Election 2020: Singh-Allen to challenge Ly in mayoral race
Elk Grove Citizen, July 31, 2020
Elk Grove School Trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen on July 28 announced her plan to run for mayor of Elk Grove this November.
Singh-Allen is one of five candidates hoping to unseat the incumbent, Mayor Steve Ly, who is seeking his third term. She has served on the Elk Grove Unified School District board as its Area 4 trustee for the past eight years.
Singh-Allen told the Citizen the she was motivated to run for mayor after listening to the Elk Grove City Council’s July 22 online meeting.
More than 20 speakers called into the meeting to criticize or support the mayor regarding allegations from several local women who claim that he used his associates or supporters to harass them.
Ly, during the same meeting, responded to one of his accusers, Linda Vue, his 2016 campaign manager, claiming that her allegation came as a result of her inability to acquire a job at City Hall after he became mayor.
Vue previously claimed that after she expressed criticism of the mayor through her public Facebook posts, she was harassed by Ly through his associates who are part of the Hmong clan system.
Singh-Allen responded to what she referred to as the mayor’s “performance” during that meeting.
“Listening to the mayor berate private citizens during public comments from the dais, that was just quite obscene and inappropriate,” she said.
Singh-Allen is among the local women who allege they were harassed by Ly’s associates or supporters. Those accusations led to the City Council’s decision to revisit the issue on Aug. 12, when they will consider possible actions that might be taken against the mayor.
Their options include censuring Ly or requesting that a Grand Jury investigation regarding the allegations be launched. The act of censuring is a formal expression of disapproval and is not an impeachment or removal from office.
A month ago, Singh-Allen used her personal Facebook page to refer to the Hmong clan system as a “controlling and intimidating system used to attack and silence these women.”
Singh-Allen described another one of her motivators to run for mayor.
“What really got my fire going was that (Ly) and his surrogates have twisted my words to suit the cherry-picked narrative they wanted to use to suit their purpose,” she said.
She claimed that Ly redirected the harassment claims against him into a Hmong cultural issue, as opposed to “accepting responsibility.”
“This had nothing to do with a beautiful culture and beautiful citizens in our community,” Singh-Allen said. “This was about Steve Ly, his tactics, what he was doing specifically.”
Singh-Allen expressed frustration with an online petition, which was recently launched by some of Ly’s supporters who desire that she resign from the school board.
“The fact that existed became that call (to run for mayor),” she said. “Look how low he will stoop to try to continue to silence me.”
Although Singh-Allen already had other people who believed she should challenge Ly for mayor, she noted that she quickly made her decision to seek his seat after speaking with U.S. Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove.
“As a senior leader and a dear friend and a mentor, (Bera) walked me through the process of a campaign,” she said. “He lifted me and encouraged me and said basically, ‘You can win, you can do this.’”
Singh-Allen’s supporters also include Assembly Member Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), State Controller Betty Yee, Elk Grove School Trustee Nancy Chaires-Espinoza, Elk Grove Planning Commissioner MacKenzie Wieser, and Sacramento City Council Member Angelique Ashby.
Singh-Allen described herself as the candidate who Elk Grove voters should elect as their next mayor, noting that she is a “proven community leader” who is committed to the residents of the city and “restoring good governance in City Hall.”
The other candidates for mayor in this November’s election are Justin Brown, Michelle Kile, Glen Padayachee and Brian Pastor.