Dana Point mayor said meeting with Sen. Kamala Harris was not ‘pitch forks and torches against Trump,’ despite perceptions

DANA POINT — A recent mayor’s roundtable in Sacramento with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris has drawn criticism of an Orange County mayor for representing her city as being opposed to the Trump administration.

Dana Point Mayor Debra Lewis was among a small group that attended the meeting Tuesday, Aug. 29, along with Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and seven other mayors from throughout the state.

Topics of discussion, as outlined in the invitation, included infrastructure and federal budget priorities and local impact of immigration enforcement.

Lewis, who in November was elected as one of two “change candidates” to the Dana Point City Council, called the invitation a perfect opportunity to meet one of two state senators face-to-face. She said her focus at the meeting was to address safely removing fuel from San Onofre, just 18 miles from Dana Point, as well as issues of sober living and homelessness.

“It wasn’t like pitch forks and torches against Trump,” Lewis said.

But a story published in the San Jose Mercury News described the meeting as an effort to fight Trump administration policies.

According to the article, Harris told reporters about a few of the topics she discussed with the visiting mayors, including her resistance to some of President Donald Trump’s policies. The Democratic senator has been opposed to Trump’s policies on immigration and on Tuesday stressed her commitment to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The newspaper article raised eyebrows among some Dana Point city leaders, some saying they were surprised to hear Lewis attended the meeting without giving them prior notice.

“Was she there representing Dana Point,” Councilman Joe Muller asked? “They were talking about things that have never been discussed by this council. I don’t know what she was doing up…

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