Will Alfonso Alvarez resign from the Santa Ana Unified School District Board of Education in the wake of his July 29 arrest for drunk driving, in which he hit another motorist?
We may find out one way or another during this evening’s meeting of the SAUSD Board of Education, of which Alvarez is the vice president.
OC Independent broke the story last week.
The incident occurred at 8:00 p.m. near the intersection of Grand Street and Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana, according to Officer Natalie Garcia, public information officer for the Santa Ana Police Department. The SAPD responded to a call from an individual asking them to come to the scene of an auto accident in which they were involved. The caller said the driver of the other vehicle appeared to be intoxicated.
A patrol car and department’s DUI unit arrived and it turned out the intoxicated driver was Alvarez, who was first elected in 2016 to the SAUSD Board of Education.
According to Garcia, Alvarez admitted he was at fault. He was arrested and taken to the Santa Ana Jail for booking.
Earlier today, Santa Ana Councilman David Penaloza, whose father was killed by a drunk driver, published a post on Facebook calling on Alvarez to resign:
“I have been thinking over the last couple of days about what to say about this. Obviously when I heard the news, I was infuriated and of course disappointed. As many of you already know, my dad was killed by a drunk driver when I was only three years old. From one day to the next my mom became a widow with three kids under the age of ten due to someone’s irresponsibility. So, to find out that Dr. Alfonso Alvarez, Vice President of the Santa Ana Unified School District caused a traffic accident for driving drunk in our city, and in the city council district I represent really upsets me. He should count his lucky stars that he did not destroy a family by seriously injuring or killing anybody. Extremely reckless and irresponsible behavior from someone who is elected and charged with the responsibility of leading our local schools and educating our children. Unfortunately, I was not surprised when I heard the news as it was only a matter of time this would happen. I genuinely hope he takes full responsibility and gets the help he very clearly needs. At this time, It is only appropriate that he resigns from the SAUSD Board of Education. I am calling on parents, the Democratic Party of Orange County, his board colleagues, and all other elected officials in Santa Ana to also join me in demanding that he resign from his elected office immediately. Santa Ana families deserve better.“
Alvarez was arrested shortly after returning on a Santa Ana Elks Lodge bus trip to three other Elks lodges. Alvarez has been criticized for having the SAUSD pay his Elks Lodge membership. The school district adamantly claims it does not pay for his “personal” membership, but in an official capacity as the SAUSD’s “representative” to the Santa Ana Elks (for whom charitable support for school children is part of its mission). It should be noted there’s no such thing an as organization membership in an Elks Lodge – all memberships are personal.
The district’s insistence that Alvarez is a member of the Elks Lodge as the district’s official representative may come back to bite it.
As long-time Santa Ana political watcher Art Pedroza observed in his New Santa Ana blog:
“Moreover as the SAUSD pays for the Alvarez Elks Lodge membership one has to wonder if they also pay him a car allowance as a Trustee. If they do a lawyer could argue that the SAUSD is liable for his DUI crash as he was driving home from an Elks Lodge function the district paid for.”
Will Alvarez choose the honorable path of resignation? Or emulate the contemporary example of offering a rote apology a la DUI Dave Min, followed by a promise to seek help and “learn” from his mistake?
From a public policy perspective, it really doesn’t matter. Alvarez is an advocate for progressive education policies. He is a favorite of left-wing political groups such as ChispaOC.
It’s been crickets from Santa Ana’s left-wing activist community. If this had been Cecilia Iglesias while she was an SAUSD Trustee, Santa Ana “community activists” and the teachers union would have come unglued and shouted immediate demands for her resignation and imprisonment..
Alvarez’ colleagues on the SAUSD Board of Education are all hard-left progressives who are hostile to parental rights and public safety, work to embed woke indoctrination into the curriculum and are tied at the hip with the teachers union.
If Alvarez resigns, they will simply appoint another hard-left progressive to take his place and the district will continue on the path of woke progressive experimentation at the expense of the district’s families.