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The City Council Versus Themselves: Westminster’s Supermajority is Threatened by Infighting

Westminster Mayor Tri Ta at City Hall.
Westminster Mayor Tri Ta at City Hall.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)

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Infighting and recall campaigns are threatening to end Westminster City Council’s historic supermajority of Vietnamese Americans.

The supermajority’s election to the City Council was once celebrated by the Westminster community as a welcomed changed that reflected the city’s changing demographics and immigrant history. But today, City Council meetings have turned into verbal matches between attendees and council members. Among the council members, the group has faced accusations of nepotism, slander, and personal attacks. The council has seemingly been divided between two camps: Mayor Tri Ta alongside allies Kimberly Ho and Chi Charlie Nguyen versus newcomer Tai Do and veteran member Sergio Contreras.

The Orange County community has been watching the drama unfold and are uneasy about how the turmoil will continue to play out. The biggest concern among citizens is whether the Vietnamese American community, despite making up half of the city’s population, will lose political credibility and the chance to pursue other roles of city leadership. While council members have released statements insisting that everything is under control, Orange County and the Vietnamese American community is anxiously awaiting to see any resolution to the situation.


Anh Do,  Metro reporter covering Asian American issues and Orange County for the LA Times; her latest piece looks at the split in the Westminster City Council