Los Angeles - Today Robert Olivarez, the Founding Past President of The Latino Democrats of LA County, and current Chair of the Latino Democrats of SoCal*, announced that in light of Councilmember Garcetti's failure to denounce hateful comments made by right-wing shock jock Kevin James targeting the Latino community he has withdrawn his endorsement of Garcetti and strongly endorsed Wendy Greuel for Mayor.
While a variety of James' inflammatory comments have been widely condemned in recent days, Olivarez focused on comments directed at the Latino community, including referring to immigrants as "illegal alien thug gang members" and repeatedly speaking of an "illegal invasion" of this country.
"Latinos are not 'illegal alien thug gang members!' We are a good and hardworking people, and we are voters. Hate speech hurts our community and hate has no place in City Hall. I have asked Eric Garcetti to call out Kevin James on the hate speech. I explained that it is important for him to stand by the Latino community and insist that Kevin James acknowledge the harm of his words, to apologize, and to make amends. Instead Eric Garcetti has responded with silence and he continues to stand by Kevin James," said Olivarez.
"Eric Garcetti has sold out the Latino community for Republican right wing votes. As Kevin James and Eric Garcetti stand side by side, the message I must share is clear: The 'Latino Vote is Not for Sale!' I am proud to announce that today I am joining lots of people who formerly supported Eric Garcetti and I am endorsing Wendy Greuel for Mayor of Los Angeles. I join President Clinton, Magic Johnson, Councilman Jose Huizar, Dolores Huerta and countless other respected Democrats and community leaders in endorsing and supporting Wendy Greuel for Mayor."
When he accepted James' endorsement, Garcetti said he couldn't be "prouder to have his support," and said James would be an "adviser" on his campaign.
"I am so proud that Robert and Latino leaders across the city have joined my campaign to lead Los Angeles forward," said Greuel. "I'm campaigning on bringing people together, not demonizing them, and it is clear that my message is resonating with Angelenos from all across our great city. I look forward to working with Robert and leaders from every community to create the progressive, world-class city that we all know Los Angeles can be."
To see Robert Olivarez' full statement explaining his decision to withdraw his endorsement, click here.
For more information about the Wendy Greuel for Mayor campaign, check out www.wendygreuel.org