Top city councillor resigns from Amsterdam branch of pro-diversity party Bij1
Carla Kabamba has left the Amsterdam branch of the pro-diversity Bij1 party after heated disagreements with party leadership. In an interview with Het Parool, Kabamba criticized party leader Sylvana Simons and called the culture "toxic."
Kabamba, who was number two on the electoral list, stepped down a week after the board of Bij1's Amsterdam faction resigned. The reasons she gave Het Parool were similar to the board's: differences with the party's national leadership, disagreement over the national party's choice for a new chairman and accusations of racism.
One of the main disputes was Bij1's choice for a new chairman, a position Kabamba felt should go to her, according to Het Parool. “The national board wanted Dinah Bons as the new party chairman. Not me. She was on the national board, is a new councilor, has not experienced the first six months and was only installed last week," Kabamba said.
In particular, the former Bij1 city councillor disagreed with national party leader Sylvana Simons, who she believed was pushing Bons as chairman. Kabamba called the party leadership "hypocritical" and said they intervened in an "authoritarian and dictatorial manner."
"They found Dinah suitable because of the continuity within the party, because I am going on maternity leave," Kabamba told Het Parool. "That is pregnancy discrimination.”
Kabamba also said she did "not feel valued," similar to the Amsterdam board that resigned a week prior. In the board's letter, it spoke of racism within the party, especially toward black women. According to Het Parool, party leader Peggy Burke responded to the accusations as "nonsense."
“Anti-black racism is always difficult to prove in Western society," Kabamba said. "But ultimately, the past has shown that there is a trend within Bij1 towards black people sticking their necks out for change."
Kabamba will continue solo on the Amsterdam city council after her split with Bij1. She told Het Parool that she still supports the ideals of her former party and wants to "stand up" for the Amsterdammers who voted for her.