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Santa Ana Unified Board Member Alfonso Alvarez Faces Renewed Calls for Resignation After DUI Guilty Plea

Alfonso Alvarez recently pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges, but his union allies remain silent on the issue of resignation.

Recently, Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) Board Member Alfonso Alvarez pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a drunk driving incident last year. The incident, in which Alvarez hit another motorist while intoxicated, occurred on July 29, 2023, around 8:00 PM near the intersection of Grand Street and Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana. 

At the time of the incident, Alvarez faced immediate backlash; not only for the legal transgression, but for the moral and ethical implications it posed given his role in shaping policy as a public official. Even former allies within the Democrat Party, such as Santa Ana Councilman David Penaloza, called upon Alvarez to resign.

“Extremely reckless and irresponsible behavior from someone who is elected and charged with the responsibility of leading our local schools and educating our children,” Penaloza said in a public Facebook post. “It is only appropriate that he resigns from the SAUSD Board of Education. I am calling on parents, the Democratic Party of Orange County, his board colleagues, and all other elected officials in Santa Ana to also join me in demanding that he resign from his elected office immediately. Santa Ana families deserve better.”

Despite the mounting pressure, Alvarez chose to remain in his position. This was prior to his guilty plea. 

Now, in the wake of his admission of guilt, calls for Alvarez’s resignation have only intensified. 

“Alvarez chose to drive drunk and endanger the public,” wrote Art Pedroza for the New Santa Ana blog. “This happened after he embarked on a tour of the Elk Lodges in the Inland Empire… The SAUSD, for whatever reason, pays for Alvarez’ Elks Lodge membership... If the SAUSD Trustees are not going to hold Alvarez accountable they should at the very least cancel his Elks Lodge membership.”

Critics argue that his decision to stay in office undermines the integrity of the school board and sets a concerning precedent for public accountability. The SAUSD’s Trustee Operating Procedures state that “Trustees should act with dignity, and understand the implication of demeanor and behavior, and that “Trustees should understand the importance of using one’s best judgment to represent all members of the community.”

It has been two months since the guilty plea. Whether Alvarez will heed the calls to step down or continue to serve on the Board remains to be seen, but the admission of guilt has already reverberated throughout the community. Regardless of his decision, it has been interesting to note who has endeavored to see Alvarez held accountable for breaking the public’s trust and, of course, who hasn’t.

“It’s been crickets from Santa Ana’s left-wing activist community,” writes the OC Independent. “If this had been Cecilia Iglesias while she was an SAUSD Trustee, Santa Ana “community activists” and the teachers union would have come unglued and shouted immediate demands for her resignation and imprisonment.”

Such sentiments highlight the unfortunate reality that, in politics, one’s allegiance to specific agendas trumps the imperative for moral rectitude. As a result, Alvarez's decision to stay or resign should matter, but almost doesn’t. His legal transgressions have already been overlooked by the groups that elected him because his role as a union advocate supercedes all else.

“If Alvarez resigns,” writes the OC Independent, “they will simply appoint another hard-left progressive to take his place and the district will continue on the path of woke progressive experimentation at the expense of the district’s families.”


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