Over this past weekend, Milpitas Vice Mayor and City Council candidate Bob Nuñez published a video on his Facebook page calling out Evelyn Chua (his opponent in the upcoming election), who he claims made a racist statement.
“There’s a candidate, Evelyn Chua, that made statements that are attributed to her that there’s too many Latinos on the City Council. I haven’t heard that comment, but I’ve heard that more than once,” said Nuñez in the video.
Since the release of the video, Milpitas residents have been reaching out to The Beat asking us to verify the truthfulness of the very serious claim.
Here’s what we found:
At the September 15 City Council meeting, during the Public Comment portion, a handful of comments were made by commenters stating their disappointment with Chua and her supposed racist statement.
Below are copies of the actual Public Comments for your reference.
Four of the comments seem to reflect the same style, with a heavy use of lowercase letters:
The Beat has tried to locate the commenters to ask where they are getting their information; however we’re unable to find anyone with the names of the people who submitted the comments in Milpitas or surrounding areas. At this time, The Beat has not been able to verify the identity of any of the commenters.
During the COVID era of Zoom Council meetings, people who wish to leave public comments no longer have to show their faces and speak their own words. Instead, there’s a form on the Milpitas City website, which allows anyone to leave a comment, without having to leave an email address, a physical address, or even a real name. During the virtual Council meeting, the City Clerk then reads through all the comments to the public.
When we reached out to Chua to ask her about the commenters, she told us that she has never met, spoken to, or heard of a single one of them. She also expressed her surprise at their accusations, as well as Nuñez’s accusations in his video.
“I’m really shocked, disappointed, and saddened by these accusations. There’s not a single bone in my body that is racist,” said Chua, who also serves as a Planning Commissioner for the City. “I want to thank Vice Mayor Nuñez for bringing this to my attention, but I wish you would have reached out to me so we could’ve discussed it. And I could’ve told you firmly that I did not make these comments.”
Chua’s campaign checked all of the names on the voter registration lists for Milpitas (from the Registrar of Voters) to search for the commenters, but she told The Beat that they couldn’t locate a single name.
The Beat has reached out to the Vice Mayor to ask for any evidence of the racist statement, or a source for who actually heard Chua making a racist statement. He informed us that his only reference was the public comments.
Though there is uncertainty over who is actually making the public comments, Chua feels that the accusations are attempts to damage her campaign for City Council.
“I’m really disappointed and saddened by what’s going on,” Chua told The Beat. “We have a lot of work to do. We have challenges ahead of us. Let’s move on from this. Now that I’ve addressed this, let’s move on and focus on what Milpitas needs now.”