SAN GABRIEL VALLEY / COVER STORY : Voices of South El Monte

What some people in South El Monte say about the city's reaction--or lack of reaction--to the death of 16-month-old Maureen Ramirez, who was killed by gang gunfire Aug. 29:

"The (City) Council is so divided that even when a tragedy occurs, they can't come together."

--Community activist Helen Lujan

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"No one spoke."

--Assistant City Manager Steve Henley, referring to public reaction at a City Council meeting a few days after the shooting.

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"The city has a very negative reputation. But people who do live here, they like it. It's not that bad of a city."

--Mayor Vera Valdiviez

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"If you explore the city, the non-reaction is pretty anomalous because we've rallied around others in the past."

--Father Joseph Greeley of Epiphany Catholic Church, where the child's funeral was held.

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