I first met Darrell Steinberg in 2014.
I lived in Sycamore Terrace Apartments. They are right behind Nugget Market on Florin Road in Greenhaven. I lived in bldg 4 and so did Steinberg and his family. I would see him every day almost. He was hella friendly. He would say hello with a big smile. This was the same time I had just started Incite Insight. For months I was telling myself to talk to him. Back then I wanted to pursue a political office and he was a state senator at the time. So I really wanted to pick his mind but was very nervous to approach him. Finally, one day I saw him and stopped him. I told him I had just started an organization that wanted to combat police violence. I told him that I wanted to sit down with him one day and take any advice he had on reaching out to our political officials effectively.
Darrell Steinberg welcomed it and gave me his personal cell phone number.
I never ended up calling him.
I ended up learning real quick that I didn't want to run for an office. I learned a lot of things real quick, but was thankful that he was welcoming enough to the conversation.
Fast forward to the 2016 elections.
Darrell was running for the Mayor seat against Angelique Ashby.
At the time I had some small opinions about Ashby but nothing solid. I still liked Steinberg because he gave me his number and was so friendly when we used to live by each other.
So there was this town-hall for Black folks at Sol Collective. Mayoral candidates were supposed to be there to answer questions regarding the Black community and Black issues. Ashby was there. Someone asked her a question and she took it upon herself to say that she knew the "president" of Black Lives Matter Sacramento. Then she said the "president" was a half Mexican/half white girl that used to be involved in activism against police brutality (not Black Liberation).
So I called Angelique. I had no problem with her, I just wanted her to be clear that BLM doesn't engage in hierarchies like presidents and things. Also that we are a Black led organization. So a Mexican woman wouldn't be leading the chapter. I wanted to introduce myself so that she could know me personally.
I called her several times and she chose not to return my calls.
Her actions showed me that she didn't take Black leaders and Black community serious enough to acknowledge.
So after making several calls and her never calling back, I made a post on Facebook. She then decided to send me a message on Facebook trying to hold a discussion. I explained some things to her and at that point I officially decided that she was an unprofessional and unworthy council member. I didn't want her to win for Mayor either.
So I dug up the cell phone number that Darrell gave me. I wanted to give him a call, jog his memory, and discuss his stance on Black issues. I wanted to discuss his opponent and share with him the experience at the town-hall, and with her not returning calls.
I called Darrell and he angrily asked me how I got his number. I softly told reminded him of the scenario above. He then told me I don't need to be calling him and to contact his assistant. It was ten something in the morning. I was stunned, angered, and my feelings were kinda hurt. More than anything I was super surprised. This smiling man that gave me his number to sit down and talk about important Black issues, just showed me his entire ass and in the most arrogant way. Using the most scolding tone.
Fast Forward to 2017 as Mayor.
The video above was uploaded in March. He had only been in his seat for a few months and we were able to compile all these angry and rude moments of him as our cities leader. His face gets red, he yells, he is unapologetic about it all.
The power he thinks he has, has gone to his head already.
The Mayor can't even fire an officer. He is only the face of city government.
When Armani Lee was shot up by SacPD, we lifted his name in city council meetings. We asked for a stronger oversight commission. We mentioned how in 2016 Dazion Flenaugh, and Joseph Mann were killed by Sacramento's "finest" and how changes need to happen because it only escalates.
When Nandi Cain was beaten in the street by SacPD, brought to the Sacramento County Jail and beaten by Sacramento Sheriff deputies, the community went to city council and reminded our Mayor of the patterns of police abuse by Sacramento police.
When Zityrua Abraham was thrown on her 7 month pregnant belly by SacPD officers right before they discovered they had took down the door of the wrong house, we went to city council and reminded the mayor of the same fucking patterns his department was continuing to display on a quarterly basis now. We demanded for changes!
All the mayor ever offered was dialogue.
We have talked enough.
We have provided this council with all of the ideas, all the pain from families, all of the statistics, all of the ways to resolve this issue...and they want to keep having discussion when every 3.5 months someone is being killed or beaten by our Sacramento Police Department.
When Stephon Clark was murdered in his own back yard, national media was all over the place in Sacramento. Build Black was created and conversations between some of the folks in Build Black, with our cities elected officials, started to transpire. On June 8th, two days after the death of Brandon Smith, many members and leaders in the community sat down with Steinberg.
I can smell bullshit from 100 miles away. He isn't even a good actor.
He sat in his chair and expressed how he wants to help fix things. He called himself someone that advocated against the same things we are fighting. He touted his "progressive" record while working in the capitol all the way through to his time as mayor. He talked about money that was provided for issues [because he informed us that they can't be isolated to specific racial demographics since he is the mayor of all people in Sacramento], that he prided himself in making happen. He had to be taught about equity. He had to be informed that the monies didn't reach the most marginalized.
He sat in his chair like he always does, being taught like we always do, and sitting in faux agreement with us.
Then that following Tuesday we went to city council with the family of Brandon Smith and this happened...
The other day.
We got an email about a Black man that has no home, being arrested by SacPD. He was thrown in the back of a wagon while complying with police. He could be heard yelling to get their foot off of his neck! We don't have his name so we cannot find him to help him.
But these are the things that will continue to happen in this city under this mayor.
They will continue to happen in this state, with him in any state elected position.
They will continue to happen in this country, with him in any federal elected position.
Darrell Steinberg doesn't serve the people and doesn't deserve to have a future in government.
This system doesn't deserve to exist, especially when its existence is funded by the fruit of our labor.
The best one....June 26th y'all..."to hell with you" he says to his constituents after screaming at them:
Join us on July 24th at city council. We have some things to tell our mayor, and something to give him.
Mayor Steinberg, meetings will continue to be uncomfortable while you continue to disrespect the people.
Fix your mouth when you are talking to the people!
- August 24 - Abolish & Rebuild: How To Start Your Black Business - Belle Coolege Library 5:30pm
- August 31 - 1st Annual Black Community Fest - James McClatchy Park 2pm