Sacramento, CA

Sacramento councilmember receives outpouring of support against possible recall effort

Robert J Hansen

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Sacramento Councilmember Katie Valenzuela speaking at a defund the police press conference on May 18, 2021.(Photo by Robert J Hansen)

A fundraiser is being held on Thursday for Sacramento councilmember Katie Valenzuela after learning about a possible recall effort in September.

Valenzuela and her staff learned from constituents that a push-poll is being conducted asking questions with phrasing designed to raise doubt in her leadership and spread misinformation attacking her character and politics.

According to Valenzuela, the polling agency called and emailed her constituents both with the same questions.

“They framed it as statements made by people who have concerns about my job performance and instructed people to answer each question if it raised doubts to them,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela said the pollsters asked questions framed as someone who had concerns about her job performance, about demographics, and who they would vote for in a recall election which she and her staff are taking seriously.

“If they have the money to hire a company to do a push-poll you probably have the resources to gather enough signatures to qualify for a recall,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela said she is grateful for the support she is receiving from her supporters throughout Sacramento.

Evan Minton is co-organizer of the fundraiser gathering for the councilmember which will be downtown next week.

“When we first heard about this polling, a lot of people reached out to me and asked me what they could do to help Katie,” Minton said.

Minton and a friend decided to hold the fundraiser because of how important Valenzuela is being on the city council for unhoused residents, the LGBTQ community, and criminal justice reform.

“Katie fights for dignity for our unhoused neighbors. She fights for affordable housing and criminal justice reform. She fights for things that matter to people who are most in need,” Minton said.

Supporters of Valenzuela were made aware that a statewide polling firm began surveying and calling constituents of the councilmember with a clear intent to provoke community members into opposing our councilmember remaining in office.

People in the LGBTQ community are disproportionately homeless, live in poverty, and are involved in the criminal justice system according to Minton.

“We do not know who is paying for the polling and phone calls, but we do know that this is not only a threat to our councilmember, but a threat to our values,” Minton said.

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Flyer for fundraiserCourtesy Facebook

Minton had such an outpouring of people who wanted to support Valenzuela, they had to update the flyer every day because more and more people asked to co-host at the fundraiser.

The co-host committee is composed of over 35 members from the greater Sacramento area including Assemblymember Kevin McCarty and SMUD board of director Heidi Sanborn.

West Sacramento councilmember Norma Alcala thinks it’s unfair that Valenzuela has come under attack by the group paying for the push-poll and that she is a representative for all the people and not just an elite autocratic group.

“She is doing the right thing. The status quo just doesn’t work anymore,” Alcala said. “She’s taken a fresh approach to real social and economic challenges.”

Alcala, one of the co-hosts, thinks the former council member is responsible for the push poll.

“It’s Steve Hansen and his group. It’s very obvious,” Alcala said. “And it just kills me the way they attack our Latina leaders.”

Minton said the fundraiser event will be an opportunity for people who care about criminal justice reform, LGBTQ rights, and homelessness to come together and share ideas.

“We might have games, I’m not sure yet. We’re going to have fun whatever it is,” Minton said.

Tickets are available here.

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Robert J Hansen is an investigative journalist and economist. Focused on holding elected officials, police and the courts accountable to the people throughout the greater Sacramento area.

Sacramento, CA
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