'We don't want you here': Los Gatos mayor and family targeted by anti-vaccine, anti-LGBTQ group

Amanda del Castillo Image
Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Los Gatos mayor targeted by anti-vaccine, anti-LGBTQ group
A vocal anti-vaccine and anti-LGBTQ group is taking aim at the mayor of the Town of Los Gatos and her family.

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KGO) -- A vocal anti-vaccine and anti-LGBTQ group is taking aim at the mayor of the Town of Los Gatos and her family.

Until this weekend, several exchanges happened at council meetings. However, another video shared with ABC7 News shows one critic outside the mayor's home.

"We know all about you Mayor Sayoc! You need to leave this town," a woman is heard in cell phone video. "We don't want you here."

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The 94-second video captures a small portion of what Los Gatos Mayor Marico Sayoc and her family faced early Saturday morning.

A woman was outside the family's home, criticizing what she called the mayor's "sick ideologies," referencing Mayor Sayoc's support for the LGBTQ community.

"F*** LGBTQ. It's a terrorist organization that has infiltrated our country," the woman screamed.

During a couple recent council meetings, a few people who identified themselves as residents pushed back on a number of issues. But it's the level of anger in these exchanges, what some are describing as hatred, leading to concern.

"Madam Sayoc, you are not God," one resident announced.

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The group has been extremely vocal about policies surrounding vaccinations for police officers, and during an October 5 meeting, one member went as far as making personal comments about the mayor's son.

"This is inappropriate," the mayor can be heard saying.

"These are volunteers- more or less volunteers who want to serve their community," Assemblymember Evan Low told ABC7 News. "But that does not come at the cost of then having your children and your family members subjected to the vitriol in the public discourse."

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Assm. Low's office said the group has shut down multiple public meetings after the town installed rainbow stripes at crosswalks near Town Hall.

Beyond the group's apparent disdain for the LGBTQ community, Assm. Low said it's no coincidence the attacks are aimed at Mayor Sayoc, the only person of color on council.

"That's what's so compelling to me. That in any other circumstance, this- I don't think- would have happened in the same way. And/or, I think other community members on the council, who have stood silent thus far, would have said more."

In a letter to the Town Manager, Assm. Low and Senator Dave Cortese said, "Hate has no place in our community, and we must be vigilant in denouncing all racist and bigoted behavior. Based on video reports and anecdotal accounts our offices have received, we have concerns that this behavior is escalating based on incidents going back to March of this year."

The same letter asks the following questions of the Town Manager:

  • What is the Town of Los Gatos' policy on harassment of elected officials?
  • Does this policy extend to family members of elected officials?
  • Do you acknowledge that elected officials in Los Gatos have been subjected to bullying and harassment at public meetings during the pandemic?
  • If so, what actions have you and your staff taken to prevent the bullying and harassment of elected officials?

Assm. Low will be speaking at the virtual Town Council meeting on Tuesday night. His office said the city has been forced to revert to virtual meetings due to concerns safety and disruptions.

ABC7 News has reached out to Mayor Sayoc and other council leaders, but have not heard back.