Jovanka Beckles: Ridiculing Colleagues and Richmond Residents

Radio Free Richmond


Disclaimer: The following is an email Councilmember Jovanka Beckles sent to Mayor Tom Butt. Although Councilmember Beckles wanted this not to be published, all correspondence from an elected or appointed official covered by the Brown Act is a public document and subject to requests for access from the media and the public.


I would like to suggest that you deescalate your campaign to ridicule me and other members of the Richmond community.  
1. It is simply insensitive for you to continue your ridicule of Richmond residents.  Not so long ago social convention allowed making fun of people with deformities. Indeed in our history it was permissible to ridicule LGBT, African Americans, Immigrants, Jews and many others. It is no longer acceptable to ridicule people with mental health problems or people who feel pain whether from physical or mental sources. Our public officials should lead the way to a caring society and not promote intolerance. 
2. We may disagree on the appropriateness of the resolution passed 5-2 by the Council. But your continued public campaign with snide comments on this issue gives the wrong impression of Richmond suggesting that the Mayor and the Council are preoccupied with rays from space and chem trails.  You are the one distorting what was passed and keeping alive the distortions that are feeding many pseudo-news writers who love to attack Richmond.  
3. The actual resolution that the city council passed was simply support to the Space Preservation Treaty and a proposed Act by then Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee and others. The basic concept—that we want space to be weapon free—I believe is something that most of Richmond supports.   

I ask you to stop your campaign. If there are any actual problems for the city as a result of the resolution, I would certainly be happy to talk to you to help resolve them.  I have communicated myself with the Police Chief and we agree that our PD should not be taking time to respond to numerous communications on this issue.   


Photo courtesy Richmond Confidential

Showing 6 reactions

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  • Charles Smith
    commented 2015-06-03 20:52:58 -0700
    Here is the exact wording of the resolution that was passed:
    WHEREAS, the Space Preservation Treaty has established an outer space peacekeeping
    agency to monitor outer space and enforce the permanent ban of space-based weapons. In
    addition, this legislation serves as a safeguard for targeted individuals who claim to be under
    assault from weaponry that should be outlawed by the Space Preservation Act.
    WHEREAS, the well-being of all residents is of the upmost importance to the City of
    NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of
    Richmond hereby supports the Space Preservation Act and companion Space Preservation
    Treaty, to ensure that individuals will not be targets of space-based weapons
  • Eleanor Piez
    commented 2015-06-03 18:19:59 -0700
    The headline is misleading. It makes it sound like Councilmember Beckles is ridiculing colleagues and residents. The e-mail message itself does not do that at all. Please change the headline so it’s more clear.
  • Don Gosney
    commented 2015-06-03 15:33:55 -0700
    Councilmember Beckles emailed the entire Council plus the Chief of Police. This placed her email in the public domain. She has no expectation of privacy. Even if she placed the disclaimer that it was not for publication, as a public official she doesn’t have that choice. I’m sure she remembers this from when she was tutored about the Brown Act when she was first elected.

    Even If Mayor Butt tells us that he did not share this with anyone, should we make the same assumption that the others that she sent it to didn’t share this with other people and how many did they then share it with?

    If anyone is concerned about keeping secrets between members of the Council, this should concern us all. I thought that the mantra of this Council was transparency. By law, there are no secrets between elected officials.
  • Tom Butt
    commented 2015-06-03 06:45:38 -0700
    I did not share this email from Jovanka with anyone. Someone else to whom it was copied must have forwarded it.
  • Charles Smith
    commented 2015-06-02 22:03:35 -0700
    Try using this site Richmond steaming site:
    Go to the video for the May 19th meeting then advance the time to 3:10:39. If it works you’ll be able to see the full discussion on the space weapons.
  • Charles Smith
    commented 2015-06-02 20:22:54 -0700
    To hear and see the Richmond City Council discuss and vote on the space weapons issue go to 3:10:39.
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