A Yacolt town council member who introduced a proclamation “acknowledging and denouncing systemic and institutional racism” is facing calls for her resignation.
Councilmember Amy Boget introduced the proclamation that was ultimately rejected during a meeting on July 6. Councilmember Malita Moseley voted in favor of the resolution, while councilmembers Herb Noble, Marina Viray and Michelle Dawson opposed it.
At a meeting Monday, Boget made a motion that the town council join the Clark County Council and several local civil rights organizations in a listening session on systemic racism. The council didn’t second Boget’s motion, and Dawson added her name to the list of those calling for her resignation.
“You have caused an uproar in this town,” Dawson said. “You’re the one that’s wrong, and I am openly calling for your resignation.”
Dawson’s comment came during a nearly 3 1/2 -hour meeting, most of which was spent discussing the proclamation and the town’s reaction to it.
“I appreciate all the people that called in support. I appreciate the people that called not in support,” Boget said. “I’m not going to resign.”
Dozens of commenters called in to the virtual meeting Monday, most of whom did not identify their names or places of residence. Opinions were mixed, though most of the callers opposed the proclamation.
Several commenters called for Boget’s resignation or expressed support for a recall effort. A handful also came to Boget’s defense.
The acrimonious exchanges at the meeting Monday were largely fueled by discussions online following the proclamation’s rejection earlier this month.
Hours after the July 6 meeting, Boget posted on Facebook that, “This is my hill, come what may. Are you ready for three more years? Because I am. And I won’t. Back. Down.”
The post included several hashtags relating to the town’s culture and systemic racism. In the nearly 200 comments under it, and other posts in the ensuing weeks, commenters argued over the merits of the proclamation.
Some accused Boget of bringing negative attention to the town, expressing fears that the discussion could attract violence.
Those for and against the proclamation, including some councilmembers, accused each other of “doxxing,” also known as the publishing of someone’s personal information online with malicious intent. Town residents discussed protests at public officials’ homes.
Mayor Katie Listek weighed in on the issue Monday, saying that she also opposed the proclamation.
“If we are condemning the system that we rely on, that can absolutely be a problem,” Listek said. “It’s causing a strife in our town. It’s dividing us more than anything.”