The Columbia Heights City Council for the second time has passed a resolution calling for one of its members who allegedly made a racist phone call to a candidate for office to step down.
But a defiant KT Jacobs said she will not give up her seat.
On Monday, the council voted unanimously in favor of the resolution offered by Council Member Connie Buesgens, which was followed by no discussion. Jacobs abstained from the vote.
"I feel when you are elected to be an official in your city, that your name and your word needs to be paramount to everything that we hope of it to be, and I don't have faith in that anymore," Mayor Amáda Márquez Simula said before the vote.
A recall effort also was launched Monday by a group called Concerned Citizens of Columbia Heights. The group opened an online petition and has planned a signature-gathering party set for 5 p.m. May 30 at Huset Park.
Jacobs "engaged in unethical behavior during the lead-up to the most recent election," a statement on the group's online petition site reads. "The petition aims to restore trust, accountability, and integrity to the city council, clearly stating that the community will not tolerate unethical behavior and disrespect towards constituents."
Jacobs, whose term expires in 2025, has been in the hot seat since last summer. Jacobs is accused of calling candidate Justice Spriggs, who is biracial, and using a fake name to question him about his racial identity and qualifications for office.
Spriggs was elected to the council and now sits immediately next to Jacobs on the dais.
The city hired independent Red Cedar Consulting to look into the July 24 call in which Jacobs allegedly asked Spriggs about his racial identity, including which of his family members were people of color.
The report found Jacobs made "untruthful statements" and failed to conduct herself ethically and in accordance with the City Council Code of Conduct.
After accepting the report, the council in October passed a resolution to censure Jacobs and remove her from boards and commissions.
At the time of the incident, Jacobs claimed a family member had used her phone without her knowledge and made the call to Spriggs. She issued an apology, stating "I'm deeply sorry that the incident took place."
In an email to the Star Tribune on Tuesday, Jacobs said she stands by her statement from last summer.
Columbia Heights resident Deeqa Shabbele addressed the council, and specifically Jacobs, during the open forum Monday.
"I don't feel safe because you are sitting right there," said Shabbele, who is Black and Muslim. "I do not feel seen. Are you afraid of me? If you are, you need to step down because you don't represent me anymore. When you don't see me and I don't feel safe, hopefully you will resign."
Jacobs abruptly left the meeting, stating that a policy was not being followed.
Ed Higgins, leader of Concerned Citizens of Columbia Heights, said he hopes people will turn out May 30 and "be a part of a movement to stand up for racial justice and unethical behavior in our community."