Kenzie Smith, One Of The Men Who 'BBQ Becky' Called Cops On, Is Running For Oakland City Council
"I would like to run for a seat on our local City Council, to be a positive Lawmaker that is inclusive and creates Unity in our Community at the upcoming election November 6th, 2018..."
July 09, 2018 at 4:47 pm
A white woman dubbed "BBQ Becky" notably called the police on two black men setting up a barbecue at a park in Oakland, California, in April. Now, one of those men, Kenzie Smith, is running for a seat on the city council, Mother Jones reports.
BBQ Becky (who has since been identified as Jennifer Schulte according to local Oakland KTVU), was just one of the women who's contributed to a string of recent widely reported incidents in which police had been called on black people for no apparent reason. But since that event, the Oakland community, people on social media across the country and Smith have used the situation to spread awareness about the harm caused by racial profiling incidents where white people needlessly call the cops on black people.
In a video posted to YouTube in May, Smith can be seen and heard speaking during what appears to be a city council session, sharing details of the police-involved BBQ Becky encounter. He said the woman who approached him at the park allegedly used racial slurs while threatening to the call the police. He also called attention to the fact that she hadn't been lawfully penalized for her actions.
"And yet still, this woman has not been prosecuted..." he said in part.
Smith's voice in the community earned him a recommendation from Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan to a seat on the city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission back in May.
"I have submitted a recommendation of Mr. Kenzie Smith to serve on the Oakland Park and Recreation Advisory Commission to help make the rules that governs how our parks are used and make sure that they are fair and clear," Kaplan said in an interview with the Bay Area's KRON4.
To donate to my campaign for Oakland City Council District 2: https://t.co/RYMsloTypK— kenzie4oakland (@kenzie4oakland) July 6, 2018
According to Mother Jones, Smith, 37, filed paperwork to place his bid in a run for city council in Oakland's District 2. Smith's community work includes co-founding local music and lifestyle magazine Dope Era Magazine, organizing fundraisers for the homeless and creating drives to support school-age children, among other community efforts, Mothers Jones reports. He told the publication that his platform would focus on homelessness, renters' rights, education and jobs.
"Win, lose, or draw, it doesn’t really matter," Smith told Mother Jones. "That’s not what it’s about. What it’s about is trying to get these young voters to vote, to actually have their voice heard, and also to continue to inspire the younger generation to say, ‘If he can do it, then I can do it, too.'"
It’s official, Kenzie Smith is running for district 2 Oakland City Council. pic.twitter.com/4kpfE5pJqz— Michelle Dione 🐈 (@ShelleDione) June 25, 2018
In a GoFundMe page raising donations for his city council campaign, Smith shared in a statement that he's running for city council to be an inclusive and positive lawmaker.
"I would like to run for a seat on our local City Council, to be a positive Lawmaker that is inclusive and creates Unity in our Community at the upcoming election November 6th, 2018," the statement reads in part. "I would like to have a grassroots campaign that means I won’t have any big name companies support me. I will continue to be the underdog and only take support from our community."
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