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Hawaiian Gardens Pulls the Welcome Mat on Congresswoman Linda Sanchez Event

According to attendees, the City did nothing to accommodate Rep. Sanchez, but had time to throw a lavish cocktail party the night before at City Hall for the city’s controversial Sister City Mayor.

     

Rep. Linda Sanchez speaks with Hawaiian Gardens residents sitting on a brick fence without proper sun protection. Hawaiian Gardens did not provide food, furniture, or staff members for the event and Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Myra Maravilla arrived one hour late and left early without talking to the Congresswoman.

 
 

BY BRIAN HEWS

Over 150 people attended long-time Congresswoman Linda Sanchez’ (D) “Coffee with the Congresswoman” on Saturday Oct. 5, held inside the patio area at Hawaiian Gardens City Hall.

Rep. Sanchez served as Vice-Chair of the House Democratic Caucus in the 115th Congress (2017-2019), the fifth-highest ranking position in House Democratic Leadership; she was the first Latina elected to a leadership position in the U.S. Congress

But apparently that was not enough for Mayor Myra Maravilla and other officials at Hawaiian Gardens who, according to several attendees “did nothing” to welcome the Congresswoman.

“It was great talking to Linda,” said one attendee, “she talked with all the residents, but I was embarrassed of the treatment she received from the City.”

Residents and other attendees told HMG-LCCN that the City did not provide tables or other furniture and staff members were not present to address any issues or to assist residents.

Rep. Sanchez was forced to speak sitting on a brick wall, as no dais was provided; and the City did not provide any type of food or beverage.

HMG-LCCN was told that Rep. Sanchez and her staff brought coffee and donuts to the event.

Yet the City managed to arrange a lavish cocktail party the night before – using tax-payer funds and city property – for Hugo Mejia Zepeda, the controversial Mayor of its Sister City, which Maravilla and most Council members attended.

And according to two high-ranking local officials who attended the Sanchez event, Maravilla “must have had a good time at the cocktail party,” showing up one hour late to Rep. Sanchez’ event “visibly hungover,” and leaving early, not speaking to Rep. Sanchez at all.

City Councilman Jesse Alvarado, who posted on social media that he was “throwing the Sister City event,” did not show up to the Sanchez coffee, with sources telling HMG-LCCN he was “too hungover” to attend.

Serving alcohol on City property is apparently allowed if the City has the correct insurance, but given what sources told HMG-LCCN, “some people were way over-served alcohol.”

“It was disgusting,” said one resident who emailed HMG-LCCN, “she [Rep. Sanchez] had a brace on her knee and was forced to sit on a wall in the hot sun to speak to us because our City provided nothing. We had to go get the chairs, and her staff brought the coffee and doughnuts. Our Mayor came late and left early, very bad treatment of the Congresswoman.”

Myra Maravilla

Emails and texts to Maravilla asking for confirmation went unreturned.

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