Santa Monica City Councilman Tony Vazquez's comment that his failure to win his reelection bid was due to racism is an insult to Santa Monica voters and the democratic process ("3 Police-Backed Candidates Win Seats on Council," Nov. 10).
Two years ago, the voters of Santa Monica elected me, an East Indian immigrant and political neophyte, to the Santa Monica City Council. During my campaign, I came to know and appreciate the openness and inclusiveness of the Santa Monica electorate. I perceived, correctly, that the determining issues would be public safety and rent control, not my skin color and ethnicity. Indeed, one of the reasons I won election against overwhelming odds was because Santa Monica's liberalism has always been a significant plus for minorities and women. But even liberalism has its limits and it is unfair to expect Santa Monica voters to sacrifice their personal safety and quality of life at the altar of political correctness.
In the two years that I sat with Councilman Vazquez on the council, I observed him cast a "no" vote on every public safety measure to come before him. This abysmal voting record was an important catalyst in this year's campaign. On Nov. 8, Santa Monica voters rejected Tony Vazquez, not because of his ethnicity, but because they recognized that his performance on the council did not address their concerns.