“Denounce and decry…tone deaf, irresponsible and unreasonable actions.”
Car caravan protest to be held Tuesday in downtown Richmond.
By Chris Flink, Communications Specialist, SEIU Local 1021
During the Tuesday, June 9 2020 meeting of the Richmond City Council, Mayor Tom Butt facetiously introduced a motion to “defund the police department and save seventy million dollars”. (See https://youtu.be/hZ5RTBtwxu8?t=16934; at the 4 hours, 42 minutes, 14 seconds mark) Richmond is facing budget shortfalls, and has been investigating ways to close gaps between income and expenditures. During that process five unions worked to identify creative and common-sense ways to close those gaps without layoffs and service cuts, which would deny Richmond residents important services and take good jobs away from the city.
After Mayor Butt’s announcement, the unions and Contra Costa Labor Council wrote the Mayor and all City Council members the letter below.
A car caravan protest will be held Tuesday, June 16, at 4:30 p.m., starting at Richmond’s Main Library located at 325 Civic Center Plaza.
June 11, 2020
Richmond City Council
440 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, CA 94804
Mayor Butt & Councilmembers,
The Contra Costa Labor Council, AFL-CIO and Richmond City Employee Unions copied herein (Fire Fighters Local 188, IFPTE Local 21, RPOA, RPMA and SEIU Local 1021) denounce and decry the Mayor’s tone deaf, irresponsible and unreasonable actions at the Richmond City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 9. When the community stands up, proclaims Black Lives Matter, and demands change, that community deserves better than a Mayor sarcastically making a motion to do away with Richmond’s police force. The Mayor’s comments were intended to be divisive and trivialized the serious work Richmond City Employee Unions have done to find needed solutions to the City’s budget shortfall.
Richmond City Employee Unions and their membership come to the bargaining table in good faith, intending to serve the community and make Richmond a fair, equitable place that works for all of its residents. It is clear and disappointing that the Mayor is not engaging in these conversations in good faith. In this time of global pandemic and a looming economic crisis, Richmond’s residents and workforce deserve leadership from the Mayor’s office, not trolling and tantrums.
On Tuesday, June 16, at 4:30 p.m., community and labor groups will join together for a car caravan in Richmond to continue the serious dialogue in the need for city services.
Contra Costa Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Fire Fighters Local 188
IFPTE Local 21
Richmond Police Officers Association
Richmond Police Managers Association
SEIU Local 1021
The motion by Butt was tabled on a 4-3 vote led by Councilmember Nathaniel Bates to “table the entire discussion”, with Council Members Eduardo Martinez and Melvin Williams joining the mayor in opposing it, wanting further discuss ion of the idea.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.