Morro Bay Stands Up for Justice
Admittedly, January 6, 2021 was a dark day in our country. As I sat and watched rioters storming the Capitol, I couldn’t help but think about the principles of nonviolence and the methodology of nonviolent protest. I learned that methodology first-hand from the man many believe was the most nonviolent person in modern history, Martin Luther King, Jr.
That evening as I perused friend’s posts on Facebook, all of which were filled with dismay and anger, I saw that none of them suggested that they would contact their congressional representatives to call for the removal of Donald Trump by invoking the 25th amendment or impeachment. I posted this suggestion: “Don’t just whine and cry over this, contact your congressperson and ask for the 25th amendment.” Then I put my money where my mouth was, to speak a cliché. I emailed Congressman Salud Carbajal through his website first offering concern for his and his family’s safety and then to “please bring forth a request for congress to invoke the 25th amendment and remove Donald Trump.” I then posted that on Facebook. No one else ever indicated they did the same. Apparently, my friends no longer believe in representative government and that’s too bad, because Congressman Carbajal did exactly what I asked him to do. He also quickly responded to my email. A lesson for those of you who think this process does not work.
I thought that was it. I wouldn’t hear from anyone else locally. But I was wrong. I forgot. Morro Bay is a Nonviolent City. As such, our city council representatives have heard many comments from me over the past few years, reminding them we have in place a Peace Proclamation and that we are part of the national Nonviolent Cities Project. Oddly enough this time I hadn’t contacted them. I didn’t need to. On January 14th, the City Council of Morro Bay became the first city council to formally call for Donald Trump’s removal! Publicly! In the San Luis Obispo Tribune newspaper! Oh, and yes, they wrote to our congressman.
The article states, “Citing a need to speak out against a president for inciting violence against the government of the United States and the U.S. Capitol, the Morro Bay City Council unanimously approved a letter calling for Donald Trump’s removal from office through the impeachment process.”
The letter states, “The Morro Bay City Council joins calls for President Donald Trump’s immediate removal from office, by impeachment, for inciting violence against the government of the United States and the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the results of the free and fair election that he lost cannot be met with silence.”
While politics in Morro Bay is often just as divisive as it is nationally, this time there was unity. Each of the five councilpersons supported this action and denounced Trump for his role in the rioting of January 6th.
Councilman Robert “Red” Davis said, “Donald Trump urged citizens to march on the Capitol and prevent elected officials from performing their constitutional duty. That’s sedition. Donald Trump is a clear and present danger and he must be removed from the office as soon as it can be done.”
Councilwoman Dawn Addis commented, “The letter reinforces that democracy gives us (politicians) the privilege to lead, and it’s because of our democracy we are allowed to serve.”
Addis also commented that the council included in their statements an urgency for the US Senate to conduct a trial and convict Trump thereby preventing him from holding office again.
Mayor John Headding further said, “For me, it’s an emotional situation. I’ve never witnessed anything like this in my lengthy life now as a senior citizen. Who would think we would ever see this? It is so important for us to respond to it. It is a very upsetting time. … I’m glad that we’re doing this.”
Even councilman Jeff Heller, who is not always in agreement with his fellow councilpersons, stated that he is often not supportive of proclamations on national levels, “but on this matter, it’s different and I completely support it.”
Morro Bay did not stop there. They also sent letters to the state capitol and other federally elected officials to do the same.
I was elated that they did this! Immediately, I emailed every councilperson to thank them reminding them that they acted in compliance with our Peace Proclamation and truly exhibited the principles of what constitutes a nonviolent city.
Whether or not every citizen in town supports such an action is, of course, questionable as I am sure there is other opinions and feelings, but hopefully most will see that this action by their city is one to be proud of and that citizens can count on a local government to do the upstanding thing and support justice for all.
Quoted excerpts are from the January 14, 2021 article written by Nick Wilson of the San Luis Obispo Tribune.