Nikuyah Walker Emails Demonstrate Her Commitment to Justice

Saturday night, a mere four days before the election, The Daily Progress published an attempted exposé of Charlottesville City Council hopeful Nikuyah Walker.

This article is a hit piece initiated by Mike Signer.

The article claims, “A source in City Hall, who wished to remain anonymous, called attention to her emails, voicing concerns about her ability to work collaboratively with city officials.” On her Facebook page, Walker confirms that the source is Mayor Signer. Walker writes, “This article is a hit piece initiated by Mike Signer. Chris informed me that the same person who ‘leaked his own memo’ tipped him to my emails.”

Dog-Whistle Politics

The publishing of such an inflammatory article four days before the election is no coincidence. The headline, “Walkers’ style of communication unabashedly aggressive,” evokes the angry Black woman trope. Suarez takes phrases from Walker’s emails out of context in an attempt to provoke fear in voters of Walker’s tactics.

Suarez writes that, while emails from six City Council candidates were reviewed, Walker’s were by far the most critical and “often-confrontational” compared to the others. The piece deliberately casts Walker, whose longtime work and advocacy centers racially and economically marginalized communities, in an adversarial light.

Transparency and Change

Those who care about justice and demand action from Charlottesville public officials will be satisfied with what Nikuyah Walker’s emails reveal: a community organizer who is direct and passionate about public service. Walker’s history of advocacy work speaks for itself; she will fight for transparency and change. Can the same be said of our current City Council?

In response to the article, Walker published several email threads in their entirety on her personal Facebook page, including a series of emails that she titles, “The type of emails that Chris Suarez decided not to highlight.” These emails addressed various concerns over City Council proceedings:

■ over rising costs of medical insurance for low-income people

■ the disparity between those who developed Charlottesville’s 2018 comprehensive plan and those the plan would negatively affect

■ asking for accountability and more information around the $25,000 “Disproportionate Minority Contact Task Force” grant the City received from the state to train police in how to interact with minority youth arrests

Nikuyah Walker will fight for transparency and change. Can the same be said of our current City Council?

Additionally, she shared an email sent to City Council 10 days prior to the Signer-initiated email FOIA where she writes, “It’s been brought to my attention that one of you recommended that Chris FOIA emails that I’ve sent to Council.” She continues, “I stand by every email that I’ve ever sent. I stand by my actions during the summer. I’ve not been bullshitting (as some of you have) the Charlottesville community, I’ve been completely honest about who I am.”

This article, with its racist undertone, tried to undermine her success running an independent, grassroots campaign, but in fact it only demonstrated the consistency of Walker’s campaign platform commitments: for transparency in government, a commitment to low income housing communities, and advocacy for a living wage.

Walker responds with a call to action to the citizens of Charlottesville on election day:

The democratic establishment is afraid that someone that they didn’t select and can’t control will sit on the dais. You all will decide!