Recall proponents protest against Elk Grove Mayor Singh-Allen, EGUSD Trustee Chaires-Espinoza

A spirited group of separate recall proponents joined forces yesterday afternoon on Laguna Boulevard and Bruceville Road to voice their discontent with two elected officials in Elk Grove.  

The EGUSD Parent Coalition, and Elk Grove Hmong American, have respectively targeted Elk Grove Unified School District Trustee and Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen for recall efforts. The EGUSD initialed its effort against Chaires-Espinoza in June, and Elk Grove Hmong Americans started in March.

The EGUSD Parent Coalition complaints against Chaires-Espinoza center on political contributions she has received from the Elk Grove Education Association, the bargaining unit for Elk Grove Unified School teachers. The contributions, which are allowed by state law, have made her less focused on students' needs. 

"She has committed herself to representing more of the special interests, including the Elk Grove Educations Association, over the parent interest," Erin Sommers, President of EGUSD Parent Coalition, said. 

Sommers added that when parents were advocating a return to in-class instruction, Chaires-Espinoza "not only mocked parents, and parents voice and inclusion, but at times during board meetings, she intervened to silence that voice."

Chaires was appointed to the EGUSD Board of Trustees in 2015, and was elected to a full term in 2016, and ran unopposed in 2020. 

In an official recall response statement filed by Chaires-Espinoza said, "I regret that people with ulterior motives are providing you with false information about me while distracting from the important work we have to do right now, and potentially forcing the district to pull approximately $1.5 million away from educating students to fund a special election." 

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The recall of Singh-Allen is being led by Elk Grove Hmong Americans, which was co-founded by Sai Vang and Marie Vue. The group has focused on comments made by Singh-Allen made during last year's heated Elk Grove Mayoral race against former mayor Steve Ly, who is of Hmong descent, which they maintain were derogatory to the Hmong culture and kin system.

"She stated kinship system was a controlling and intimidating system used to attack and silence these women," Vang said. "[Elk Grove]Councilwoman [Stephanie] Nguyen acknowledges the statement Bobbie Singh-Allen made about the Hmong culture is racist. [Elk Grove]Councilmember [Darren] Suen also acknowledged the statement was racist."

In her official recall statement, Singh-Allen noted, "It’s a shame when people can’t accept election outcomes and our decisive victory garnering the most votes for Mayor in Elk Grove History and uniting our community in the process" and "I am a strong woman that will not be distracted by hateful and false allegations."

In the video below, Sommers, Vang, and Vue further discuss their efforts and where they are in the process of gathering signatures. 

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