My husband and I attended the Mesa Meet and Greet on Saturday, October 1, to get to know the ten candidates running for Santa Barbara City Council. We were appalled by the disrespectful behavior of one of the existing council members, Michael Self. Every single time Cruzito Cruz spoke she turned to the woman sitting next to her and made a derogatory remark and laughed at him. She didn’t even wait until he was done speaking, but started whispering and laughing as he began to speak. I couldn’t believe she had so little sensitivity the first time, but she continued her disrespectful behavior every time he spoke.
Cruz is not your usual candidate. He is passionate and knowledgeable about the issues and is using theater to wake people up. Whether he’s the best candidate is not the issue. What is unforgivable, and an indication of her complete insensitivity. was this woman’s behavior and condescension towards someone different from her.
When confronted by us, her reaction was denial. Though finally admitting her behavior was inappropriate, her shallowness and lack of awareness was so complete that she didn’t understand that she had done anything wrong and continued to defend herself throughout our conversation. The only reality that made any sense to her was that she shouldn’t do that at future panels because it might lose her votes.
I came away with feeling like we had made a mistake by confronting her, because now no one will see the kind of person she really is.