The Latest – Thursday, June 17
Following the news of the restraining order against Skyler Henry, NorCal Resist released a statement that read in part:
“This week, Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela’s newest hire, Skyler Henry, received notice that the City of Sacramento is pursuing a restraining order seeking to keep Henry out of City Hall. Why? Because Henry is a vocal part of Sacramento’s left community, who has publicly shown support for anti-racist and anti-fascist groups and causes.”
The full statement from NorCal Resist can be read at the bottom of this article.
Original story below:
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Sacramento City Council made a near-unanimous decision in favor of seeking a temporary restraining order against a representative who was recently hired by District 4 Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela.
City council made the decision in an 8-1 vote.
The petition for the restraining order also includes the wife and children of City Manager Howard Chan.
Attorneys for the city of Sacramento are taking what Wednesday’s press release called an “unusual step” in asking for a restraining order against Skyler Michel-Evleth that would prevent him from physically interacting with other city employees. If granted, the order would go into effect prior to Michel-Evleth’s first day of work.
Valenzuela appointed Michel-Evleth as her council representative on June 4.
Days later, Fox News reported a statement made by Michel-Evleth, a current cohost of the local “Voices: River City” podcast, in which he said Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema “should be terrified for the rest of your life.”
“You should never be able to leave your house, if that is how you are going to use your position to govern. The same thing sort of applies with the mayor and city manager of this city,” he went on to say.
Wednesday’s release cited the quote, claiming Michel-Evleth “has advocated physical harassment of public officials with whom he disagrees.”
“Notably, when discussing recent protests at the private home of City Manager Howard Chan, Michel-Evleth stated officials who do not conform to certain policy beliefs ‘should be terrified every day’ of their lives in anticipation of retribution from an angry public. He went on to explain that he does not believe non-conforming officials should be allowed to live peacefully or to leave their homes with any expectation of safety,” the city’s release reads.
Back in March, a group of around 20 advocates held a protest outside of City Manager Chan’s home demanding he do a better job of holding Sacramento officers accountable. City officials denounced the demonstration, saying, “Protest at City Hall, not outside someone’s bedroom.”
On Sunday, Councilwoman Valenzuela went to Twitter to respond to the report by Fox News.
“The comment, while not eloquently spoken, was that elected officials are beholden to the public that elected them, and should expect to be held accountable for their actions,” Valenzuela tweeted. “Skyler never threatened anyone directly & did not participate in the recent protests at the homes of Mayor Steinberg & City Manager Chan. He has committed no acts that should cause anyone fear, and has assured me & others that he does not wish any harm on anyone at City Hall.”
Michel-Evleth, who goes by the last name Henry, said he was notified of the temporary restraining order Tuesday night. In a response to the news, he shared a letter he had written to Mayor Darrell Steinberg and City Manager Chan just last week.
“I also want to address some concerns definitively and clearly: I do not condone or support violence perpetrated against anyone who works at City Hall, and it is not my wish to see anyone come to any harm. Full stop,” he wrote in the letter.
His response to the restraining order can be read in full below.
Last evening, I received a phone call from the City of Sacramento informing me they are going to seek a restraining order against me from entering City Hall.
I am beyond disappointed in the recent vote by Sacramento City Council to pursue this against me.
We expected there would be some within the City that objected to my appointment because I have exercised my right to criticize and oppose many of the leaders within our government, including the Mayor, members of City Council, as well as some City staff members.
While I can understand why some may have objected to what I’ve said in the past, seeking a restraining order against me so I cannot go to City Hall and perform the job I was hired to perform is just plain wrong.
Last week, I provided a letter directly to the Mayor and City Manager expressing my enthusiasm for starting work with the city, acknowledging that I have some fences to mend- and that I’m dedicated to working hard to achieve that end, and that I in no way endorse or condone violence toward them or anyone else at City Hall.
Sharing the letter at the end of this thread. I could not have been more clear or genuine in my outreach to them.
I have never stated I, or anyone else, should commit violence against City leaders or City staff. I have never committed a violent act against anyone.
I firmly believe some members of the City have created this entire situation to suppress dissent and that it reflects a shameful political attack against Councilwoman Valenzuela.
We are not backing down from this improper effort to prevent me from doing the important work Councilwoman Valenzuela hired me to perform.
The people of District 4 elected Katie Valenzuela to staff and run her office in an effort to serve Sacramento constituents to the best of her ability, and it is unconscionable that the rest of City Council and the Mayor are holding votes behind closed doors to prevent that mission from succeeding.
The people of Sacramento deserve better.Skyler Henry
NorCal Resist also released a statement regarding the restraining order against Hery.
This week, Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela’s newest hire, Skyler Henry, received notice that the City of Sacramento is pursuing a restraining order seeking to keep Henry out of City Hall. Why? Because Henry is a vocal part of Sacramento’s left community, who has publicly shown support for anti-racist and anti-fascist groups and causes. What does that even mean? Henry has strongly spoken out against police brutality, the unhoused crisis in our city, and other important issues on his personal social media accounts and the Voices: River City podcast.
We know Henry from his media work, which we respect and appreciate for covering issues often ignored by our local mainstream outlets, and also because he lends a hand to many local groups, including NorCal Resist, where he’s helped distributed gifts and food to immigrant families in need. As an organization, we take security culture seriously, and we know Skyler to be a trustworthy, caring person who seeks to make our community better. And of course, like us, he is against fascism and racism.
Since the George Floyd uprising, the city has engaged in a campaign of harassment against activists on the left, while turning a blind eye to the violence of white supremacists who continue to use the State Capitol as a gathering point.
In the past year, numerous protestors have been held on bails of $100,000 and above, for charges that often lack any merit. These arrests, have not lead to prosecutions or convictions, serve only as an ugly political purpose for city leaders. Young people have lost jobs because they were unable to make it to work due to needless arrests. They have been saddled with impound fees, loss of cell phones and other property, and, most importantly, have been sent the strong message that they are being watched by people who can literally take their lives with impunity.
The city has spent millions of dollars protecting white supremacist groups and politicians, while ignoring the safety of, and unreasonably punishing, young people asserting their rights to speak out against hate, racism, fascism, xenophobia, homophobia, and the corrupt systems that oppress BIPOC.
In the past months, at least three activists have been served warrants seeking access to personal social media accounts, causing even more anxiety and fear to members of Sacramento’s left, who routinely share the kinds of political memes and event notices cited by the city in its application for a restraining order against Henry. Henry’s major crime, according to those documents, is saying that political leaders who routinely sell out their working class constituents in favor of wealth and corporate interests should not be comfortable. We agree.
Political pressure is needed in order for the interests of our most vulnerable community members to be taken seriously. There is a climate catastrophe at our doorstep. Each day, we see another young Black person shot in the streets (and in their cars, and their homes). An eviction crisis is about to push even more families into the streets, while rents skyrocket. One in five Californian children is living in poverty. Yet, politicians continue to live comfortably, while their constituents suffer.
This is a message to any politician who is not actively fighting for a better future for our children—you do not deserve to feel comfortable, and political activists who are fighting for a better future do not deserve to be the targets of political harassment and repression.NorCal Resist