Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Calaycay the chauvinist?

Councilmember Corey Calaycay caught some heat for remarks he made at Thursday’s swearing in ceremony for the new city council members.

At the ceremony, he applauded the ethnic diversity of the new council. He also pointed out its geographic diversity since the 5 council members all live in different parts of town.

But he didn’t mention that there are no women on the council; a fact not lost several women sitting in the audience. It’s the first time since 1962 that Claremont doesn’t have a female councilmember.

After Calaycay’s remarks, a few women in the audience remarked about the lack of female council members and didn’t like that Calaycay pointed that out. Even though he actually didn’t.

At last night’s council meeting, former Mayor Karen Rosenthal spoke during public comment on the topic.

“I think Corey has been flogged enough in the press about diversity on the council, or lack thereof,” Rosenthal said. "He said there was diversity and many of us thought there wasn't enough diversity since 52.8 percent of the population is female."

Calaycay later apologized for remarks disparaging women that he didn’t make.

"It's clear that I had a great offense to Ms. Rosenthal and I believe it was mentioned that Judy Wright was also offended by remarks at the last meeting and so I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to both of them," Calaycay said. "I did not mean to degrade women. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of women in this community who have supported me time and time again coming on to this council and I deeply appreciate all of those women who have supported me and I have no intention of insulting any of the ladies in our community. And I'm sure that the day will come again when women will be back on this council and I apologize that they're not here right now. I did not mean anything in my remarks to offend any women in the community. So I apologize to you."

Spoken like a true man.

Maybe there’d be some women on the council if more women ran for the office. In the last 2 city council elections, only one woman has run in each election, compared to a total of 9 men. That’s not the biggest pool for voters to choose from.

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