California State Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), one of the female leaders of the “#MeToo” movement in California, reportedly said she wanted to punch an “Asian person” in the face in 2014, according to new allegations.
The remark was apparently made during a closed-door meeting about a successful lobbying effort by Asian-American activists to defeat a Democratic proposal to overturn the Golden State’s ban on affirmative action in colleges.
Affirmative action, the Asian-American activists argued, hurt their community.
“This makes me feel like I want to punch the next Asian person I see in the face,” Garcia allegedly said, according to sources present at the mid-March 2014 meeting, as reported by Politico.
Garcia reportedly made the anti-Asian remarks the same year she allegedly used homophobic remarks against then-Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, the first openly gay speaker of the California State Assembly. She had allegedly called Perez a “homo.”
On Saturday, Perez confirmed to Politico that he had to “strongly admonish” Garcia after she made comments against Asians in that closed-door meeting. He reportedly added that no formal action was ever taken after the incident.
Perez also said he did not know if Garcia ever apologized to the Asian-American community or to her fellow legislators for the comments. “If she did, I am unaware of it,” he told Politico.
Garcia is currently under investigation for making unwanted sexual advances towards two men who worked in Sacramento politics. She is also accused of drinking alcohol and having discussions about sex in her office.
She took an unpaid leave of absence in February after allegations surfaced that she had groped a former male legislative staffer in 2014. Another report alleged that Garcia slept with fellow lawmakers in order to pry information out of them, and that she unsuccessfully attempted to sleep with a lobbyist — all claims she denies.
In November, California State Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) resigned in response to sexual harassment allegations made by six women against him.