Voter organizes protest urging Brainard to quit
A Grand Junction woman who said she voted for City Councilor-elect Rick Brainard is organizing a demonstration today calling for Brainard to decline elected office.
Linda Moran was granted an application, which was filed with the City Clerk’s office Wednesday, for a “demonstration against domestic violence, Rick Brainard.” It’s scheduled for 11 a.m. today on the south side of City Hall, 250 N. Fifth St., which faces Rood Avenue. Moran reserved the space for two hours, City Clerk Stephanie Tuin said.
Moran said she’s a retired nurse who’s had friends and family victimized by domestic violence. Moran distributed an email urging anyone interested in attending Friday to bring homemade signs.
“Anyone who has admitted to domestic violence is not worthy of being a City Council member,” she said, acknowledging she voted for Brainard in the council election on April 2.
“I had read he felt like the bar was set too low for the community,” Moran said, explaining her vote for the embattled councilor-elect.
“He’s already crossed that line. I do regret it,” she said of her vote.
Brainard, 51, said in a prepared statement Tuesday he intends to serve on the City Council despite his arrest Saturday on suspicion of domestic violence against his girlfriend. An arrest affidavit obtained by The Daily Sentinel said Brainard initially denied to a police officer that an altercation with the woman turned physical, then admitted he’d pushed her, grabbed her hair and slapped her. The slapping, he explained, was needed to “shut her mouth.”
Brainard’s prepared statement Tuesday expressed appreciation for “the many calls and emails of support I have received the past few days. Thank you for acknowledging that I have not been tried or convicted of anything.”
He’s currently scheduled to appear in court, and be sworn into office, on May 6.
Moran’s call for Brainard’s withdrawal was echoed by a group of eight state-approved domestic violence treatment counselors.
“He’s a negative role model who promotes violence against women and he sabotages our work,” said Steve Landman, a Grand Junction-based anger management counselor and therapist who works with domestic violence offenders under the umbrella of the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board. The board operates under the Colorado Department of Public Safety.
Landman, whose clients include offenders referred by the courts and victims of domestic violence, has practiced in Grand Junction for 37 years.
“We are trying to promote attitudes and beliefs that family violence is unacceptable,” Landman said. “He uses violence as a solution to problems and we who live in this city do not want him to represent us.”
Landman penned a letter to the Sentinel, signed by seven other local therapists and doctors who provide domestic violence treatment, calling on Brainard to withdraw from the council.