As criticism of Singh-Allen continues Elk Grove councilmembers Nguyen, Suen under increased scrutiny

Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen | 

At last night's Elk Grove City Council meeting, criticism of Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen continued, but increasingly her colleagues are coming under scrutiny by an organized group of opponents to the first-term mayor. That criticism came during the last agenda item during the five-hour plus meeting. 

Criticism of Singh-Allen, targeted since last summer by several individuals and a group now calling itself Elk Grove Hmong Americans claim she made unflattering comments about the Hmong culture, continued last night. However, this same group of critics, who are primarily of Asian descent, are now targeting Vice Mayor Stephanie Nguyen and Councilmember Darren Suen, who also share Asian ancestry.

The individuals claim Nguygen and Suen's silence on their concerns implies complicity. Ironically, the comments were made during a hearing on adopting an anti-hate resolution in reaction to the spate of hatred and violence directed at people of Asian descent.

After her critique of the mayor, Mia Foster, a co-founder of EGHA, directed comments at Nguyen and Suen. While she expressed support of the anti-hate resolution, which was approved by a 5-0 vote, she noted the silence from the city council. 

"Your silence about Bobbie's attacks on the Hmong community has been deeply and disturbingly noted," Foster said.

Foster also noted last summer when Singh-Allen said she was harassed by former Mayor Steve Ly and some of his associates, she never doubted the claims.  

"It makes me wonder if your 'Me Too' story last summer was just a political tool to get you into the mayor's seat," she said.

Citing incidents where elected officials resigned for making racially insensitive remarks, Susan Thao said the city council has been silent on the accusations against Ms. Singh-Allen. She also characterized the resolution as meaningless, given in the context of the allegations against the mayor.  

"Yet Elk Grove City Councilmembers endorsed B.S. Allen and continue to defend her with their silence," Thao said. "This anti-API hate resolution is a trend-hopping, bandwagon antic by E. G. City Council."

EGHA co-founder Sai Vang took direct aim at Nguyen, and Suen said their backgrounds should have made them familiar with discrimination.

"Darren and Stephanie, with the rise of Asian hate crime, you should both know the pain very well within our API community," she said. "It is shameful of you to sit there quietly and yield to the racist person sitting right next to you."

Vang, who is a self-identified Hmong, also said "We [Hmong] are part of your API community; stand up for it now or don't stand up at all."

During their deliberations, Vice Mayor Nguyen, councilmembers Suen, Pat Hume, and Kevin Spease did not address the comments made during public comment. Nguyen and Suen did not respond to an email request seeking comment on the criticisms directed toward them.

As the deliberations concluded, Mayor Singh-Allen did read into the record a statement addressing the accusations leveled against her. Those comments can be heard in the video posted below.  

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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Recommend that B.S. Allen, Nguyen, and Suen chip in and purchase the just released book, "Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control", By Christopher Lehane of the Stanford Business School, Mark Fabiani, and Bill Guttentag.

As for Hume, he's okay and is tending to the Connector and the annexations. As for Spease, he's okay too and is busy picking up the trash.

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