Westminster City Council Member and Vietnamese Residents Denounce Authoritarian Actions of Westminster City Council Members, Council Action Fails

Written by VietRISE

July 14, 2023


Thursday, July 13, 2023

CONTACT: Vincent Tran, vincent@vietrise.org

Westminster City Council Member and Vietnamese Residents Denounce Authoritarian Actions of Westminster City Council Members, Council Action Fails

Just one year after avoiding bankruptcy and the struggles faced in finding a qualified city manager, Westminster Councilmembers Amy Phan West and NamQuan Nguyen pushed and failed to terminate City Manager Christine Cordon who has been instrumental in steering the city towards recovery.

WESTMINSTER, CA – Vietnamese residents of Westminster, CA, are outraged by and denounce the recent actions of Westminster City Councilmembers Amy Phan West and NamQuan Nguyen in their attempt to fire the city manager for not being a yes-person and unquestioningly complying with the councilmembers’ demands. On Wednesday night, the council ultimately voted 3-2 against firing the City Manager during a five-hour closed session meeting. Nevertheless, this action has sparked a storm of criticism from residents, who condemn the attempted firing as undemocratic and authoritarian.

A resident of Westminster, Eric Do, stated, “We need a council that prioritizes the well-being of our city and values the expertise and commitment of our city manager. These authoritarian actions do not reflect the wishes or best interests of the community. We deserve better leadership that prioritizes the well-being of our community.”

Westminster, having recently avoided bankruptcy in 2022, needs a strong administration to navigate ongoing challenges. Dismissing a key staff member responsible for the City’s stability is a reckless, authoritarian decision. Authoritarian leadership concentrates power, enforces control, and limits dissent. It disregards consultation, imposes strict rules, and suppresses individual freedoms. 

Carlos Manzo, Westminster City Councilmember stated, “Her unwarranted dismissal would be devastating to the future of our city. Since her appointment she has conducted herself with the utmost professionalism. She has moved us in a positive direction and is doing more with minimal resources.

As council members we don’t need a yes person whose main focus is to appease our every idea. We should not be at odds with our City Manager if we don’t get the answers we want to hear.”

Tracy La, Executive Director of VietRISE, stated, “The actions of Councilmembers Phan West and Nguyen are deeply concerning and reflect a disregard for the stability and welfare of the community. We stand in solidarity with Westminster residents in denouncing these authoritarian actions and demanding transparency, accountability, and a more ethical and stable local government.”


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VietRISE advances social justice and builds power with working-class Vietnamese and immigrant communities in Orange County. We build leadership and create systemic change through organizing, narrative change, cultural empowerment, and civic engagement.

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