PALM SPRINGS — A well-intentioned invitation placed Joy Silver in an awkward position recently when she found herself attempting to campaign in a meeting about electoral districts in Palm Springs.
Silver is the Democratic nominee for state Senate District 28. She is challenging incumbent Republican state Sen. Jeff Stone in the November election.
A well-meaning supporter sent Silver an invitation to attend a public gathering for the Filipino-American community and communities of color and their allies in the Demuth Park Neighborhood. The meeting was for communities of color to learn more and give feedback about the Palm Springs Redistricting Process. The meeting was Saturday, Sept. 8.
“We are hoping for good attendance for the evening,” the supporter said.
The supporter, whose identity is being withheld, promised a target-rich audience that would include several Filipino-American groups, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, St. Nino groups, Filipino AmericanAssociation of The Coachella Valley and the National Alliance of Filipino Americans. About 50 people were in attendance, said Alexis Ortega, who helped organize the event.
Uken Report has authenticated the invitation.
Some of Silver’s opponents claimed she crashed the meeting like a “flash mob” with signs and stickers.
Silver’s enthusiastic appearance left some attendees taken aback and confused, wondering how “their” meeting devolved into a political rally.
Dan Rottenstreich, a spokesman for the Silver campaign, acknowledged they had signs and stickers — because they were under the impression it was a political event.
“Joy attends dozens of events in the community to get her message out about bringing new leadership to Sacramento, to stand up for middle-class families, and fight to protect healthcare for those who need it,” Rottenstreich said. “That’s what candidates are supposed to do. When it became clear this gathering wasn’t a political event, but rather a non-partisan discussion, the campaign acted accordingly and respectfully left.”
Rottenstreich said there was a “little bit of miscommunication” surrounding the invitation.
Palm Springs City Councilmembers Lisa Middleton and Christy Holstege attended the meeting. Middleton said it was a public meeting that anyone could attend, adding she was unaware of any controversy.
Holstege said other candidates were there as well, but she declined to identify them.
“It was a beautiful and moving event organized by community leaders with an incredible turnout from Filipino-American residents and neighbors who were engaged and gave meaningful feedback. That was the takeaway from the event for me,” Holstege told Uken Report.”
Greg Rodriguez, a Democratic political consultant, was not at the event, but told Uken Report that, “It’s a tough call on where you go and where you’re not supposed to go, especially at this point. You want to be in front of as many community members as you can, and often those opportunities (the public meeting) are the best.”