Los Altos City Councilmember Lynette Lee Eng may think silence is golden when it comes to her now very public dispute with local Black youth leader Kenan Moos. But for the rest of us, the silence is deafening.
Apparently, Lee Eng said her piece last November when she stated that she felt concerned for her and her family’s safety after receiving text messages from Moos expressing disappointment in her lack of support for police reforms.
The exchange sparked outrage over what was perceived as Lee Eng’s racist assumption that the young Black man posed a threat. Moos’ supporters have appeared at every council meeting in the three months since, calling on Lee Eng to apologize. In response, Lee Eng has not said another word publicly.
Lee Eng’s supporters think she is being bullied. They’ve pointed to her Asian-American heritage and noted the rise in racist incidents against Asians that have made recent headlines.
Let’s go back to what started all of this: Lee Eng’s Nov. 24 council actions. On police reforms, she abstained from voting in favor of allowing for complaints against the police department to be submitted to a third-party auditor, and she also voted against implementing an online submission form for police complaints or commendations, citing lack of information as justification for her votes.
This is nothing new for Lee Eng, who has a history of needing more information – basically the refuge of indecisive leaders.
We acknowledge that this issue is one of perceptions and misperceptions. No one is wrong for how they feel. But the longer this drags on, the less productive the council will be in dealing with the people’s business. The city could bring in an outside mediator to help. But we think Lee Eng herself should initiate the solution.
It’s time for a city leader to show leadership and reach out to Moos, privately, and iron out their differences, one human being to another. Then they can make a joint public statement. And we can all move on.