Donna Acevedo, the mother of Joel Acevedo who was killed by Anaheim police in July 2012 that sparked unrest between Anaheim’s Latino community and the Police Department, has made a name for herself as an advocate against police violence. Her support and inclusion for the pro-Tait camp was active and downright aggressive. She served as the narrator for the embarrassing Greg Diamond finger puppet show in a 2013 Anaheim City Council meeting. She was a guest of Cynthia Ward over the Christmas Holidays (because Cynthia regularly opens her home to people who need a place to be safe, fed, and cared for). And, I’ve been told, she briefly “dated” OJ blogger Vern Nelson.
But there’s no question Acevedo is a prominent Latina activist in Anaheim.
Galloway was the only member of the city council who reached out to Acevedo in the days after Joel’s death.
“When I found out, she lost her son, I immediately reached out to her and asked what I could do,” Galloway told TheLiberalOC. “I knew she had no money to pay for the funeral. I initiated a fund-raising drive to pay for the services and funeral. We raised about $12,000.”
Galloway was criticized by some members of the Anaheim Police Department for “taking sides” and others said her actions were “anti-police and pro-gang.”
“It was absolutely neither,” said Galloway. “My heartfelt actions were driven by the fact that a mother did not have any money to bury her son. My answer to the criticism was, ‘Go ask your mother.’ ”
Given the amount of time Acevedo spends at city hall and her interactions with the Tait clown car of supporters, her endorsement of Galloway has to be a surprise. And its also a clear signal to Anaheim’s Latino community of which candidate for mayor backs words with actions. And Galloway’s actions with Acevedo were direct, personal and immediate.
An Update: I chatted with Donna this afternoon by phone; she said her sons actually started a fundraising effort to pay for funeral costs but acknowledged Galloway raised $6,000 for the funeral. She also acknowledges that Galloway never sought recognition for her efforts. Donna is grateful for everyone’s help and support during that difficult time.