A Response to the Op-Ed: Mayor Steve Ly Sent Hmong Men To Threaten Me Into Silence From Mayor Of Elk Grove Steve Ly Condemning Threats
It has been brought to my attention that individuals have engaged in threatening and reprehensible behavior to stifle the voices of local women. I condemn these cowardly actions by anyone and I reject them vehemently. To suggest that I am sending people to threaten anyone is false. People should be able to share their thoughts without the fear of harm to them or their loved ones. This right has always been held sacred and maintained in our country. Even when the viewpoints are in opposition, I have been and will always be a firm believer of this freedom. I have spoken with the owner of Elk Grove Tribune and the Elk Grove Police Department. I am supporting a full and thorough investigation of this matter.
Patriarchy, specifically in the Hmong community, is a real problem. I recognize this and have been at the forefront in addressing inequalities of Hmong women. In the late ‘90s, I was the first Hmong man to serve as the Vice President of the Hmong Women’s Heritage Association. My work during this time was hand-in- hand with the Executive Director to address domestic violence and the struggle of Hmong women for equal rights. In my campaigns, Hmong women are integral partners to their success. My hope has always been to uplift and empower, not just Hmong women but all women, by providing opportunities of employment and advancement.
Civil rights progress in the United States is significant to our growth as a nation and the Black Lives Matter movement is exactly that. When the murder of Mr. George Floyd occurred in Minneapolis, I was appalled. On June 1st, I issued a statement as Mayor condemning not just this murder but also the murders of Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, Ms. Breonna Taylor and injustices throughout the history of America experienced by Black and brown people. Even within my own ethnic community, there is a divide regarding the stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite the discouragement from my ethnic community, I felt compelled to go on national Hmong television and encouraged my fellow Hmong to stand with me in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
My greatest concern is the safety and well-being of all Elk Grove residents. This is why I took down the post about the auto shop burning in Sacramento. The comments got out of hand with people attacking each other. In one of my comments, I clarified that this incident was not tied to the larger, peaceful movement for Black Lives.
Please continue to listen, to learn and have courageous conversations with each other. Stay safe and be well.
Steve Ly, Mayor of Elk Grove