Sandwiched Between Two Missed Race Relation Meetings, Elk Grove Mayor Travels Out of State

Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly (center) in Wisconsin on Sunday, January 14, 2018 . |  

January 23, 2018 |

Over the last several months, Elk Grove, California has been riled by several hate incidents that have not only captured the attention of residents, they have also received international recognition.  Those events have included the posting of a racially-motivated hate message at an African-American owned business,  graffiti, and most recently, an anti-African American social media video that went viral. 

In response to these incidents, local elected officials have initiated several actions. The City of Elk Grove held community workshops and commissioned a study the results of which were presented at their Wednesday, January 10 meeting.

In the aftermath of the video incident, which was posted by a student at Pleasant Grove High School, the Elk Grove Unified School District held a race relations and education equality forum on Tuesday, January 16.

For the January 10 city council meeting, many members of the community provided feedback, sometimes pointed, to the city council members. Likewise, the EGUSD's forum saw over 70 people comment and mainly criticize the school district and Board of Trustees. 

Even though both of these meetings were deemed to be important not only by affected community members, and the elected officials, Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly was nowhere to be seen at either gathering.

During the January 10 city council meeting Ly did not attend because he was reported to be suffering from a flu virus. At that session, which Ly gaveled in for the 5 p.m special meeting, he immediately left and turned the proceedings over to Vice Mayor Darren Suen.

At the Tuesday, January 16 EGUSD forum four members of the Elk Grove City Council - Suen, and council colleagues Steve Detrick, Pat Hume, and Stephanie Nguyen - attended all or part of the meeting. Speaking on behalf of the city and the council was Suen who extended an offer to the EGUSD to work together on the challenges facing the community.

During these two crucial meetings, Mayor Ly was absent. Given the extent of the flu outbreak this year, it was presumed Ly continued to suffer, and his absence was explainable. 

However, as one EGN reader found, the Mayor appeared to have other activities that occupied his time. According to videos posted on YouTube, Ly seemed to have departed Elk Grove and traveled east to Wisconsin.

In the three videos posted below, Ly apparently met with a group of people in Wisconsin. That information is based on the information published by the Hmong Wi Channel on YouTube.

The title of each video indicates they were recorded on Sunday, January 14, 2018. Although the date cannot be independently verified, in one of the videos a TV is playing in the background, and it appears to be the Sunday, January 14 NFL playoff game between the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.

If these videos, in fact, were recorded on the date indicated, it raises questions. If Mayor Ly was as sick with the flu as he claimed, how wise - or realistic - is it to take what is almost a transcontinental flight to Wisconsin?

Was Mayor Ly sick as he claimed, or was he trying to dodge the heat of constituents at the January 10 meeting? Participants at the meeting may not have been satisfied with what they heard from Ly's four colleagues, but at least they were there and listened.

Likewise, where was the Mayor during last week's EGUSD forum? Given he is the Mayor of a city of 170,000-plus residents facing serious race relation issues, and that he did serve on the EGUSD Board for two years, Ly could have added an extra perspective, and more importantly done the job he was elected to perform.  

While Ly could say the events, which appeared to be held in his honor, were planned well ahead of these recent events, and it would have been impolite to cancel. Nevertheless, the role of Mayor should be first and foremost to represent the city in these crucial times and put constituent interests ahead of personal interests, especially when it is two time zones away.

The role of the mayor, any mayor is to put the interests of the city ahead of personal glory and represent all people and groups. The Mayor has some splainin' to do.  

Post a Comment Default Comments


D.J. Blutarsky said...

EGN continues to get it all wrong!

First EGN criticized the Mayor for his Siskiyou County marijuana involvement. Mayor Ly actually showed real leadership and statesmanship when he offered to mediate with the Sheriff on behalf of the Hmong marijuana growers. This is just like Vice President Pence who just traveled to Israel to negotiate peace in the Mideast! I am proud to have a statesman for our Mayor!

As far as the Wisconsin trip goes, come on EGN, he is trying to promote our city! The videos clearly show the Mayor sporting a big Elk Grove Mayor button on his suit lapel. Can't you see, he is our goodwill ambassador representing the 'The Grove'and our interests. This is no different than President Trump, who will be traveling to Davos, Switzerland next week to the to World Economic Forum.

Mr. Ly has said on many occasions that the Mayor position is a full-time job and deserves a full-time salary. I agree. Our Mayor is working his tail off to put the interests of Elk Grove first and foremost, wherever that journey takes him! EGN needs to back off.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

After painfully watching these videos – and why no women at the tables – it appears to this viewer that we need to send our illustrious Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly to Atlanta to the CDC so they can use his blood for a newer flu vaccine.

It was reported that Ly had the flu and could not attend the council meeting, yet days later he is in Wisconsin looking very healthy. I did not see him cough or sneeze once in the videos.

I had a flu shot, had the flu at the same time, and I am still coughing weeks later.

Seriously though, if Ly used the flu as an excuse not to attend the council or the racial issues community meetings, and he didn’t have the flu, so he could fly off; shame on Ly for turning a blind eye to serious problems within our community. And moreover, shame on Ly for all the people who got the flu and have passed away.

Follow Us



Elk Grove News Minute

All previous Elk Grove News Minutes, interviews, and Dan Schmitt's Ya' Gotta be Schmittin' Me podcasts are now available on iTunes

Elk Grove News Podcast