Stockton Councilwoman Releases Statement Blasting Harry Black For Demeaning Conduct Against Woman

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BREAKING: Stockton Councilwoman Releases Statement Blasting Harry Black For Demeaning Conduct Against Woman

“October 26, 2023

Dear Residents and Concerned Citizens of Stockton,
I write to you today as your elected representative on the Stockton City Council with a heavy heart, but unwavering determination. It is with great concern that I address recent events that have taken place within City Hall, as they reflect conduct that is utterly unacceptable and unbecoming of a city official.
Let me be clear: I wholeheartedly condemn any form of disrespect, harassment, or behavior that fails to uphold the values and culture that best represents the City of Stockton. As one of the seven individuals responsible for overseeing the City Manager, it is my duty to foster an inclusive, respectful, and welcoming work environment for all city employees.
Recent incidents involving disparaging and vulgar remarks made by our current city manager Harry Black about a female Cal-Water executive have shaken me deeply. Such behavior does not align with the principles that Stockton stands for.
What is even more troubling is the prevalence of bullying, hostility, and retaliation within city hall, which I have personally experienced. The severity of this issue has led me to the difficult decision of no longer engaging in private meetings with the City Manager. This leaves me wondering how many other female employees may be enduring a similarly intimidating and hostile work environment under his leadership. I’m aware some have even decided to leave working for our city. This is simply not how a workplace should function.
Every employee, from the highest-ranking officials to the most junior staff members, deserve to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination. The City of Stockton should exemplify a culture of inclusivity, respect, and support for all. The recent conduct I have observed and personally experienced from Harry Black does not represent that.
I vow to continue standing up against bullying, harassment, and discrimination especially towards women in our government. I am severely disappointed that when given the chance, certain Council colleagues of mine are refusing to stand up and put a stop to the pattern of continued unprofessional behavior by Harry Black. I am concerned their loyalty is to the special business interests that wrote in support of Mr. Black and lobbied me to support him. I implore my fellow City Councilmembers and the community to unite in this crucial effort and put what’s right over the needs of these special interests. It is only by working together that we can transform Stockton into a place of dignity, respect, and equal opportunity for all where every voice is heard and respected.


Michele Padilla
Stockton City Councilmember
District 1”

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