Healdsburg Mayor Steps Down After Policing Comments

We can now add Healdsburg Mayor Leah Gold to the list of public officials who’ve been forced to resign over comments about Black Lives Matter. And she isn’t just leaving. She says she hopes a person of color will take her place.

It all started on June 1 when City Councilmember Joe Naujokas asked that a discussion about police use of force be added to the agenda. Gold dismissed the need.

“We don’t have that particular problem in Healdsburg, because we have a very good police chief who is on top of these issues and trains his staff in appropriate conflict-resolution methods” she said. “To me, it’s a solution looking for a problem."

Her comments ignited a backlash and an online petition that gathered at least 1,800 signatures. Gold later apologized and signed the Obama Foundation’s Mayor’s Pledge to support reforming police practices.

Gold’s resignation takes effect June 30 and will give a person of color the chance to run for a seat on the all-white council.

“Although I feel positively about my contributions and have many loyal supporters, I’m certain there are also many BIPOC members of our community who could serve our city well," Gold wrote in a statement. "As I’ve considered how I can help Healdsburg advance in racial justice during this critical juncture, I believe that one of the ways I can contribute is by creating a space for a person of color to join the City Council."


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