El Cajon mayor takes heat for alleged racial comments

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EL CAJON, Calif. — Protesters leveled charges of racism at the mayor and council members during an explosive El Cajon City Council meeting Tuesday.

”They’re isn’t a community out there – whether it be Chaldean, African-American, Latino, Asian, LGBT, women – that haven’t been oppressed by the culture of the City Council of El Cajon,” said Mark Arabo with the Neighborhood Market Association.

Arabo el cajon mayorand other protesters said they want an apology from Mayor Mark Lewis.

They pointed to a recent online article for The Progressive quoting Lewis about local Chaldean school children who get free lunches “being picked up by Mercedes-Benz … it doesn’t take them too long to learn where all the freebies are” and that its causing “white flight” in the city.

Vickie Butcher said the mayor made a stunning statement to her when she ran for a vacant council seat.

“The statement was made that five white men could represent the city just as well as anyone else,” said Butcher.  Lewis denied making the statement.

Councilman Gary Kendrick said he believes the cries of discrimination stem from Arabo’s failed effort to stop a new city ordinance to prevent stores from selling alcohol to children and the homeless.

“Mr. Arabo said he would remove us from office.  He’d either do a recall or he would do district elections.  Mr. Arabo lost on this, and now he’s trying to change the council,” said Kendrick.

Arabo said the protest had nothing to do with the ordinance and everything to do with a lack of minorities on the council.

”We will do everything in our power to get representation, to get minorities on the council – get our voices heard,” said Arabo.


  • Stephanie

    Why does fox not quote the dozens of people who made their concerns about discrimination.
    It is illegal to see alcohol to minors. The people spoke so report the news and not your biased opinion.

  • Bruce

    Not sell alcohol to minors? Of course, it's already the law. Not sell it to the homeless? Unconstitutional and discrimatory.

  • Anonymous

    He’s not saying anything that everyone is not thinking. But it’s not limited to the Iraqi community. It’s all low class people that are taking advantage of the governments assistance programs that are meant to help those that have real needs. Odds are if you can drive a newer Mercedes around you probably don’t need food stamps, WIC, and reduced price school lunches.

    • donna

      Just because everyone you know thinks and feels like you, does not mean everyone thinks and feels like you. You don't know what you are talking about. Poor people are not faking poverty. They really are poor. A poor child can have relatives with money. Duh! A poor child can have grandparents with money.

      In my experience, only bigots refer to human beings as low class. What does class have to do with anything, especially fraud? The largest frauds were perpetrated by the rich. Who are you to determine who is deserving of help? You should work on your critical thinking skills before you set yourself up as judge over someone's financial situation.

  • dpk

    Only idiots claim racism when the truth is spoken, we need leaders that are not afraid to speak the truth! I as well as many others PAY our taxes and others scam the system……Mayor Lewis you rock!

    • donna

      Whose truth? The truth of the 1% who use people like you to wage a war on the poor while they steal your supper? Get out more. You don't know what you are talking about.

  • guest

    Two parents. All the assets of the family are given to one parent the other parent claims no income and
    no assets when applying for section '8' housing, food stamp etc. The Boston
    bombing was wholly financed by welfare scam.

  • Guest

    If the minorities want a seat on the council, then RUN for office, oh wait I forgot most of the Chaldeans aren't yet citizens with the right to vote.


    Mayor you rock…. keep our neighborhoods right keep them white… was a nice city until all the beaners came and camels… then followed the blacks which multiplied like a plaque out roaches.. disgusting… that’s why I moved to Ramona.. nicer here.. tried Lakeside but seems the wires were to influenced by the minorities there…

    • anonymous

      Lol youre funny I worked in ramona and all those people are white trash 18-50 yr olds no income live off of the government crack heads that try to buy ciggs with EBT? Ummmm? Yeah…. good luck with your community and the best of luck with staying away from hardcore drugs.

  • navydude1986

    This is the system that has been set up. Most of the free lunch takers are the ones that their parents mark the box "NO SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER". Thus schools can't check income level. So kids get free lunch and picked up in high end cars. It's all a scam at the taxpayers expense.

  • Dan kirk

    You know still a lot of racism in this world. Was at the grocery store in El Cajon and I believe he was young Latino man. I don’t know if he was a paramedic or emt. However we were in line and the young man looked over to an older gentlemen who was wearing an U.S. vet hat and he told him thank you for your service trying to shake the vet hand. The older man told him I’m sorry I won’t shake your hand didn’t fight for your freedom your the reason the great nation has gone down and walked away. I couldn’t believe it me and the cashier just stayed in awww. He nodded his head and left. But me and the cashier were so stunned at the vet statement how rude. that poor young man dedicates he’s life to. To serve the contour how dare that old man.

  • Hatt Mix

    Want more proof of the Iraqi store owners fraud? Go to the local Albertsons and other big name stores and watch them fill their carts with cases of soda then use their free government money to pay for them. Then follow them to their stores and watch as they fill their shelves with that same soda they just used YOUR TAX DOLLARS to buy and then sell for a 100% profit!

  • anonymous

    Lol youre funny I worked in ramona and all those people are white trash 18-50 yr olds no income live off of the government crack heads that try to buy ciggs with EBT? Ummmm? Yeah…. good luck with your community and the best of luck with staying away from hardcore drugs.

  • donna

    White Trash? People are not trash! Judgmental, insensitive, ignoramuses. Most of you referring to human beings as low class and trash, are probably all earning below the poverty level yourselves, but you are too limited to find out what the poverty level is. You are waging a war against the wrong people. Look in the mirror. You are poor.

    Do you not know the history of the Chaldean people who live in El Cajon? Most of them risked their lives for American soldiers. Some are here because their husbands and fathers gave their lives for this Country. How dare you! Most Chaldeans are very poor people. They are not your enemy. The Mayor should know better and if he is that misinformed, it is time for him to go.

    90% of the country should not fight over 20% of the wealth. That is the problem. Not poor people.

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