Los Amigos Issues Statement on Alvarez Comments

Los Amigos of Orange County also issued a statement that both condemns Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez for her anti-Semitic comments while supporting her voice in the debate against the Chases and PBID.  This comes shortly after a similar statement from OCCHC. 

Here’s the statement:

Los Amigos of Orange County strongly denounces the words and hurtful references of Santa Ana Mayor Pro-Tem Alvarez in addressing the Chase family, which took place on the evening of August 24, 2011.  We in no way condone the act of any public official abusing the power entrusted in them by the public to reprimand or launch personal attacks on any member of the public.  Such hurtful rhetoric, even in the heat of a discussion, is inexcusable and has no place in public discourse.  As a community, we must rise above such moments and not allow contentious debates to get the best of us; thus, lowering the bar of our civil discourse.  Public officials are elected to serve as trustees of the public good and therefore must set the standard for who we are as a community.  As such, while we denounce and condemn the hurtful references by Mayor Pro-Tem Alvarez, we also applaud her immediate public apologies to the community and her more recent statements expressing her regret and apologies to the Chase family.

 In addition, we, Los Amigos of Orange County, believe that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, thus we would also like to ensure that the original contentious debate that brought about the actions of Ms. Alvarez does not go unnoticed.  We would like to call attention to the inequitable economic realities that the PBID has inflicted upon Santa Ana’s downtown merchants, and would like to make it clear that we champion their cause.  As noted in Council meetings and affirmed by local merchants, the PBID is an egregious “taxation without representation” clause that has been undemocratically placed on local downtown property owners, which has doubled, and at times, tripled their annual tax rates, with the fees going to support other businesses rather than their own.  We are also aware that the rhetoric of displacement and resulting actions denigrate and threaten the cultural value and history that local merchants bring to the heart of Santa Ana—a value and history that needs to be respected and honored. Downtown Santa Ana is a thriving cultural marketplace for all of Orange County that reflects the great pride and resilience of our rich Latino history—a history that has too often been marginalized, undervalued and erased.

It is in this spirit that while we unequivocally denounce the hurtful rhetoric used by Mayor Pro-Tem Alvarez, we do support the local downtown property owners at whose defense she was speaking on behalf of.  We expect that others who have justly denounced Councilwoman Alvarez’ words also speak against and denounce the actions that are causing the cultural gentrification of Downtown Santa Ana. As communities of conscience, let our common histories as a people bring us together in a spirit of cooperation and brotherhood/sisterhood so that Downtown Santa Ana, and all of those who have built it, can enjoy its rich history and traditions.

 In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.”

 

Jose F. Moreno, President                                           Amin David, President Emeritus

Los Amigos of Orange County                                  Los Amigos of Orange County

 

For those keeping score, organizations who have condemned the anti-Semitic comments made by Claudia Alvarez include: Los Amigos, OCCHC, LULAC, The DPOC, the OC GOP, the City of Santa Ana (via press release from the City Council) and the ADL with the ADL calling for her resignation.  Those organizations who have offered some measure of support for Alvarez include OCCHC and Los Amigos.