Vallejo Chamber of Commerce pulls support of Brown’s mayoral campaign

by John Glidden | Oct. 16, 2020

VALLEJO –The fallout from a recent report outlining Vallejo Councilman Hakeem Brown’s troubles with domestic violence continued Friday when ValPAC, the political arm of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce, pulled its endorsement of Brown’s mayoral campaign.

“As a public official, a candidate’s past conduct matters. Our city deserves and we expect
honesty, integrity, competence, compassion and confidence in our elected officials,” according to a ValPAC press release. “Given these most recent reports, ValPAC and the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce are withdrawing our endorsement of Councilmember Hakeem Brown for Mayor of the City of Vallejo.”

Earlier this week, the independent newsroom Open Vallejo and San Francisco Chronicle released separate articles detailing Brown’s history of domestic abuse against numerous partners between 1994 to 2012.

Reaction to news about Brown’s past included a statement from Louis Michael, a candidate for Vallejo’s District 3 seat.

Michael called on Brown to resign from the council.

“While he has been given ample opportunity to take responsibility for his actions, he has repeatedly failed to do so, instead choosing to minimize his actions and portray himself as the victim, rather than the women he has abused.” Michael wrote. “As important as it is to see Black men in these roles, everyone must be held accountable for their actions.”

At least two online petitions have started calling for Brown to stop mayoral campaign and resign from the council. Brown was first elected to the Vallejo City Council in November 2018.

Both petitions had garnered more than 1,500 signatures combined as of Friday afternoon.

According to Open Vallejo, the violence included Brown striking pregnant partners on two separate occasions with one of the women losing the child – an allegation Brown has strongly denied.

The news organization further reported Brown had been arrested nine different times for domestic violence or related crimes with five of those arrests resulting in criminal charges. Brown was convicted in three of the cases, the outlet reported.

He has been married to more than one woman at the same time, according to Open Vallejo’s article.

In response to the reports, Brown issued a statement on Thursday stating that he was not proud of his previous behavior.

“Sitting in prison helped me to understand as a young man I was clearly on the wrong path. It is my responsibility to own up to my past mistakes. The events of that incident are something that I will regret for the rest of my life,” Brown said. “I am not perfect and taking responsibility for my past is important. While you may read or hear several accusations, not everything that is being written about me is true. Allegations do not always represent facts.”

Check back as this story develops.

Published by John Glidden

John Glidden is a freelance journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan also covers the local school district, Vallejo elections, and public safety.

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