Elk Grove Hmong Americans file recall papers against Singh-Allen who pushes back on claim; mainstream media criticized for taking sides

Elk Grove Hmong American founders Mia Foster (left), Sai Vang, and Marie Vue speak after
filing recall papers today at Elk Grove City Hall. | 

UPDATED - 6;30 p.m. | 

This morning the group calling themselves Elk Grove Hmong Americans filed recall intent papers with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office against Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and conducted a news conference in front of Elk Grove City Hall.

The recall efforts stem from claims from EGHA that when Singh-Allen was running for Mayor last year made comments in a published report by the Elk Grove Citizen that they have said are derogatory to Hmong culture. Singh-Allen has claimed her statements have been twisted for political purposes.

As part of the filing of papers, the three founders of the group, Mia Foster, Sai Vang, and Marie Vue, spoke at the news conference. Those three and a few others have regularly spoken during public comment at Elk Grove City Council meeting and have consistently criticized the first-term mayor.

During a recent meeting, they demanded Singh-Allen's resignation and promised if she refused, they would initiate a recall election. Today's actions were a follow-through on that threat.

"Today we are here to make good on our promise that would begin the recall process against the mayor should she refuse to resign," Foster said to open the conference. 

Foster and the other speakers said Singh-Allen's comments have been damaging to the Hmong, who were already feeling threatened. She said it is part of a larger increase over the last year of anti-Asian sentiment that was accentuated by last week's shooting deaths in Georgia.  

"It took the mass murder of eight individuals, six of whom were Asian women, to finally grab the world's attention of what's happening in the Asian community," Foster said. "This is how it starts."

During the news conference, EGHA was asked if they plan to use professional signature gatherers for their effort. Foster said the effort to gather the signature would be done on a grassroots basis.  

She added that she did not know the exact number of qualified signatures to qualify the recall but said that it would be more than 10,000 voters in Elk Grove. A request with the Elk Grove City Clerk's office to release the recall paperwork submitted this morning is pending. 

In response to the recall effort and the press conference, Singh-Allen issued a statement that among many things said, EGHA's claim of racism minimizes the intended meaning of the phase.

"Using the 'racism' card is dangerous and desensitizes communities when tackling real racism in our country," Singh-All said. "The people behind this shadowy group are the same ones that used bull horns to prevent me from debating the former mayor, staged protests chanting “no justice, no peace” as they accused me of racism. Using slogans originating from systemic harm and racism endured by our African - American brothers and sisters to advance their narrative is wrong!"

Singh-Allen's entire statement is below. 

The role of Sacramento's major daily newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, was called out during the news conference. Last week Bee columnist Gil Duran wrote in defense of Singh-Allen, saying that EGHA and others were improperly weaponized racism claims for their purposes.

"Throughout all of this, we have found many among the mainstream media to tell a very bias story of what's going on," Foster said in reference to Duran's column. "They [the Sacramento Bee] are politicizing our concerns as if politics is an excuse for racism. They have not been with us on this."

Foster added the Duran's column was "a one-sided story" and urged people to contact them for more information. 

Coming to Singh-Allen's defense was Betty Yee, California's State Controller. As a statewide officeholder of Asian ancestry, Yee said the claims are divisive.

"At a time when the AAPI community should be standing in solidarity against racism and hate in all forms, this misguided, baseless recall sows division within the community," Yee said in a statement of support. 

The last speaker at the news conference was Inderjit Singh Kallirai, who self-identified as being of the Sikh faith. Noting the discrimination and hatred Sikhs have faced, he stated his support of the Hmong community. 

"I'm here because the Hmong community is suffering from an issue which is discrimination and hate, and I do not stand with hate, I stand against it," he said.    

Below is a video of some of the statements made by the EGHA at today's news conference and Mayor Singh Allen's entire statement. A video of the complete news conference will be posted early this evening. 

UPDATE 6:30 p.m. - Video of the entire news conference posted below. 

Statement of Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen

Entire Press Conference 

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1 comment

Unknown said...

Great article! Ironic that Cooper is now defending this recall (in the Elk Grove citizen article) when 12 years ago he was facing his own? Those were the good all day LOL Cooper involved in yet another Elk Grove recall? somethings never change!

- Argus

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