Female leaders ask Brett Watson to resign

(The following letter was submitted to the Mad River Union this afternoon. The Arcata City Council meets tonight to discuss Watson – Ed.)

May 17, 2022

 

Brett Watson,

 

We are women leaders who live in, work in, care about, and/or frequent Arcata. We are daughters, mothers, business owners, elected officials, and so much more. We have read the report and have been talking in private circles about the report and the responses to it. We are here to share. 

Most of us have known a “Brett Watson” in our lives – a man who took liberties while passing the blame on to the victims of his harassment. Most of us have experienced or witnessed the victim of harassment being left to defend themselves, or only supported by whisper networks. We are done accepting men like you that treat this behavior as the norm.

We know that leadership is not just about power for ourselves. We have responsibilities to ourselves, each other, and the community to use our platforms for the greater good. As such, we stand together in this letter to make a demand:

You must resign. 

We know you probably will ignore this and the countless other calls for your resignation. But this moment isn’t just about you. We want the young people in our community to see that we expect more from leadership. We want them to know that we will stand with them when they meet a “Brett Watson” in their lives – and hopefully they will know who among us to come to for help. 

Local youth have bravely spoken out this year about sexual assault, harrassment, and other forms of sexualized violence. They know the world is often tolerant of abuses of power from people with platforms, and worry the adults of the world will not do enough to make it safer for the next generation of leaders. The youth of Arcata and the surrounding communities deserve leadership that values the safety and belonging of everyone in our community, regardless of power. 

For the safety of current and future colleagues–especially women and girls– and to model for others what taking responsibility for your actions looks like, we demand that you resign from your position on City Council. 

With love for our community,

 

Amanda Peçanha Hickey

Andrea Alstone, Arcata resident

Angelica Lua, Child Abuse and Neglect Coordinator;IFECMH, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Aristea Saulsbury, Clerk, Northern Humboldt Union High School District Board; Co-Director of Stepping Stone Consulting; Prevention and Community Outreach Project Manager, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Beth Herrmann, Purchasing Manager Open Door Community Health Centers

Bonnie Oliver, Chair, McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee

Brittany Erez

Carla Osborn

Caroline Griffith, Executive Director, Northcoast Environmental Center

Cassandra Crawford, Youth Program Operator, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Cat Koshkin

Catherine Holloway

Chloe Eicher, Speech Language Pathologist, Arcata Citizen

Cindy Vickers, Director of Fiscal Services, Northern Humboldt Union High School District

Cori Jara, Program Manager, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Cybelle Immitt, Humboldt County resident, daughter, sister, mother, friend

Dana Silvernale, Trustee, Northern Humboldt Union High School District Board

Desiree Davenport, former Director, Humboldt Community Services District; former board member, Redwood Regional Economic Development Commission

Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy, Arcata resident

Esther Hutton, Mother and Director of the Manila Community Resource Center

Gayle Conway, Director of Student Services, Northern Humboldt Union High School District

Heather Equinoss

Hillarie Beyer, Executive Director, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Jacqueline Dandeneau Mother, Community Member, Feminist, Artist

Jen Rice

Jennifer Black

Julie Ryan, Humboldt County resident

Heidi Moore-Gunyap, Humboldt County Educator, CalPoly Humboldt Lecturer

Kara Simpson

Katie Koscielak, Humboldt County resident

Kelly Nord, Humboldt County Resident

Lisa Dugan, McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee

Lori Biondini, Humboldt County resident

Martha Spencer, Former Director of Humboldt County Planning and Building Department

Mary Burke, Former Director, McKinleyville Community Services District

Maya Conrad, McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee

Melissa Meiris, Co-Director, Stepping Stone Consulting

Michelle Fuller

Nani Villa, Lead case manager, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Natalie Arroyo

Natalie Giannini, Trustee Northern Humboldt Union High School District Board; Lecturer at Cal Poly Humboldt

Rachel Watson, McKinleyville Educator

Robin Baker, Program Manager, McKinleyville Family Resource Center, former Arcata Planning Commissioner

Sandi Byrd, Hospitality and Volunteer Program Manager, McKinleyville Family Resource Center

Sheri Woo, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District President, Redwood Coast Energy Authority Board Member

Sofia Pereira, Former Arcata Mayor and Councilmember

Stephanie Lumsden, Board member of the Native Women’s Collective, Adjunct faculty at Cal Poly Humboldt

Taffy Stockton

Terra Tolley, Newborn Foundation

Theresa Grosjean, President, Northern Humboldt Union High School District Board of Trustees

Tiffany Maher, Morris Elementary School Principal