Denver mayoral candidate Jamie Giellis deleted her social media accounts after she received some backlash over her posts about Latinos and Asians online.
The controversy began when Giellis was unable to identify the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) during an interview on the Brother Jeff Fard show last week, according to 9News.
Giellis later apologized and explained the gaffe in a statement she wrote on March 15.
“This campaign has expanded my knowledge of other cultures, their wants, struggles, and successes,” she said.
However, just hours after making the statement, Giellis’ campaign announced a “tacos and lowriders fundraiser” held at a Mexican restaurant on March 16. The politician took down the post that same night, but the event moved forward.
Twitter users snooped around Giellis’ social media accounts and discovered that she made a post under her maiden name Jamie Licko in 2009, questioning the prevalence of Chinatown neighborhoods in American cities.
“Here’s a question: Why do so many cities feel it necessary to have a ‘Chinatown’?” she wrote in a May 13, 2009 tweet.
Giellis then deleted the tweet and later deactivated the Twitter account.
“Our campaign Facebook and Twitter pages remain active and we are working on restoring the campaign Instagram page. I turned off my personal accounts when I felt like personal statements were being taken out of context for the purpose of diverting the conversation from the issues that Denver is facing and voters care about,” Giellis’ campaign said in a statement when 9News asked about the candidate’s comments as well as the deletion of her social media accounts.
“Throughout my work and travels I have shared personal observations about what I was seeing in neighborhoods around the world. The comment about Chinatowns is one example. I was noticing that those neighborhoods were changing, that ‘Chinatowns’ became less of the cultural centers that they once were.”
“I continue to meet with voters every day to talk about the issues that are important to them: runaway development, our homeless crisis, and bringing leadership that puts people first,” the statement reads.
Lisa Calderon and Penfield Tate, two other candidates in the mayoral election, expressed that Giellis has taken responsibility for her statements, but said that politicians should know about the NAACP.
Jamie will redouble her effort & commitment to serving the Black community and all historically marginalized communities in Denver by spelling out a specific agenda to rebuild Black community wealth, which has been depleted over the past eight years under the current mayor. 3/12
— Lisa Calderón for Denver Mayor (@Lisa4Denver) May 16, 2019