Santa Ana City Council Challengers to boycott South Santa Ana Merchant’s Association Candidates Forum

Press Release, for Immediate Release

October 13, 2008

Santa Ana City Council Challengers to Boycott South Santa Ana Merchant’s Association Candidates Forum

SANTA ANA – The South Santa Ana Merchants Association is refusing to allow their Santa Ana City Council Candidates Forum to be videotaped and presented to the public.  As a result virtually all of the City Council challengers and mayoral candidates have announced their intention to boycott the forum.

Two years ago this same organization allowed their City Council Candidates forum to be videotaped.  Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido decided to get up and walk out of the forum early and that moment was captured on film and shared with thousands of Santa Ana residents on Time Warner cable and on the Internet, on the Santa Ana Insight website.  Now the South Santa Ana Merchants Association doesn’t want to share their forum with the public.  What has changed in two years to lead them to this decision?

Just a few weeks ago this organization refused to allow their Santa Ana Unified School District School Board candidates forum to be filmed and shared with the public.  Hardly anyone showed up to that forum and the candidates’ comments were not televised.  What a lost opportunity to share information about the candidates with the public!

Tomorrow’s forum is open to the public.  That is advertised on this organization’s website, at  They have issued fliers and email invitations to the public to participate in their forum – but inexplicably they don’t want it to be seen by television viewers and the online community.

Santa Ana Councilwoman Michele Martinez, who is running for Mayor, is participating in this boycott.  Santa Ana City Council candidates Art Pedroza , Lisann Martinez and Jim Walker are also going to boycott this forum.  And mayoral candidate George Collins, who ran two years ago for the Santa Ana City Council, is also joining in the boycott, as is mayoral candidate Stanley Fiala.  The intention of these candidates is to promote a greater openness and transparency of our local government and our electoral process with the general public.

Collins also noticed, in the film of the forum from two years ago, that the incumbents from the Santa Ana City Council were offered “softball” questions, while their challengers were asked difficult questions.  Also, a review of this organization’s website reveals that Santa Ana Councilman Vince Sarmiento, who is running for re-election, is advertising on their website.

Mayor Pulido and his Council allies took a lot of heat this past year for refusing to televise the second monthly City Council meetings.  Now their friends at the South Santa Ana Merchants Association are also apparently trying to shut the public out by refusing to allow their public candidates forum to be filmed and televised.  Michele Martinez, Collins, Fiala, Walker, Lisann Martinez and Pedroza encourage this organization to make this a truly public forum by sharing the night’s proceedings with a television and Internet audience, in the interest of better informing the voters of our community.

All of the City Council challengers who are boycotting the forum plan to attend but will not take their seats and participate in the questions and answers, unless the South Santa Ana Merchants Association decides to allow the event to be filmed and broadcast.  This is a public forum and as such there is no reason to shut out those members of the voting public who cannot attend this meeting, such as senior citizens, those with special needs and those who lack access to transportation or who are unable to arrange for childcare so they can attend this forum.


Contact Art Pedroza at 714-606-7622 if you have any questions about this press release

NOTE: This forum is taking place tomorrow night, Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 6 p.m., at the O. C. Musicians’ Association Hall, located at 2050 S. Main St., Santa Ana.  Dinner will be provided and there will be no admission.  If you want to see this program filmed and televised please contact Mary Guzman, who is on the Board of the South Santa Ana Merchants Association.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.