Constituents gather in Ed Royce’s neighborhood for vigil-themed rally over Affordable Care Act, immigration and alleged avoidance of a Town Hall meeting

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A crowd gathered near the alleged house of 39th Congressional District Rep. Ed Royce to hold a vigil-themed rally protesting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and federal immigration policies. (Sarah Wolstoncroft / Daily Titan)

A procession of people holding candles lined Rodeo Road as organizers directed them up the street and led the crowd in a somber hymn during a vigil-themed rally.

The crowd stopped in front of a row of houses, one of which allegedly belongs to CSUF alumnus and 39th Congressional District Rep. Ed Royce. People proceeded to lay flowers and candles on the street as speakers went up one by one to “mourn” the Affordable Care Act, immigration policies and Royce’s alleged avoidance of constituents.

Among the speakers was professor Shana Charles, Ph.D., of the health sciences department at Cal State Fullerton, who spoke alongside her daughter.

Charles, who is also co-chair of the action committee at Indivisible California D-39, an organization devoted to holding congressional representatives accountable to their districts, said that Royce not only avoids meeting with people, but that he is “hostile to any communication.”

Royce could not be reached for comment on the matter.

“I got blocked from his Facebook page–I got blocked from commenting on his page,” Charles said.

Charles said she also got blocked from tweeting at Royce.

Charles’ daughter Lilianna Lavarreda, 10, said Royce blocked her on Instagram for a comment on one of his pictures imploring him to divert his focus from “handing out awards to librarians” to other issues.

“Cal State Fullerton cares about diversity and empowering multiculturalism. How can (Royce) stand to have a white supremacist in the people’s house if those are the values that you hold?” Charles said in regard to the fact that CSUF is Royce’s alma mater.

Charles says that she and other CSUF faculty members are preparing a “letter from faculty,” stating their displeasure with the current policies advocated by the White House.

Along with constituents, the vigil was organized in part by Unai Montes of SEIU 721 and was supported by other organizations like UDW Home Care Providers Union and Indivisible California D-39.

“The most important thing that we want is to make sure that his constituents are listened to,” Montes said.

Speakers like Margarita Guerrero of Fight for $15, an organization that advocates for workers receiving fair wages, addressed the need for unity among the crowd.

“I believe that if we stick together, we can do this together,” Guerrero said.

Lt. Thomas Oliveras of the Fullerton Police Department said the event was “very peaceful.”

“These vigils were part of a statewide day of action,” according to a post from the Facebook page of UDW Home Care Providers Union.

Vigils were reportedly held at the homes of other California congressmen, including Darrel Issa, Kevin Mccartney and Steve Knight.

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