candidate. But with Van out, she’s in the catbird seat.”

    Here’s Art’s TV appearance being anti-gay and pro-Prop 22: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H69ebcG04w

    And there’s this gem from Gustavo himself: by Gustavo Arellano – OC Weekly,
    Orange County, CA
    http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/04/01/cover-arellano.php
    September 5-11, 2003

    In the Aug. 22 Orange County Register, longtime local Republican gadfly Art Pedroza Jr. used the better part of a 655-word guest editorial to argue from stereotypes that Cruz Bustamante would be very, very bad for Latino Californians.

    Bustamante, remember, is our lieutenant governor, a Democrat and one of 135 gubernatorial candidates in the Oct. 7 recall election. He is also, if you believe Pedroza’s take on Latinos, a dangerous man. Bustamante’s proposal to raise taxes on cars valued at more than $20,000 “hurts Latino families, which tend to be large, as they need minivans and SUVs more than the rest of the California public,” Pedroza wrote. Latinos “will be more enticed by the machismo and fame of Arnold Schwarzenegger” and turned off by the appearance of “the pudgy and unimpressive Bustamante” —a particularly ironic prediction, given Pedroza’s roly-poly physique. Latinos will identify with Schwarzenegger because “he continues to have an accent as thick as his muscles”; meanwhile, Bustamante will lose respect among Latinos when it is revealed that he “actually had to take Spanish lessons in order for him to more fully pander to Latino voters.”

    Pedroza saved his most forceful swipe for the end: “Bustamante is known best for his indecision, his affiliation with labor unions and Indian gambling tribes, and his loyalty to MEChA, a college student organization that advocates the recovery of the U.S. Southwest by Chicanos.”

    “I was trying to dig Cruz a deep hole and throw him in it with that last comment,” Pedroza told me with unmistakable satisfaction. “And I did.”

    This blog did not post any of the stories Pedroza referenced. His blog did. There are other points we can argue, but why bother. Mr. Pedroza is — again — making a fool of himself.

    If I believed for a second Mr. Pedroza would allow me to post this comment unedited at New Santa Ana, I would. But Mr. Pedroza has a track record of deleting comments he doesn’t like or editing them to change what the writer wrote.

    • August 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm

      Geez. And I thought what I said in my comments about Art on the Register article were pointed. But, then, you have a much more colorful history with Art.

  4. Suicidal Art
    August 30, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Do people really take this guy seriously, The guy who wrote this:

    You are the only Plaintiff that I think I can reach out to. I got an email from Todd Gallinger yesterday and it was not good news.

    I cannot continue like this Claudio. I told him as much. I have no money. I have no assets. I have no lawyer. I have no recourse.

    I am not lazy, as you know. I am still trying to crawl out of the hole I dug for myself when I quit my last job. We have settled all our credit cards and are making payments. We entered into a loan mod program that is on a trial basis. I still have to keep fighting foreclosure but if we make the payments they will give us a formal loan mod. I have worked so hard to save my home, so my kids will have a nice place to live and now it looks like I will fail in that regard.

    I cannot let that happen. You know, as a father, that neither of us would ever let our kids suffer.

    This case is not going to trial because I am not going to be around to participate. What choice do I have left save for the hemlock option? I cannot see another way out.

    I love life Claudio, as you know. I have always been pro-life even though you did convince me to support women’s choice. I still do but I will always abhor abortion and even the death penalty. But what can I do? I just am out of ideas.

    When my brother took his life he did so because he was bi-polar. I don’t have that excuse. I am just so tired of dealing with all this and I am utterly without hope. I won’t let my family lose their house. And I won’t let Todd get my computers. I am going to erase them before I leave. I must protect my writers, my readers and all the good people who have contacted me with off the record information over the years.

    You know I have information on my computers from a woman who has had a long affair with Carlos Bustamante. I never posted that because that would just be an awful thing to do to his family. I also have information from a man whose wife had an affair with David Benavides. He sent me proof. I also did not post that because again it would have been an awful thing to do to his family.

    My computer is full of such information about all sorts of politicians. I cannot let that information see the light of day.

    I am not the villain you guys have made me out to be. I reacted in anger only after you guys came after me. That is a damn fact.

    I didn’t cost Dan any money. That is BS. It is a lie.

    But I cannot defend myself.

    I am going to write a mini memoir before I leave. I want people to know who I really am and how I came to be who I am today. I have only been here for forty three years but have lived so much in that time.

    I think we went too far at times with the blog but we also accomplished a lot of good things and I am so proud of my Santa Ana blog. It has become a real resource to our community.

    I leave you the task of defending immigrants. Gabriel does a good job of that too. Our people are not the evil bastards that the Republicans make them out to be.

    I am going to leave the OJ to Vern. He is a good man. Because of his problem he cannot find steady work and so I hope he can make some money off the OJ.

    I am going to leave the Santa Ana blog to Sean, but he doesn’t blog much. I hope it somehow continues. To be honest you would probably do a better job with it, but I doubt you would want to do that.

    As I told Todd, I will dearly miss seeing my kids grow up. I hope they appreciate what I am sacrificing for them.

    The next few days will be busy for me but I don’t plan to drag this out. You are not a bad guy Claudio. I wish you and your family well.

    In fact I don’t wish any ill for any of the Plaintiffs. I really don’t. I am sorry you guys all hate me so much. It is so ironic that we are in agreement for the most part on the issues, yet Dan loves Matt Cunningham, who is his opposite, and hates me. I will never figure that one out.

    I guess it has to do with the Noah Krom story. As God is my witness, I felt at the time that I was merely reporting what happened. I wasn’t trying to be an ass. And it all turned out to be true, as you know.

    One more thing. I will send you a copy of my mini memoir by Sunday night. Also, Ryan won’t open my emails so please pass this note on to him:

    Ryan,

    I will never know why you betrayed me as you did. I did not help you over the years expecting any return. It is in my nature to help people. But I truly thought we were friends. I realize you went to work for Janet Nguyen. Please know I did not stab her in the back. I was always her friend. She stabbed me in the back Ryan just as she always stabs her friends in the back. Ask Andrew Do about that.

    Selling my URL to Dan was about the worst thing you could ever have done to me. I am not going to ask you to explain yourself. Just know that it really hurt and it set in motion my response.

    It is ironic that I am being sued for doing to you and the other Plaintiffs what you and Dan did to me first. And you were the one who taught me about forwarding URLS as you know full well.

    You have to live with this knowledge Ryan. I am out of options and no longer will be around for you guys to beat up on. I am worth more dead than alive.

    I always tried to be a good friend to you and I am sorry we lost touch. I was so busy, as were you. You are not a bad person Ryan but what you did to me was an immense betrayal that you will have to live with.

    Art Pedroza

    • September 1, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      I realize it was a lot of fun for someone to post this letter of Art’s, but you guys could at least have left off that bit about Bustamante and Benavides. (Also, Art’s wrong about me not having steady work.)

      • Dan Chmielewski
        September 1, 2011 at 11:03 pm

        Art’s wrong about a lot of stuff Vern including the claim about Benavides who is a devoted husband and father; I don’t know much about mr. Bustamante, but Art’s track record on accuracy and lack of rational thought don’t lend much in his favor

        • September 2, 2011 at 11:59 am

          I remember the Benavides story. I was part of the decision not to publish it (just before I went to jail.) I won’t give any details, but now it’s out there thanks to the Liberal OC.

          • Claudio Gallegos
            September 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm

            Vern,

            I have done my best to stay out of the fray, but you don’t have the guts to even say WHY it was never published. BECAUSE THE STORY WAS A BUNCH OF BS. Art and I were still friends and he confided in me the e-mails, and the fact that Sean Mill was “in contact” with the “source.” The “source” was some overly macho, insecure mechanic whose the type who gets all hot and bothered everytime their girl even says “hi” to a guy that is not him.

            Say the real reason it was not put up Vern, because we all knew the story was BS!

      • Suicidal Art
        September 1, 2011 at 11:26 pm

        Wake up and smell the coffee Vern. Art was never your friend. We knew from the moment he spread around town where you were for several months.

  5. Dan Chmielewski
    August 31, 2011 at 8:42 am

    For those geniuses on NSA who can only drop the Spanglish or Spanish cuss words, “Il Duce” is Italian for “leader.” It’s usage dates back to Garibaldi.

  6. Dan Chmielewski
    August 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Nice to see Sean Mill back in the blogsphere; his latest post on New Santa is too well written to have been done by Mr. Pedroza. So would that be a violation of the Santa Ana code of ethics too?

  7. Advantage Title Flunky
    August 31, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    After much deliberative conversation with both Mother and Sal Tinajero, it has been decided that I can defend the great Claudia Alvarez in her time of need. I love those free sandwiches and chips backstage at the Planning Commission meetings as well as all those free Chivas tickets Sal promised me, and I was told that my free ride would end if I didn’t defend the great Claudia Alvarez AND endorse Michele Martinez for Assembly. I just hope no one digs out those emails where I called her a drug dealer and gang member or the ones where I bashed Santa Ana’s gay community.

  8. Success fee
    August 31, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    That Clownia esta muy babosa. If the shirt fits, it must be a hair shirt

  9. Dan Chmielewski
    September 1, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I’ll remind the geniuses at NSA of their previous use of the terms: “Talibani” and “Jihad Todd” and “Queer” and ask them to look up the definition of the term “hypocrite” to make sure they realize they are also talking about themselves. Is Art still outraged about posts someone wrote on his own blog?

  10. September 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    What’s this I see?

    http://www.orangejuiceblog.com/2008/01/hillarys-campaign-trying-to-suppress-the-labor-vote-in-nevada/

    Art Pedroza

    Posted January 17, 2008 at 4:04 AM

    Poster 7,

    Not at all. To be honest with you, I thought the picture was a perfect fit. Think about what the Clinton campaign is doing. It is acting in a very un-democratic fashion by trying to keep minority union voters from participating in Nevada’s caucuses. Hitler would be proud of Hillary and her goons.

  11. Rox Berry
    September 2, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Can’t anyone speak their minds anymore without being called anti-Dramatic, I mean sematic…
    All she said was that the man, Chase, who is running the show at the quasi-city agency, the Business Improvement Company, was also providing discounted rent in one of his buildings to its secret police so to ethnically cleanse the downtown area of Hispanics. His family (Chase) and crony friends are all on the board of racists. He is looking to evict all Hispanics and the ADL is being hijacked simply because of this man’s race/religion… Don’t be fooled ADL, this man is a racist and you shouldn’t be representing him.

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