Eight Eureka candidates call for ‘fair’ campaign tactics leading up to election day

EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM) – Several candidates vying for titles within Eureka City Council are calling for fair campaign practices. Candidates signed on so far include Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel, Jeannie Breslin, Caroline Brooks, Leslie Castellano, Hailey Lamb, Heidi Messner, and Susan Seaman.

A conference on the topic is scheduled for Friday at noon in front of Eureka City Hall. We will bring you more details from that later this week.

From the candidates:

Eight candidates for public office in Eureka have united to call for fair campaign practices and positive leadership during this election season and into the future. All Eureka mayoral and council candidates have signed a code of fair campaign practices, pledging that no candidate will “use or permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or his or her family life”, nor will any candidate “appeal to negative prejudice based on a candidate’s actual or perceived race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, sex including gender identity” or any other protected characteristic. The reality is that many of these pledges have already been broken through harassment of individuals and businesses, hate speech, doxing (the publication or sharing of private, personally identifying information with malicious intent), falsified stories and materials, and other underhanded and absurd attacks on the character, bodies, families and personal lives of fellow candidates.

It is our shared belief that in our small, close-knit community, we depend on one another, must seek to build good relationships, and our success depends on finding ways to collaborate, despite our differences. There is no place in Eureka for these behaviors, and each candidate has signed their name to a pledge saying that they will not resort to these unethical tactics, nor will they permit their use. The code signed by Eureka’s candidates also specifies that no candidate will “coerce election help” and will “immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent” any of these condemned methods and tactics. This includes the behavior of campaign managers, campaign volunteers, and supporters. We call on all candidates and residents of the community to take this pledge seriously, and to evaluate candidates based on this important commitment.

Words are powerful. Through dehumanizing language and grossly falsified information, communities and individuals can experience real and impactful consequences. As people who seek to contribute to and improve Eureka and our region, we exhort fellow candidates and community members to stick to the issues, seek common ground, and continue their campaigns while bearing in mind our universally shared ethical commitment. The community is watching and looking to us for leadership. Let’s lead with integrity and refuse to accept bullying, personal attacks.

This press release issued collectively by (in alphabetical order) Natalie Arroyo, Kim Bergel, Jeannie Breslin, Caroline Brooks, Leslie Castellano, Hailey Lamb, Heidi Messner, and Susan Seaman. All City of Eureka candidates were invited to participate in releasing this statement. The aforementioned candidates intend to hold a press conference on Friday, October 5th at noon at Eureka City Hall, 531 K Street, to reaffirm this statement and respond to press inquiries. Any candidate not initially listed here who wishes to join in this statement calling for fair campaign practices is invited to attend the press conference and stand together with us, or, if they are unavailable, is invited to send a statement of solidarity to any of the candidates named here, which will be read aloud. Please feel welcome to join us.