Updated: Dec 12, 2020
ELK GROVE, Calif -- On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at the Elk Grove City Council meeting, the newest elected officials were sworn into office, but due to Covid-19, the sworn-in ceremonies took place in private settings.
During Section 5: Public Comments, 11 individuals requested to be dialed in. A few of them congratulated the newly elected officials, but a handful of callers were there to voice their concerns over statements Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen made about the Hmong cultural system prior to announcing her run for mayor.
Dr. Firdos Sheikh, a vocal opponent of the mayor’s, called in to criticize the council members and Mayor Singh-Allen, but she also thanked former Mayor Steve Ly for maintaining his dignity during the campaign season. She also had a message for the newly elected Elk Grove mayor: “…Bobbie Allen, I tried to teach you leadership and told you that slandering based on allegations is not leadership and [that it] is highly inappropriate to attack private citizens, but you have demonstrated to me that you cannot comprehend. And sure enough, you said, ‘I will not do what is right because I do not want to let down my friends.’”
Dr. Sheikh further chastised Singh-Allen and the council members: “None of you are here for the people of Elk Grove because the Hmong community is still suffering because of the damage you have done.”
A caller who did not identify herself reminded Mayor Singh-Allen about the statement she made against the Hmong community. The caller stated, “Since June of this year, you haven’t given a damn about how you insulted and continue to disparage my Hmong community through denial and deflection of your racist comments and by diminishing our concerns on numerous occasions. Do you remember what you said? The words that led to three protests against you? You referred to our Hmong cultural existence and familial clan system of governance that it is a controlling and intimidating system used to attack and silence women.”
One caller criticized Mayor Singh-Allen about her mayoral campaign strategies in how she used lies to deceive the public. “You, Bobbie Singh-Allen, used those lies to mislead the public on what was really going on between you and the Hmong community.”
The caller further went on to criticize Mayor Singh-Allen for lying to the public about the English translation of former Mayor Ly on Hmong news. She stated, “You knew as early as August 31st that there is no such thing as a court certified Hmong interpreter in the state of California, and that these translations are not court certified as you claimed them to be, yet you decided to actively pursue misleading the public on its validity anyways to suppress the voice of the Hmong people.” The caller claimed to have spoken directly with the owner of the translation firm and declared to be in possession of the email exchanges between Mayor Singh-Allen’s campaign team and the translation firm.
Another caller who did not identify herself called in stating that she had three concerns in which she felt were inadequately addressed. Her first concern was an incident cited to occur on the night of September 29th during the Elk Grove mayoral debate. She made allegations that a person by the name of Jake Rambo, drove recklessly into the group of protestors citing many eyewitnesses of the incident. She further alleged that there is corruption in the Elk Grove Police Department and likely within City of Elk Grove - City Hall due to the discrepancies in the handling of the report of the incident above by officers and lieutenants in the police department.
The caller also requested that Mayor Singh-Allen unblock those she has blocked on social media. She then requested that the mayor and city councilmembers establish an official date for the Hmong community to celebrate their biggest annual holiday – the Hmong New Year. The caller signed off by reminding Mayor Singh-Allen that the Hmong community is watching her and is not going anywhere. “Bobbie Singh-Allen, you have 90 days to fix the division you’ve caused and address the corruption in the police department before a recall notice goes out.”
And finally, another unidentified caller requested approval to play a video she had sent in earlier in the day. The caller’s video was denied by Mayor Singh-Allen as Singh-Allen cited protocols and asked the caller to re-submit the video for the January meeting.
The caller moved on with a direct request to Elk Grove’s city attorney, Mr. Hobbs: “Mr. Hobbs - for the record, I would like to put everyone on notice. I am requesting that anyone who has been blocked by any of you on any social media accounts be unblocked asap citing Faison vs. Scott Jones. Furthermore, I would like to inform you that I am still waiting for the information requested on PRA ref# R000605-102120 referring to the footages in which was viewed by a sergeant in the Elk Grove Police Department as stated on Report# 20-006129.”
During the mayoral race, Singh-Allen and the Elk Grove Unified School District dismissed the voice of the Hmong community claiming that the outrage was a political stunt by former Mayor Steve Ly. Singh-Allen and several other women have claimed to have been harassed by former Mayor Steve Ly and his associates; however, Chief Tim Albright has publicly announced that the allegations against the former mayor was unfounded.
(Archived Broadcast of City Council Meeting and Meeting Agenda on 12/09/2020 can be found at here).