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Councilwoman Julia Botel apologizes for remarks about 'Wet Dreams' beach party

'I certainly am not a racist,' Botel says after writing that she tried to stop event from happening
Julia Botel at Riviera Beach City Council meeting, July 6, 2022
Posted at 11:07 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 00:52:11-04

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla.  — Before the City Council meeting in Riviera Beach began, council members Julia Botel and Tradick McCoy were having a heated discussion.

Much of Wednesday night's conversation focused on a Fourth of July weekend beach party and event called "Wet Dreams."

The promoter said some tried to cancel the gathering by spreading rumors before it ever started, falsely claiming the promoter had been banned in other parts of South Florida and alleging the event would lead to violence.

As for Botel, some called attention to a message she sent ahead of the event in which she stated that she "tried to get it canceled and stop it from occurring."

She went on to say that she had asked the city manager about changing policies to "protect us in the future."

Wet Dreams.PNG

In front of a packed house, Botel read a statement apologizing.

"It is ludicrous that anyone would call me a racist based on my actions," she said. "I certainly am not a racist and it was not my intent to prevent anyone from using the beach, which clearly belongs to all of us in the city."

Botel went on to say she was sorry.

"I'm sorry I didn't take into account the differences in perspective, based on my background and culture that of many of the young people in our city," she said.

Many of Wednesday night's speakers said the apology did not go far enough.

Riviera Beach resident complains about Julia Botel's message before 'Wet Dreams' event during City Council meeting, July 6, 2022
A resident complains about Councilwoman Julia Botel's public message regarding the "Wet Dreams" beach party event during a July 6, 2022, City Council meeting in Riviera Beach, Fla.

"Your actions this weekend doesn't sit with, 'I'm not a racist,'" one woman said.

Some called for an investigation.

"The title to me was so non-inclusive," another woman said. "I mean, what does one do with children to a 'Wet Dreams' party?"

Speaker after speaker shared their concerns.

"If we can do right by some, we can do right by all," another resident said.

It's unclear whether anything was done about city policy or if there will be an investigation.