Santa Ana Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez apologized today, in a phone call to the L.A. Times, for making statements that could be construed to be anti-Semitic.
“What I said was inappropriate, and I let my emotions get the best of me,” Mayor Pro Tem Claudia Alvarez told the L.A. Times. Here are a few more excerpts from the L.A. Times article:
Alvarez said getting emotional did not justify her statements. She said the debate has affected her personally because her father owned a business downtown, and the incident is the culmination of escalating tensions surrounding the downtown area.
“The conversation is not over,” she said. “I obviously need to learn how to keep my cool.”
What the heck is all this about, you might be wondering?
It all went down last night, at a special session of the Santa Ana City Council. They held a public hearing regarding the PBID – a property tax assessment that affects businesses in the Downtown area. The money is used to market, secure and clean up the Downtown. A group of businesses has been upset over the assessments, arguing that the PBID doesn’t benefit them.
“Alvarez, who works as a prosecutor in the District Attorney’s Office, made an effective argument for why the PBID should be disestablished,” according to the O.C. Register. The Council instead opted to change the PBID’s boundaries – thereby excluding many of the businesses that were complaining.
Alvarez was not pleased that she couldn’t kill the PBID so she unleashed on Irv and Ryan Chase – property owners and developers who have changed what used to be the Fiesta Marketplace into something called the East End.
Ryan Chase (shirtless) at the 2011 Maccabi Games
Here is how the Voice of OC reported what she said:
Alvarez publicly accused Irving Chase and his son Ryan Chase of conducting an “ethnic cleansing” campaign in the city’s downtown core, saying they were essentially plotting to clear out Latino merchants who have owned businesses in the downtown for decades.
Specifically, Alvarez said: “So if Hitler rents you a place and gives you a good deal, do you take it?”
Gustavo Arellano wrote a post about this incident too, over at the OC Weekly. Here are a few excerpts:
Alvarez started going into a rant against Chase (and his son, Ryan), for willfully kicking out wab tenants in favor of hipster ones, following the whispers of Brave New Urbanist Dennis Lluy and others. That’s an absolutely legitimate stance, given it’s true.
…what’s happening in downtown SanTana is NOT ethnic cleansing; it’s class warfare. Chase and others are replacing poor Mexicans with hipster ones, hipster ones with disposable incomes and no politics other than self-serving liberalism.
Alvarez is actually on the right side of the gentrification battle in downtown SanTana…
As you might imagine, Alvarez’ enemies went off on her. Council Members David Benavides and Carlos Bustamante ripped her at the Council meeting.
Benavides is one to talk. He honored a bunch of Minutemen last year, including the notorious Lupe Moreno, after they took over the 2010 Santa Ana 4th of July event. One of our readers videotaped one of Moreno’s pals calling Santa Ana residents “wetbacks.” The rest of the Council walked out when Benavides honored the Minutemen and their allies.
As for Bustamante, Alvarez fired back right away – reminding us about his “day job.” Bustamante is an overpaid Orange County middle manager, who got raises he did not deserve and which were not processed correctly.
Bustamante also soiled himself last year, holding a fundraiser for Republican Congressional candidate Van Tran, who has been reliably anti-Mexican throughout his political career – even flying, at taxpayers’ expense, to the border to criticize immigrants.
Failed Santa Ana mayoral candidate Thomas Gordon, who was involved with Moreno in her 4th of July escapade, also attacked Alvarez, in a comment posed over at the Liberal OC blog. Gordon, who also failed to correctly collect sufficient nominating signatures when he tried to run for the Santa Ana City Council last year, did not note in his comment that Moreno signed his nomination papers.
What Gordon did say was that “The Nazi’s portrayal of Jews and others as non- human, is a painful, disgusting part of our World history. That practice has no place in this nation and certainly not in this county.”
That is pretty ironic since Gordon’s Minuteman allies treat Mexicans like “non-humans.”
Gordon’s friend, Mary Bloom-Ramos, ripped Alvarez on the Santa Ana Citizens Yahoogroup – and accused her of “attempting to incite a hate crime.” I don’t recall Bloom-Ramos EVER saying that about any of Lupe Moreno’s hateful statements and actions!
And another Gordon ally, Connie Hamilton, ripped Alvarez over at the O.C. Register, under the name of “Booper.”
I hope Alvarez will now take steps to stop funding Com Link and the Neighborhood Associations. All these people do is rip our Council Members!
Not everyone has been bashing Alvarez. Santa Ana artist and musician Theo Hirsch had this to say about her comments, over at the Voice of OC:
It makes me mad when Jews try to cover up their prejudice just because their ancestors were persecuted, such a joke! Jews from Persia, along with the prudish English persecuted the heck out of the Chinese during the opium wars. there are many examples of Jewish intolerance and genocide in history. This Chase Character and his son sound like a couple of douche bags to me. “My parents were in the holocaust, boooo-frickedy-hoo, waaaaahhhh, sniff, sniff”. Down town inc. is now on my poo list too, I’m over that organization and their paper pushing B.S., there is nothing special they provide that the city can’t do on their own. Without down town inc. there were awesome punk shows in the promenade different activities all the time and we didn’t have all of this non-sense near as bad as we have it now. So I say down with the PBID!
My own take on this episode is that Alvarez is not anti-Semitic. She just used the wrong words to make her point. I don’t agree with her regarding ending the PBID, but I do agree with Council Member Michele Martinez, who suggested yesterday that the PBID and Downtown, Inc. consider a few more changes: she asked that the Downtown Inc. board increase its diversity, improve compliance with the state’s open meeting law, known as the Ralph M. Brown Act, and change the organization’s bylaws to allow more open membership, according to the Voice of OC.
16 thoughts on “Claudia Alvarez apologizes for comparing Irv Chase to Hitler”
We should all love Wabs, Crackers, Niggers and Jews. Oh my god, did I say Jews? Only one thing matters here. Admin is Santa Ana’s best damn propaganda minister ever! I knew you were not a Pussy.
I had no idea that Irv Chase was Jewish until he began using his religion as a tool to shield himself from any criticism.
I did however know that Irv and Ryan have said some very racist things at public meetings in Santa Ana. It is a matter of public record so it won’t be hard to prove.
Being a Jew should not give you a free pass to attack Latino business owners and poor immigrant families.
The Chase’s are racist whether they are Jew, gentile or Muslim. Playing the “Holocaust card” is pathetic, but so predictable.
Thanks for informing the public. I support Alvarez’ stance, although she made a mistake..we all do. Let’s hope this “ethnic cleansing” and “class warfare” sees some social justice…years of cultural history are at stake.
The media and the wannabe media like the assholes at that joke blog are attempting to make Irv Chase into a victim. Its bad enough that Chase is using his religion but these other fools are playing along.
Irv Chase and his son Ryan are bigots and routinely make racist comments about Latinos.
The Chase’s are not victims. They are bigots.
I see that the Girls over at LOC are jumping all over this one. Gotta have something for Dan to comment on his own posts.
But I loved the one commenter who bashed his “Jew hating lawyer”, I think Chris heard him choke all the way from Long beach!
Mayor Pro Tem just messed up.
No manner who you try to blame or point a finger at is going to change the fact she messed up.
So did Bustamante, with his infamous water bra comments. Yet he is still on the Council…
This Theo Hirsch is just like Alvarez, an anti-semitic ignorant person who does not understand what it is like to be a target for being born into an religion or ethic group.
yep the councilman did mess up with the bra comment.
But the mayor pro tem was “point on” in her history of the area, the cc&r, etc. Just to blow it with the ill use of descriptive adjectives .
She also is not at the top of her career choice, but may now be pigeon toed in place. The ADL will block any future judgeship she could hope to be appointed.
Actually Theo is part Jewish and a whole lot of messed-up Mormon. Oops, my bad.
Let’s face it. The entire City council is mostly racist. I am of Jewish decent. I take great offence at the remarks uttered by Ms. Alvarez. I do not see diversity in the downtown. And I do not see fairness and diversity of race in the downtown. Unfortunately, Santa Ana is a racist city, and made up of an increasingly illegal population. The remarks made by Ms. Alvarez are shared by many of the componants that make up the council. Tancredo, Bustamonte, Michelle Martinez, Who have been heard making similar remarks behind closed doors, Just to name a few. Alvarez, because she got caught should be immediately asked to leave. She is the true Racist and because of HER heritage she should (and )does know better, She has been a D.A. for years . This was Not a ‘quote”, MISTAKE,,, She knew what she was saying. City council, you really need to check yourselves . This is a bad mark on all of you. And it is Shameful. The Jewish community will remember this at election time. Shame to you ALL, if you condone this behavior.
The only Jewish speaker tonight said he supported Alvarez.
I like to see Claudia begging me stop doing her hard with her Mexican accent
Gunfriendly: You are a PIG! Get a life
Cook: It is pigeon- Holed, not pigeon- toed.