Did You Move to Vallejo?
Candidate Hakeem Brown Thinks You Should Sit Down and Shut Up
We all recognize that we have a number of serious and seemingly intractable problems to address in our city, many that are decades old. Entrenched racial divisions, a struggling public school system, long term financial mismanagement and municipal bankruptcy, poverty, homelessness, lack of medical services - the list goes on. This year we will be voting to replace Vallejo’s Mayor, who will serve as the face of city government for the next four years. This person will lead the effort to come to grips with factors that are driving a deteriorating financial outlook.
Candidate Hakeem Brown has a ready answer for all these problems. You simply hold people accountable. If you did not grow up in Vallejo you may be surprised to learn that it is you Mr. Brown wants to hold accountable. “Cause this Vallejo that these newbies created. That’s bullshit.” he declares in a zoom meeting with a friendly audience. Mr. Brown thinks your ‘newbie’ opinions don’t matter and you need to sit down and let the natives like him lead.
His perspective is beyond peculiar since it is the old political establishment clinging to power that is most responsible for the situation we find ourselves in today. That's the very same network he is counting on to further his own political ambitions. It is unclear how exactly holding people accountable fixes our budget problems, or fills the obvious gaps in badly needed services - particularly when you target the wrong people.
Mr. Brown does not say how many years it takes to become a “real Vallejoan” but apparently longer than the vast majority of city residents have been around. Here’s a sampling from the same meeting where he tells us what he really thinks about more recent arrivals.
“You’re not from here. You didn’t build this community and you don’t know anything about this community.”
“More than likely you didn’t grow up here. You ain’t spent a lot of time here. You’re retired. You could give a damn about any kid that lives here and as much as you act like you care about poor people or Black people or Brown people you could give a goddamn about them based on your actions. We don’t need your leadership.” “I tell people, I don’t got no shining white knight. Go sit your butts down and let us lead.”
“Bullshit lip service from these transplants.”
“The next thing I know we’ll have a whole bunch of new people coming to Vallejo who swear they know what is best for us. Right? We keep getting people who come in ain’t been here and now you want to be an advocate. Period.”
“The only thing you guys share in common is your newness to this community and your privilege. That’s it. You all ain’t got nothing in common with real Vallejoans.”
“We’re really going to be holding people accountable. If we don’t do anything we’re going to be holding people accountable. If you’ve been on bullshit we’re coming to get your ass in November. Coming to get your ass in November. I don’t care who you are. We’re coming to get you. And when I say we I mean Vallejo. Vallejo is coming to get you."
Hear that all you newbies who created this bullshit Vallejo? All you transplants with your bullshit lip service? The real Vallejoans are coming to get you in November. They don’t care who you are.
You might want to vote for Robert McConnell instead.