SAN DIEGO -- The campaign to recall Mayor Bob Filner amid accusations of sexual harassment begins gathering signatures Sunday.
Under city law, the recall group has 39 days to gather more than 101,000 signatures of registered voters to force a recall election. If the group falls short, it will be allowed an additional 30 days.
Recall movement activists plan to be gathering signatures in several locations Sunday. Also, a “Freedom From Filner” march is set for 2 p.m. downtown to call on Filner, 70, to resign or face recall.
“San Diego deserves to have a leader with honor, integrity and respect for all people,” said march organizer and attorney Kathryn Vaughn. “Bob Filner’s appalling behavior will not be tolerated and is unacceptable for our city’s leader.”
Meanwhile, Filner supporters plan a rally at noon Monday outside City Hall under the slogan “We Will Not Be Silent.” The group asserts that Filner is being denied due process and that the campaign against him is being orchestrated by opponents of his political agenda.
“Bob has stood side by side with many of our displaced communities for decades. Now we stand with him,” said border activist Enrique Morones.
Elected in November as the city’s first Democratic mayor in two decades, Filner has been gone from City Hall for nearly a month. The date of his return is unclear. He has refused numerous calls, including from all nine City Council members, that he resign.
Sixteen women have alleged that Filner sexually harassed them with unwanted touching and inappropriate comments. His former director of communcations has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages.