The trial of the misogynistic, egotistical trainwreck that is Supervisor Efren Carrillo has finally come to an unsatisfactory end. Surprisingly, the Press Democrat and fellow Supervisor Shirlee Zane have called for his resignation. One can only hope that more elected officials and community leaders will also step up to the plate in the coming days. But I won’t hold my breath.
Why? Because we live in a society where a man in power, even a man of color, can behave as grossly as Efren Carrillo has behaved and still be accepted and supported and not have to feel any real consequences. I am outraged and feel betrayed that a fellow woman has lived through a nightmare, yet her assailant’s reputation and livelihood have been more valued than her safety. Where are our priorities?
At one of the “Recall Carrillo” townhall meetings, I listened to a high school teacher wax eloquent about Carrillo, how inspiring he was to the teacher’s predominately Latino classes, what an “excellent role model” he was for them. A man arrested in his chonies and socks is a role model for our youth? What does that tell our young men (and women) about what is acceptable behavior? Somehow that does not disqualify him to serve as supervisor?
Carrillo has had his day in court. All these months later, and he has basically admitted all that the woman accused him of last July: half naked, he climbed a fence in search of sex with a neighbor he barely knew, stood outside her bedroom window, tore off part of the screen and inserted his hand through the blinds. This is not a man who should remain an elected official. This is not a man worthy of our respect.
Elected officials and community leaders: Let us know that you don’t condone this behavior. We need to hear your voices.
Laura Gonzalez teaches at Windsor Middle School and serves on the Santa Rosa School Board.
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