Three members of Dianne Morales’s mayoral campaign, including her campaign manager, resigned abruptly over the campaign’s alleged mistreatment of staff.
Talk of unrest within the Morales team began Tuesday as the former nonprofit executive was not in attendance at a mayoral forum led by Reverend Al Sharpton and his group, National Action Network. Sharpton explained the seemingly last-minute change by citing a note from the Morales team that there was a “family emergency.”
On Wednesday, Politico reported that campaign manager Whitney Hu quit and the New York Post reported staffers Ramses Duke and Amanda Van Kesell followed her out the door. A source told Politico that the reason for Hu’s departure was concern over the treatment of Black and brown campaign staff by another member of the team who reportedly also belittled employees. “They created a very toxic environment for a lot of the young Black and brown people who joined the campaign,” the source told Politico.
Reportedly, Hu gave Morales an ultimatum: Fire this individual, or she would quit. When Morales allegedly opted not to relieve them of their duties, Hu resigned. The source also said Hu advised campaign staff to think about unionizing and that she “previously raised concerns about wages and lack of health care for employees.”
Morales later released a statement Wednesday, saying that she met with members of her team for several hours on Tuesday to “listen to concerns on a myriad of issues,” saying the three people departed as “part of this restoration process.” Morales said that she “accepted accountability in my role as the head of this campaign that allowed for this harm to occur.”
“We are taking the necessary steps to address harm caused by certain staff on our campaign and to build accountability and will continue to work toward building a movement of dignity, care, and solidarity,” she continued.