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CCAEJ CONDEMNS UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BY BLOOMINGTON MAC BOARD MEMBERS


CCAEJ CONDEMNS UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BY BLOOMINGTON MAC BOARD MEMBERS


For Immediate Release

4/9/21


MAC Board members Larry Burgos and Gary Grossich created a hostile environment for community members


Jurupa Valley, CA – On April 7th, the Bloomington Municipal Advisory Council Meeting (MAC), board members Larry Burgos and Gary Grossich undermined community testimony with slanderous and hostile commentary toward community members and representatives.


MAC Board members verbally harassed community member Carolina Verduzco who is a thirty year resident of Bloomington and business owner. According to Verduzco, “As a woman of color, I am disheartened and disappointed in the leadership of the Bloomington MAC, leaders who were appointed by Supervisor Baca to represent his office and the community of Bloomington. When two MAC members, especially men, go after a community member, a woman of color, a mother, a business owner, to censure and silence my voice when defending my beloved and beautiful community, is upsetting and unjust. That behavior is unprofessional and insensitive. Also to go after an organization like CCAEJ who has continuously advocated for this and many other communities, is unfortunate because they are there for our community when our leaders are not. We have to do better and I call for Supervisor Baca to hold these individuals accountable.”


Further, both members used their platform to proliferate fake and unwarranted slander against recently hired Executive Director, Alma Marquez. The petty name calling and hostile accusations hurt her character, credibility and showed deep unprofessionalism by both members of the Board, who are appointed to serve the MAC community. “As the Executive Director of an established community based grassroots environmental justice organization that has a 40 year proven track record, I am truly appalled at how an appointed member by Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. can single out our organization during public comment and try to smear and slander us in public." claimed Marquez, continuing, "As a woman of color representing the most underserved communities of the Inland Valley Region, I am very disappointed in the unprofessional behavior by these two individuals and ask the supervisor to rescind their appointment from this advisory committee effective immediately.


Their comments and accusations against community members from the position of their board allowed for an asymmetric narrative that did not allow community members accused to clear their names. This unprofessional conduct utilized their position of power to intimidate and discredit community members from engaging with the institution. Further, comments that community members who do not reside in Bloomington should not comment, sends a message that surrounding community members, such as teachers, activists, and others should refrain from being vocal in these spaces, and standing in solidarity with communities who are faced with environmental injustices like Bloomington.


In conclusion, CCAEJ is calling for Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., to request for these two MAC members to step down as advisors to the council. We are further asking for community members to write letters to the supervisor demanding that action be taken to protect the interest of the community.



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