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Irvine Residents Should Fly Their Own Pride Flags

The proposal for the City of Irvine to fly the Pride flag at City Hall lost on a 3-2 vote at the last city council meeting and there was significant heckling from the audience directed at Council member Farrah Khan because of her decision to vote for the appointment of Mike Carroll who is a former Republican and now an NPP registrant.

This criticism is misguided and wrong.  If Khan had opted for the special election this fall, the Pride flag measure would have failed anyway on a 2-2 vote.  Khan voted exactly as any progressive Democrat would have wanted on this issue.  If we’re going to assign blame for the failure of the vote, point a finger at Council member Melissa Fox for failing to check the pulse of her council colleagues on this measure or, worse, knowing it would fail and pushing it forward anyway. And let’s not forget, Fox has been on the council since 2017 yet this is the first time this measure was brought before the council.

Activist Maria Olivieri Minney suggested that residents who support the LGBTQ Community simply order their own pride flags and fly them from their homes.  Order yours at Amazon.com unless  readers can suggest a local shop.

And there’s a suggestion of volunteers holding Pride flags outside Irvine city hall in shifts in defiance of the city council’s ruling.  The Irvine Heritage Library has a section of Pride books for young people to read, so its encouraging to see long time institutions in this city embracing Pride month.

The vote last Tuesday presents a compelling contrast of the values of the Irvine city council.  There’s lots of online venom directed at Mike Carroll.  His stance on the Pride flag, his substitute motion and his votes are a double edge sword for his election campaign (not a re-election campaign) in 2020 and that of his wife Betty who is an IUSD trustee; as a voter, I want to know if she shares his opinion about the Pride Flag.  Perhaps its time to ask our Irvine schools to fly the Pride flag at middle school and high school sites to send a signal

And more venom ought to be directed at Mayor Christina Shea, who apparently has learned nothing since the days she was a leader for Irvine’s Measure N that targeted the LGBTQ community in Irvine.  The city had a population of less than 120,000 back in 1989; Irvine is about 270,000 today and the city is not nearly as conservative as it used to be.  A strong mayoral candidate against Shea is actually the easiest way to a 3-2 majority.

There should be plenty of motivated Democrats seeking to run for Mayor and City Council.  Melissa Fox is running for State Assembly and her seat is up.  Carroll and Shea are both vulnerable.  Khan is the only lock on a blue seat in Irvine after 2020.  Do we want Democratic candidates who divide Democrats in Irvine or Democratic candidates who will unite Democrats in Irvine?  It is hard enough to get any Democrat elected in Irvine — ire should be directed at Republicans.  But the city’s blue wave is divided between the Khan and Fox camps — I hope this disappears by the time 2020 rolls around.

Lastly, DPOC North Vice Chair Jeff LeTourneau has again — on video (while wearing his party leadership badge) — embarrassed the party for his behavior at the Irvine City Council meeting.  Anaheim council meetings can be boisterous; Irvine’s seldom are.  LeTourneau was there seeking council votes for permitting the Pride flag and, forgetting the rule you get more flies with honey than vinegar, used his three minutes to launch an attack on Shea rather than encourage the council to vote for the flag instead of against it.

LeTourneau frequently uses the expression about “holding people accountable.” Who holds him accountable?  His outburst against Khan resulted in the City’s sgt-at-arms coming downstairs to remove him from the meeting (though he clearly left of his own accord to Anthony Kuo saying “Drive safely home to Brea, Jeff.”).  Khan was escorted to her car by Irvine Police after the meeting.  This is completely unacceptable.

LeTourneau’s previous incidents of a recall petition against former State Senator Josh Newman resulted in a video that went viral which Republicans used to raise significant money to recall Newman. And then there’s the admission Letourneau made at an Anaheim city council meeting of stuffing a teddy bear with medical marijuana products for a relative in Upstate NY which — while certainly humane — is a felony especially since these products are available in Upstate NY.  Never a censure.  Never a reprimand.

I took a few calls from my Irvine friends and neighbors who don’t know him asking who he is.  The questions they asked weren’t kind. And the impressions of him even less so.

So Irvine friends and family, this is our moment build a strong bench

4 Comments

  1. Branda Lin Branda Lin June 18, 2019

    The behavior of Jeff LeTourneau at our Irvine City Council meeting was not becoming of a DPOC officer. Such behavior reflects poorly on the organization he represents and the position he holds. I recall 3 instances throughout the meeting where Mayor Shea had to stop and ask for people to be respectful. In each of those the 3 instances, LeTourneau contributed to or was the source of distraction.

    Then after Agenda Item 6.3, LeTourneau yelled out from the audience, verbally attacking Councilmember Khan so much so that first Mayor Pro Tem Kuo had to ask for the Sergeant of Arms, then our Mayor, to remove LeTourneau from Council Chamber. After the meeting was adjourned, IPD Chief Hamel and the Sgt. of Arms insisted that Councilmember Khan be escorted to her car as a result of this DPOC officer’s behavior. LeTourneau was completely out of line.

    Why is such bad behavior from LeTourneau tolerated by the DPOC? LeTourneau has now attacked Councilmember Khan twice without being held to account. The DPOC must realize such bad behavior from a party officer thwarts any good work the party does and leaves the integrity of the organization questionable at best.

  2. Truth is Out There Truth is Out There June 20, 2019

    Propaganda, Liberal OC? Coordinated with Farrah Khan appointee and fellow propaganda blogger?

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | June 20, 2019

      Not at all

  3. Branda Lin Branda Lin June 21, 2019

    For those who want to confirm what happened at the Irvine City Council meeting, you can watch it here: http://irvine.granicus.com/player/clip/4713?view_id=68j

    Scroll to Agenda Item 6.3. The outbursts/verbal attacks happened after the vote. The other times Mayor Shea had to request that public speakers and others be treated respectfully due to Mr. LeTourneau’s conduct will be found before that agenda item. Thank you.

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