Following Mayor Ashton Hayward’s press conference Wednesday, Pensacola City Councilwoman Sherri Myers has issued a statement. She was apparently not invited to the press event.
Currently, Myers is involved in a lawsuit against the mayor. Hayward has also vetoed a council budget amendment that Myers crafted; the council will address the mayor’s veto tonight during its regular meeting.
Just two days after the Committee of the Whole where the city council engaged in a discussion of the need to have diversity on our boards, commissions and authorities, the Mayor thumbed his notice at the 3 women who serve on city council. The mayor held a press conference designed to garner support for his veto of an item in the council’s budget. None of the three women who serve on the council was invited to the all male “olive branch” press conference. Women make up approximately 53% of the city’s population, yet the mayor surround himself with his male colleagues
Women history teaches us that women have fought for hundreds of years for equal treatment. When this country was founded women were still being burned at the stakes as “witches” and constitutional rights did not apply to women. Women were subject to many of the same laws that applied to slaves. It wasn’t until 1920 that women were given the right to vote. That did not guarantee women equality as more laws have been enacted to protect women’s rights to equal pay and other benefits.
Women must come together to let the city council and the mayor know that exclusion of women in the political process is not acceptable. Had the mayor excluded minorities from his press conference it would have been the main story in the PNJ and other media. The Pensacola News Journal knew or should have known that none of the female city council women got invitations to the mayor’s press conference, yet it was not mentioned.
On one last note: A person from the seventh floor offered me advertising money for Uptown if I would support the mayor’s veto. I said I could not do that because it would hurt the council. Here is an applicable quote from Abrahama Lincoln “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Politics is the ultimate test of a persons character. I hope I pass the test.