Richmond Mayor Tom Butt abruptly walked out of Tuesday's City Council meeting after another member of the council accused him of disrespecting women and women of color.
Butt walked out after a presentation from a panel of community housing advocates on ways to address homelessness and increase affordable housing in the East Bay city. Butt objected at length to suggestions from the panel that the city was not doing enough to attract affordable housing or development in general and that the council should consider adding staff to focus on the issue.
Butt's apparent irritation with the panel prompted Councilwoman Jovanka Beckles to make a motion to end the discussion. Butt called a timeout on the meeting, and when councilmembers returned, he asked for three minutes to "wrap up" his observations on the presentation.
Beckles denied his request.
"Mayor, I think that you've been incredibly disrespectful to our speakers and our presenters," Beckles said. "And you have insulted them. Particularly, I see you do this behavior all the time with women, particularly women of color."