Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez Takes Heat for Comments Targeting a Jewish Property Owner

August 30th, 2011 · 8 Comments

File this under stupid quotes. It came to my attention earlier today that Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez has been taking some heat for some remarks she made in reference to a Jewish property owner who is involved in the city’s downtown area.

Last week in a council meeting, Alvarez compared a downtown businessman, who happens to be Jewish, to Adolph Hitler, and also accused him of ethnic cleansing. Santa Ana has been undergoing a gentrification process for years where smaller immigrant merchants have been pushed out to various degrees by larger, wealthier businesses. Ironically, some of this has been brought on by the powers that be (read this piece about the proposed towers and mixed use properties and the relationship between this council and developers).

Alvarez then made the rounds in the press apologizing for her remarks but did not make a personal apology to the target of her rant, Irv Chase and his family saying that because she doesn’t have an amicable relationship with them that it isn’t a good idea to meet for a personal apology.

At this point, the damage has been done. Alvarez did an incredibly stupid thing comparing a business owner to Hitler, a man responsible for mass executions. Disagreements in how to proceed in downtown development within Santa Ana need to be solved more thoughtfully.

In recent visits to Santa Ana, I haven’t seen any evidence of “ethnic cleansing”. If anything, the city has become more Latino, and yes, gentrification has occurred. But the council needs to find a way to balance growth and new businesses with its population.

According to Gustavo Arellano at the OC Weekly, the Anti-Defamation League is calling for Alvarez to resign, and she would be wise to leave her position at this point. Her comments have already become a distraction, and her fellow council members have tried to distance themselves from her.

Tags: Jewish - Latino relations

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 irma // Sep 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I agree that Alvarez should resign. She should take a history class about Hitler’s systematic murdering of 12 million people , half of which were Jewish. The other half included Germans who he wanted to eliminate from the Aryan gene pool. Adolf Hitler
    selfishly destroyed his own country and almost all of Europe. There is no one in modern times that comes even close – especially someone like Irving Chase, who probably was connected to someone who died because of Hitler’s ethnic cleansing policies. Yes, Ms. Alvarez needs to resign and
    go back to school.

  • 2 OncleWillie // Sep 3, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Good, thoughtful comments. Too many of our younger politicians are much too quick to pull the “Hitler” trigger in the most inappropriate ways. She is a law school graduate. She is obviously intelligent enough to understand how hurtful those comments can be and yet did it anyway. I wonder how fit she is to serve her community. This sort of thing calls into question both her values and judgement.

  • 3 Irisg // Sep 4, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    With parents that are both survivors of Auschwitz, your comments are over the top insensitive!
    As a lawyer, with some level of education, you should know better.
    You made a remark knowing that the Chases are Jewish which is unbelievable.
    I will never wish any such horiffic events on your family, loved ones nor any one for that matter.
    You know what you need to do….this attitude will prevent your community from thriving.
    As mentioned by Irma, go back to shcool!

  • 4 Anna // Sep 5, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I wish all the people in politics and media who have made racist comments about Mexican-Americans had to resign.

  • 5 barry // Sep 7, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Two more facts you should know:
    1. Both of Mr Chase’s parents were in concentration camps and virtually his entire extended family was murdered in real “ethnic cleansing”.
    2. His mother-in-law is Mexican and emigrated to the U.S.
    -Looks like Irma was right.

  • 6 Quico Antonio Lostaunau // Sep 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    I understand that Claudia hasn’t had a movement for about 7 months, maybe that explains it?

  • 7 sam // Apr 28, 2012 at 8:41 am

    We all must vote for Karina Onofre who is running aginst Alavarez this coming election. To read more about her, you can log in to her I met her last week at a fundraiser, she is smart and educated and passionate about meanigfull change in Santa Ana

  • 8 sameeralois // Apr 28, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Don’t worry people, Karina Onofre is running aginst her. www,

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