Just short of 14 months after she was sworn in, Arcata City Councilmember and recently named Vice Mayor Emily Grace Goldstein has announced that she will be stepping down from the seat Arcata voters elected her to in late 2020.
In an emotional statement made at the end of Wednesday’s council meeting, Goldstein said she will serve until the end of February at which point she intends to direct her focus to pressing family medical problems.
“Recently there have been health issues in my family which has made me wonder if I need to leave the council to focus on the health of my family,” Goldstein read from a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, it has become clear that the healthcare in Humboldt County does not even come close to meeting the needs of its residents. The energy and time I have dedicated to you all, now needs to go towards ensuring I have the best medical care possible for my family.”
It’s been a contentious few months for the council which has had to tiptoe around issues concerning councilmember Brett Watson, who is currently under investigation by the city for as-yet undisclosed allegations of misconduct. Some of that tension was reflected in Goldstein’s resignation announcement when she opted to express support for three of her four fellow councilmembers, excluding Watson, who was seated next to her.
Watch Goldstein’s announcement above or read her statement below:
This is incredibly hard. I have made a difficult decision, as I announced at tonight’s council meeting, I am stepping down from City Council. I love this town and this community.
Recently there have been health issues in my family which has made me wonder if I need to leave the council to focus on the health of my family. Unfortunately, it has become clear that the healthcare in Humboldt County does not even come close to meeting the needs of its residents. The energy and time I have dedicated to you all, now needs to go towards ensuring I have the best medical care possible for my family. I ran for this office because I value people above all else. Each person deserves a good life and I need to be able to provide that for my own family.
I believe that I can serve out the month of February but wanted to bring this forward tonight because it seems to provide the council with more options to fill the vacancy than if I waited until later in the month to announce.
My silver lining for all of this is knowing how strongly I believe in Mayor Atkins-Salazar, Councilmember Schaefer, and Councilmember Matthews. These three elected officials are some of the strongest and most capable people I have ever met. Please know how tirelessly they work for you all and that they always truly have the best interests of the people of Arcata at heart.
Thank you all for the privilege of getting to serve on the Arcata City Council. I am so deeply appreciative for my last year in this position. Please remember to love your neighbors, housed or not, and embrace each other with compassion and empathy. Thank you.
After Goldstein concluded her statement, Mayor Atkins-Salazar said the council would discuss how to fill her open seat at a future meeting.