In presenting a substitute motion to condemn anti-Semitic remarks by Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez, Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento suggested a county wide “town hall” to examine the issues of racism and bigotry throughout Orange County. Sarmiento says the City Manager’s office is working on the venue and program for this town hall and that he hopes to report more specific details in the next 30 to 45 days.
“I didn’t want the discussion of tolerance and civility towards one another to end at that meeting,” Sarmiento said of the Council’s meeting on September 6. He noted the comments on Blogs like ours and in the Orange County Register, while providing a venue for readers to express their First Amendment opinions, are increasingly uncivil.
“We’ve noticed the attacks are no longer on the merits of the issue,” he said. “The attacks are very personal in nature. We need to recognize this is a single county with all races.”
Sarmiento said the Santa Ana City Manager’s office, “which has a pretty full plate now,” is working on defining a venue, a date and a program that will be inclusive of different ethnic and religious groups in Orange County. There are no details on how much the proposed town hall will cost, which government entities will fund it or who will manage the event itself.
Sarmiento believes it’s important for Alvarez to be a part of the program’s development as, “she has a burden to address.” Since making her apology to the Jewish community and the public apology to the Chase family at the September 6 council meeting, Sarmiento says Alavrez has held a number of meetings with leaders in Orange County’s Jewish Community to apologize for the comments. He said Alvarez has expressed remorse for the hurt her comments may have caused.
With a number of recent incidents in OC, Sarmiento’s Town Hall can’t come soon enough.
- In San Juan Capistrano, Dave Reeve, a city council member making comments about a new dog park revealed he had named his dog “Muhammad,” which is particularly insulting to Muslims.
- In Orange, councilman John Dumitru made disparaging remarks about Muslims on his Facebook page on 9/11.
- The trial of the Irvine 11 is generating strong opinions on both sides of the bench.
- The Kelly Thomas beating and death has raised awareness of the plight of the homeless and the mentally ill in OC.
- Villa Park’s Deborah Pauly still refuses to apologize for remarks about Muslisms at a Yorba Linda event.
- There are negative racial references to President Obama from OC GOP central committee member Marilyn Daveport and former Los Alamito Mayor Dean Grouse.
- Republican Congressional candidate Tan Nguyen’s campaign sought to minimize the Latino vote suggesting that “immigrants couldn’t vote” forgetting perhaps to add the word “illegal” in front of the word “immigrant.”
- Supporters of former Congressman Bob Dornan still harbor much resentment against the Latino community for Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s upset over Donan in 1996.
- And lastly, Alvarez’s comparison of Irv Chase to Hitler and the accusation that Chase and his son Ryan engaged in “ethinc cleansing.”
With the exception of Alavrez, very bullet point is a reflect on Republicans in OC.
The Councilman promised us more details as they become available.