Big Bad Serrano targets more young Santa Ana Ladies.

When Santa Ana Police Union chief Gerry Serrano doesn’t get his way, he morphs into a Chupacabra. “If I don’t get everything I want, I will burn this city down,” he has famously snarled, and then he sets forth on a path of destruction, SANTA ANA BE DAMNED. His eyes turn a blazing blue and fangs sprout from his cavernous maw, as you can clearly see in the illustration above. And lately, he has been getting his way LESS AND LESS.

For the second two-year cycle in a row, the insatiable Union Boss is bedeviled by a disobedient Council that stands up, 4-3, against his excesses – despite all the money his union and his corporate developer allies poured into the 2020 & 22 elections. Recently this has meant:

  • A 3% pay raise for Santa Ana cops which’ll cost the city $1.23 million – Gerry had wanted a $25 million contract, and so stretching language unrecognizably he calls a 3% raise “defunding the police.”
  • The City will now directly pay cops’ medical, dental & disability benefits rather than funneling them through the union, slightly diminishing the union’s importance.
  • Most insultingly to Gerry, he will now be forced to spend some of his time doing actual police work, instead of just burning the city down fulltime.

So now, in determining how best to lash out and burn down the place, Gerry has decided to go with what worked for him before – launch a recall on whatever female councilmember has defied his wishes. In 2020 he was successful with his recall of rightwing police critic Ceci Iglesias who’d criticized and voted against an unaffordable raise. THIS time he’s launched a recall on Councilwomen Thai Viet Phan and Jessie Lopez, two young progressive ladies who’d joined in on the 4-3 votes that pissed him off.

It’s funny – in 2020 did Serrano attack Juan Villegas, who’d done the same thing as Ceci? No! And this year, did Serrano include Ben Vazquez, who voted along with Phan and Lopez? No! Well, what about Johnathan Hernandez? You’ve gotta be kidding, Gerry Serrano would never have the balls to take on Johnathan Hernandez! ONLY THE LADIES.

(An aside on Johnathan, who in September 2021 rocketed into the news as the police-reforming Councilman whose cousin Brandon Lopez was killed, wrongly, unarmed and in Santa Ana by four Anaheim cops – an aside on how Santa Ana police didn’t cover themselves in glory that night either. It was a Santa Ana cop, NELSON MENENDEZ, who, while watching Brandon in his car from a Terradyne Armored Vehicle, reported WRONGLY to the Anaheim cops that Brandon was armed. And it was also Santa Ana cops who tragically refused to let Brandon’s dad talk to Brandon, instead locking him in the back of a cruiser.)

But back to Gerry Serrano…

What Lies Will Gerry Tell Santa Ana Voters,

to get them to vote against their interests?

That’s a VERY good question! You obviously know what’s up. Bitching that these ladies voted against him continuing to be paid by the city for burning it down, and characterizing a 3% raise as “defunding the police” won’t quite do the trick. Fortunately for Gerry he has some deep-pocketed allies in this effort who are also pissed off at the Council majority – Santa Ana’s big corporate developers and landlords.

Not as distrustful of statistics as President Truman was, I propose that there are LIES, DAMN LIES, and ORWELLIAN LIES – the latter being the sort that totally turn the facts on their heads and gaslight you till you question your sanity. Serrano’s “Notice of Intent to Circulate Recall Petition” contains Orwellian Lies for sure! Here is the copy Thai got served; Jessie’s is the same:

In good time we’ll demolish all those claims, but note: Aware of his well-deserved unpopularity, Serrano frontloads this document with rent-related BS. Jessie and Thai have a proud record, which they boasted of at this morning’s press conference, of bringing rent-control, COVID housing relief, and development fees incentivizing affordable housing, to this working-class town. As Supervisor Vince pointed out this morning, you recall people when they DON’T do what they promised to do when they were running – these two ladies have been doing EXACTLY what Santa Ana voters elected them to do.

But you read the BS above, you’d think they were responsible for gentrification and rent hikes. Can you look at this and tell that these two ladies are being recalled mainly because they’re forcing the lazy greedy Union Boss to do actual police work for his paycheck and pension?

I also plan to write soon about the Police Review Board these great Councilmembers have created for Santa Ana, which should be active by April and puts Anaheim’s efforts to shame (but OC had to start somewhere!) For now, let everyone in Wards 1 and 3 know that they shouldn’t sign these petitions next months no matter what lies they’re told.

Here’s what I caught this morning of the press conference:

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.