Capitol Alert

Latino caucus demands ouster over ‘racist and incendiary’ remark

California county official refers to Mexicans as invasive species

A comment from Calaveras County planning Commissioner Kelly Wooster has spurred criticism. The Legislature's 21-member Latino Caucus says Wooster must go.
Up Next
A comment from Calaveras County planning Commissioner Kelly Wooster has spurred criticism. The Legislature's 21-member Latino Caucus says Wooster must go.

California’s Latino Legislative Caucus on Tuesday urged Calaveras County supervisors to remove a planning commissioner who referred to Mexicans immigrants as an invasive species.

During a discussion about a plan to eradicate invasive plant and animal species earlier this month, Calaveras County Planning Commissioner Kelly Wooster remarked the term should cover “people from Mexico.”

Amid scattered laughter, one commissioner said, “I’m not going to comment on that” and another remarked that “the Internet will be afire with comments.”

Mr. Wooster’s remarks reflect poorly not only on the planning commission but the entire county.

Letter from Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville and chairman of the Latino Legislative Caucus

Slamming the comment as “racist and incendiary,” the Latino caucus chairman, Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, sent a letter to the supervisors asking members to ask Wooster to resign or to remove him from the planning commission.

“Openly racist and incendiary remarks have no place in the public discourse and cannot be tolerated,” the letter said. “Mr. Wooster’s remarks reflect poorly not only on the planning commission but the entire county.

“This action will send the message to all residents of Calaveras County that they matter and enjoy equal status in the eyes of their local government, regardless of their ethnicity,” Alejo wrote, also urging the board to institute mandatory ethnic sensitivity training for county employees and public officials.

A Calaveras County Board of Supervisors spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

  Comments