Protesters announce recall campaign against Whittier councilmember Jessica Martinez
WHITTIER — About a dozen people protested outside the home of Whittier councilmember Jessica Martinez on Saturday, condemning her lawsuit against Gov. Gavin Newsom for allotting financial resources for undocumented workers who don’t qualify for federal stimulus funds.
Martinez, who was elected to the Whittier City Council in March and sworn into office two weeks ago, is the lead plaintiff in an emergency petition filed by the Center for American Liberty seeking a stay on Newsom’s plan to allocate $75 million for undocumented workers and families.
“The Center for American Liberty, a 501 © (3) out of Virginia, lists Councilwoman Martinez as a client. This organization is supported by the ultraconservative and reactionary Koch Brothers,” James Segall-Gutierrez, a Whittier attorney, said in a statement distributed at Saturday’s protest.
Demonstrators used bullhorns, drums and noisemakers outside Martinez’s home, calling her a “gringa” and “traitor.” One of the most vocal demonstrators was Maria Estrada, a former state Assembly candidate who accused Martinez of pandering to Republicans.
“You will never, ever, ever be in that club,” Estrada said through a bullhorn. “They don’t see you any better than they see the people in those fields.”
Martinez was not visible at her home. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Andrew Roble, who ran unsuccessfully against Martinez in the March election, said he would seek to recall Martinez this November.
“Whittier is a community of love and compassion, not racist and classist reactionary politics,” Segall-Gutierrez said in the statement.