“A lot of people have said they voted for her and like this councilwoman but they’re shocked that this would happen…She doesn’t represent their values any longer.”
Kellye Burke made national headlines a few weeks ago, but probably not in the way she hoped.
Burke serves as a city councilor for West University Place, a small, wealthy, municipality inside the Houston city limits.
Burke was charged with a Class C misdemeanor for disorderly conduct after she yelled at a group of teenage girls who were waiting in line to buy cookies for younger girls at their church.
I blogged a few weeks ago:
Four teenage girls were standing in line at Tiny’s Milk and Cookies in West University Place, a tiny municipality nestled within the Houston city limits. They were waiting to buy cookies for kids at their church. One of the teenaged-girls was wearing a Trump t-shirt that said, “Make America Great Again.”
While waiting, West U Councilwoman Kellye Burke walked up to them and screamed, “Grab em by the p*ssy girls!” They tried to laugh it off, but Burke kept on.
Again, she screamed expletives at the girls, who were then frightened. Burke then yelled “MAGA!” repeatedly while shaking her fist, according to one of the girl’s fathers, who accompanied them to the bakery.
The girls never responded and left without saying a word, one fearful this woman might hurt her.
None of them were aware Burke was a councilwoman until after the fact.
The families and the girls spoke to local news under the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.
Burke later issued the worst sorry, not sorry apology ever, which didn’t exactly ingratiate herself with West U residents.
Now, a group of West U residents is soliciting signatures for their petition to recall Burke.
From local news:
Dozens of volunteers within West University Place will seek signatures for a recall petition in an effort to remove councilwoman Kellye Burke from her seat.
…“A lot of people have said they voted for her and like this councilwoman but they’re shocked that this would happen,” said Jay Cohen, who is assisting with the recall petition. “She doesn’t represent their values any longer.”
Cohen will be among more than 20 West U residents who will volunteer his time to collect signatures. Cohen said the group hopes to get between 1,200 and 1,500 signatures.
“So it’s 15 percent of the registered voters in West U and it’s our understanding that that number is kind of a moving target as registered voters come and go,” he said.
Burke received 1,264 votes in May on 2017 when she was elected. Cohen said after all the signatures are collected, they plan to move forward with the next phase of the recall process.
“Once that happens the city secretary has 30 days to review all the signatures and see if there’s a recall,” Burke said.
Volunteers will stand outside City Hall — closest to the police station on University Boulevard — to collect signatures on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.
Burke was absent from the last city council meeting (the first one since she was charged for screaming profanities at a teenaged girl). Burke’s attorney attended and read a statement in her absence:
“I have received threats of violence. As a result, my family has had to flee our home,” the attorney read. “Those same critics have mounted a campaign for me to step down from council. I will not be stepping down from my elected position.”
An attorney told KPRC2 that Burke has sought police protection because of the threats of violence against her.
People who live in West U. had an opportunity to speak out about the controversy. Some showed support for the councilwoman, while others demanded she step down.
“Kellye is funny and irreverent and at times her comments are somewhat unfiltered, and I think we can all agree that last week she made a big mistake. However this is an incident that should have been handled privately and speedily between adults, not in public,” one resident said.
“The intolerance she exhibited, the next time it happens in our community, what’s it going to be about? Politics, race, religion? I don’t know, but if she doesn’t step down she’s sending the message that it is OK,” another resident said.
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