Woke mobs are coming for you if you are an elected official with conservative values. In cities and towns all across America, organized and well-funded protest groups have begun attacking city councilors, mayors, county commissioners, and members of school boards. It’s not just the big cities. Increasingly, small towns have faced similar harassment. The woke mob has targeted local elected officials for the sin of not being sufficiently woke. Its goal appears to be to intimidate conservatives from getting involved at any level of government. It also appears that the mob efforts are expanding faster than anyone realizes.
Here in Oregon, the small, rural, conservative-leaning towns of Estacada and Mollala have recently seen elected officials threatened with recall. In Oregon City, a medium-sized city south of Portland, a protest group has organized a recall against the mayor. The suburb of Gresham saw resignations from its mayor, city manager, and chief of police. And in Salem, the state’s capital, several school board members have been targeted for destruction.
This trend is growing and expanding and it appears to be the work of well-funded progressive groups on the local level with ties to large national non-profits pushing a radical agenda.
In Estacada, Mayor Sean Drinkwine was forced to apologize after he posted in a Facebook group, “I would not and have not condoned these BLM Vigils in our community. All city staff and I are working tirelessly to shut these Vigils down … Our number one concern is to keep our city safe and free from conflict.”
Dan Holladay, the Mayor of Oregon City, is now facing recall for attempting to cite, perhaps clumsily, accurate statistics about the number of African Americans shot by police across America:
Holladay has faced backlash after writing on Nextdoor that a small number of Black people were killed by police, though he gave no timeframe, and that, in some cases, the officers were being prosecuted for their actions.
“That is hardly an epidemic,” he wrote in the since-deleted post.
His comments came amid ongoing protests after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis in late May after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Holladay was also criticized for a post asking how there could be “protests, riots, looting and vandalism” in Portland, but the state wouldn’t sanction Fourth of July fireworks shows in some of Oregon’s smaller communities.
In a statement to the commission, Holladay condemned the Minneapolis police officers but defended his posts. He also seemed to equate anger over his posts with an endorsement of the destructive behavior that has accompanied some of the mostly peaceful protests in larger cities.
In Gresham, long-time Republican Mayor Shane Bemis became the third high-ranking city official to submit his resignation in the period of a week, after a conflict over promoting a person of color to the position of city manager:
Bemis’ resignation comes within days of both the police chief and city manager leaving their respective jobs. Since Thursday, city manager Erik Kvarsten and Police Chief Robin Sells have stepped down. Both said they were retiring.
The resignations come during a time in which allegations of racism within city government have surfaced. Deputy city manager Corey Falls, a black man, sent an internal letter to city leadership that called out racism and lack of support for him and other employees of color.
“My reception into the city of Gresham has been at best dismal,” Falls wrote. “It was very clear to me that those in (leadership) were not going to accept or support a black man in a leadership position.”
Sells sent an email Sunday to city officials saying she’d been pushed out of her job because Falls accused her of racism.
According to The Oregonian, which obtained Sells’ letter through a public records request, Sells said her family gave her a gnome statue as a present when she started as chief. Some officers took the statue and posted it in different locations as a prank. While the statue was still missing, Sells wrote that she told a crowd at an awards banquet, “it’s time to return my gnome, as gnome lives matter also.” Sells wrote that Falls called the remark racist.
The instance in the Salem-Keizer School Board is the most brazen so far.
At a meeting of the board on Tuesday night, the issue of Safety Resource Officers (SROs) in schools came up, after discussions at previous meetings. Having police in schools has become a hot-button issue, with the woke mob believing that removing cops makes schools less violent. Portland Public Schools and several other local districts have already removed SROs in the wake of the George Floyd murder while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police.