A California councilwoman who recently announced the hiring of a local podcast host who once said elected officials should be “terrified for the rest of your life” said she doesn’t agree with the remark but cited his right to voice his opinion.
Sacramento Councilwoman Katie Valenzuela, who represents the city’s District 4, announced the hiring of Skyler Henry in a Facebook post last week. Henery, who co-hosts the progressive podcast “VOICES” River City,” a “Leftist news & truth-to-power commentary,” will be leading Valenzuela’s efforts on responding to constituents and digital media, she told Fox News.
“You 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,” Henry recently said of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona. “The same thing sort of applies with the mayor and city manager of this city.”
Henry did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.
The hire has concerned some who felt Henry was sympathetic to “Sactivists” following demonstrations outside the homes of local officials, as first reported by the California Globe. At one point, the group circulated “Wanted” posters lettered in bloody calligraphy on social media with pictures of Police Chief Daniel Hahn and City Manager Howard Chan, according to a March 28 letter signed by Valenzuela and other city leaders denouncing the targeting of Chan’s home.
The demonstration outside his home triggered a large police response and rebuke from civic leaders and business and civil rights groups, the Times reported.
Valenzuela said Henry made the remark before working for her while citing his First Amendment right.
“He’s expressed a willingness to work with the same colleagues that he was talking about in that quote,” she told Fox News. “I’m looking forward to see what he can do inside city government.”
Following the demonstrations, Hahn countered that some of the incidents were a form of “domestic terrorism,” according to the Times.
“If you look up the definition of terrorism, it says it’s using violence or intimidation for political gain,” he said. “In my opinion some of these incidents, the way they are trying to provoke fear, are domestic terrorism.”
In a joint statement to Fox News, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Chan, the city manager, said council members are responsible for hiring their own staff.
“Neither the Mayor’s office nor the City Manager’s office has a part in that process,” the statement said. “The Council member is the appointing authority.”
Valenzuela said Hahn’s language directed at the protesters was equally inappropriate as Henry’s.
“I think we need to own all on sides and hopefully move forward to solutions together,” she said.