Will the Santa Ana Council do ANYTHING about Alvarez tonight?

If you have been hiding under a rock, on vacation, or otherwise indisposed you may not have heard about Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez‘s anti-Semitic rant while chairing a council discussion of the PBID that funds Downtown Inc, in the heart of downtown Santa Ana. In an apparent violation of the City Code of Ethics and Conduct Alvarez characterized the business practices of downtown property owners Irv Chase and Ryan Chase to ethnic cleansing, and renting office space from them as renting from Hitler. Ms. Alvarez  added insult to injury when, as Mayor Pro Tem, shut down the vocal objections of the Chase’s to her remarks stating; “Mr. Chase you’re out of order.” The Chase family are survivors of the Holocaust.

Claudia Alvarez

Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Item 85A, introduced by members David Benavides and Carlos Bustamante, outlines the options the City Council has to address the conduct of Councilwoman Alvarez.

1. Ask for resignation from the City Council.
2. Remove from the Mayor Pro Tem position.
3. Remove from the Public Safety Committee.
4. Remove from the Orange County Water Board.
5. Condemnation of comment made by Councilmember.

Miguel Pulido

Mayor Miguel Pulido - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Mayor Miguel Pulido, wanting the matter to simply go away, refused to place this matter on the agenda forcing Benavides and Bustamante to do so themselves. Since the incident, Mayor Pulido has remained speechless, as have Council members Sal Tinajero, and Assembly hopeful Michele Martinez. I guess we can call it the “silence of the lambs.”

The big question hanging out there is whether any of the lambs will do anything about her behavior. The council has routinely ignored the flagrant violations of the Code of Ethics by Councilwoman Alvarez. Be it in her role as Mayor Pro Tem, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, or simply as a member, she has been given pass after pass for her outrageous conduct.

Councilman Sal Tinajero - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Councilman Sal Tinajero, who passionately proclaimed last year that criticism of the actions of the City Council were being made because the Council members are Latino has had nothing to say about anti-Semitism on the part of Ms. Alvarez. Tinajero also participated in walking out during a presentation of recognition awards to members of a committee which organized the 2010 Fourth of July Celebration, because one of the committee members was an anti-illegal immigrant activist and member of a recognized hate group. Maybe he thinks only anti-Latino rhetoric should be challenged?

Then we have Councilwoman and State Assembly hopeful Michele Martinez. You might think that she would hope to stake out a broad appeal to all of her current and potential constituents by condemning the comments of Councilwoman Alvarez. You’d be wrong. Not only did she ignore the comments when she spoke immediately after Alvarez’s divisive commentary, she has remained silent since then as well. Although as we have pointed out, she dropped Alvarez from the list of Council colleagues joining her to launch her campaign kick-off event.

Councilmembers Martinez and Sarmiento - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

We then have Councilman Vince Sarmiento, who is supposed to chair the review this month of the City Code of Ethics. He also has been silent on the matter but spoke eloquently about rejecting such speech when it came to the Council recognition of the 2010 Fourth of July committee. You have to wonder how thourough a review of the Code of Ethics will be performed when he cannot even speak up to immediately condemn hate speech from the dias.

So for all their talk about ethics, conduct, and comdemning hate, there are four members of the Santa Ana City Coucil who have thus far remained pretty silent on the hateful rampage of Claudia Alvarez. The fireworks will begin with Public Comment sometime after 5 PM in the City Council Chambers. We cannot know exactly what time because, in an attempt to limit public debate, the coucil schedules the start of their meeting immediately after closed session which begins after 5. You have to be in the Council chambers to submit your speaker request card prior to the beginning of Public Comment or you won’t be allowed to speak. Since there is no telling when they will get down to business, and since this meeting is likely to be very well attended, I suggest you get there as early as possible.

  7 comments for “Will the Santa Ana Council do ANYTHING about Alvarez tonight?

  1. Dan Chmielewski
    September 6, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Moxley did an extensive piece about the council walkout in July 2010 over comments made by a volunteer not among those honored by Benavides. Sean Mill, who has since been placed back on the Planning Commission, thanked the council for “standing up to evil.” But based on writing styles, it sure look s like Sean is still blogging for New Santa Ana and even Pedroza’s latest post compared the Chase’s with Hitler. I think these guys need a new definition of what “evil” is. I have to wonder, did either of them read Anne Frank’s diary in junior high?

  2. Apple Pie
    September 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

    If this council sits there silently tonight they are just as guilty as Claudia and her remarks.

    I thought this council wanted to welcome everyone into SA. The silence will tell the whole story.

  3. Steve
    September 6, 2011 at 10:53 am

    As you correctly note, the lack of leadership from Pulido with regard to enforcing the Code of Ethics in the wake of Alvarez’ comments is truly a joke. That he would sit back and wait for Councilmembers to do something about the matter tells you all you need to know about him. He’s got absolutely no problem hanging people out to dry. The very antithesis of leadership.

  4. peter
    September 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    The City Council needs to act to on the Alvarez anti-semitic rant. She should resign. Forget about higher office or a future appointment or election to the Bench. Like Mel Gibson, the people don’t forget this kind of conduct. Especially from somebody who is a public servant.

  5. cook
    September 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Any actions the council takes is required to be in the open meeting tonight. That is the time a public vote that means somthing can happen.

    So I believe it is a wait and see.

  6. Nguyen
    September 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Ultimately, I think we’re seeing this dialogue now moving into a new phase.
    We know that some are blaming it on an emotional issue, but we also know exactly what Claudia Alvarez said, and the fact that she refused to apologize.
    Where the issue goes from here has nothing to do with the PBID. It has everything to do with the ordinance the residents of the city voted in to make sure the elected officials act in an ethical matter, Measure D.
    It seems people have come from all sides and all walks of life to make it clear that what Ms. Alvarez said was completely unacceptable, and clearly violates that ethics ordinance.
    It’s up to the council now to show us what the ethics ordinance means to them. The response should certainly be a measure of all of the people and organizations who have condemned this horrible behavior. If the city council blows it and doesn’t appropriately sanction their colleague, they will be letting the public know that they don’t care about ethics, or the ordinance the people voted for.
    We’ll be watching anxiously to see if the rest of the city council has the moral fortitude to take a hard line and do the right thing tonight.

  7. September 16, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Sticks and stones can hurt one’s bones,
    An illegally, or at the very least “ill-formed” tax district used to promote nepotism, the illegal harassment of the homeless, and a dubious frontage repair scheme, that’s the penultimate horror.

    The worst thing is that liberal angst over a single ugly remark be so well mis-used to distract the public from the real evil:

    Pretty much anyone with influence can raise your taxes, cut themselves and their relatives checks, reduce their business expenses, pit you against your neighbors, and there’s not much you can do about it.

    Especially if you’re a Mexican citizen, or if you’re poor.

Comments are closed.