Councilman Bernal with
Darrell Parsons at an HRC fundraiser on September 27 at Sparky's Pub.
LGBTs and allies continue fundraising as Bernal
QSanAntonio, October 11, 2013
With a recall looming, the LGBT community is stepping up it's efforts
to raise funds for District 1 City Councilman Diego Bernal.
This week, opponents of the city's newly-enacted nondiscrimination ordinance
said they had collected 5,000 of the approximately 6,000 signatures needed
to recall Councilman Bernal.
"There is not much any of us can do to 'combat' the petitioners except
to report any possible irregularities like churches being involved in
recall petition drives (illegal) as opposed to efforts to repeal the NDO
(legal)," wrote CAUSA co-chair Dan Graney in a Facebook post.
"The best thing we can do is help Diego or any other council member
who becomes the subject of a recall election by donating money and helping
with their campaigns against the recall if and when they happen,"
Bernal is the author of the nondiscrimination ordinance that made changes
to sections of the city code that cover public accommodations, fair housing,
city employment, city contracts and appointments to city boards and commissions.
The language in the code was changed to include sexual orientation, gender
identity and veteran status as protected classes.
The ordinance was passed by the City Council on September 5 in a vote
of 8 for and 3 against. In the days after passage, conservative opposition
groups and Christian extremists began collecting signatures to recall
Bernal, often using misinformation to get voters to sign the petition.
The move to recall Bernal is spearheaded by Weston Martinez of the Bexar
County Conservative Coalition and Texas Freedom PAC, and Brandon Burkhardt
of the River City Tea Party Patriots.
These same groups, along with a coalition of 30 anti-gay churches, are
also collecting petition signatures to recall Mayor Julian Castro and
to force a referendum to repeal the nondiscrimination ordinance. These
efforts require about 75,000 signatures and in the case of the referendum,
those signatures would have to be presented by October 15.
Councilman Bernal has proved an easier target for ordinance naysayers
because they don't have to collect as many signatures.
According to the city charter, a council member is subject to a recall
election if constituents can get signatures from 10 percent of the registered
voters in their district. In Bernal's case that comes to approximately
On October 10, WOAI Radio reported that Gina Castaneda, a political consultant
and a spokesperson for opposition groups said "We think in about
two weeks we will be giving City Council the signatures necessary for
a recall (of Councilman Bernal)."
The city's charter requires the City Council to call a special election
within 30 days after the city clerk verifies all of the signatures on
Since the ordinance passed, protestors have encamped daily in front of
Councilman Bernal's field office, near the corner of Vance Jackson and
IH-10, where they hold up posters and collect petition signatures.
Standing with Diego
On September 27, the San Antonio chapter of the Human Rights Campaign
held a fundraiser for Bernal at Sparky's Pub. At that event, HRC officials
report they raised $5,500 for the councilman.
There are two more fundraisers scheduled in the coming week.
On Saturday, October 19, a cocktail hour
patio gathering will be hosted from 5 to 7 p.m. at a private home in Alta
Vista. There will be appetizers and beverages and Councilman Bernal will
be on hand to meet and greet attendees. It's also his birthday. To attend,
RSVP to Bren Manaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 210-677-2696. (Click
here to view event Facebook page.)
On Thursday, October 24, former City Councilwoman
Elena Guajardo, CAUSA co-chair DeeDee Belmares and other supporters are
hosting a Friends of Diego fundraiser from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Deco Pizzeria,
1815 Fredericksburg Rd. (Click
here to view event Facebook page.)
"Please join us in showing support for Councilman Bernal. Not only
did he show leadership by helping San Antonio pass a fully inclusive nondiscrimination
ordinance, he also works tirelessly on a variety of issues on behalf of
all of his constituents," says Guajardo.
lies, NDO opponents seek referendum signatures at Rialto cinema
QSanAntonio, October 7, 2013
In their effort to force a referendum to overturn the city's newly enacted
nondiscrimination ordinance, opponents are now targeting movie theaters
as places to seek signatures for their petitions often using outright
lies to persuade people to sign.
anti-gay churches violating tax law with recall efforts?
QSanAntonio, September 27, 2013
Last week, Pastor Charles Flowers and his wife Janice hosted an invitation-only
meeting of over 30 pastors at their church, the Faith Outreach Center
International. At that gathering, there was a discussion about recalling
City Councilman Diego Bernal and Mayor Julian Castro, and support was
voiced for a referendum to overturn the city's new nondiscrimination ordinance.
Acrimony persists after
passage of NDO
QSanAntonio, September 20, 2013
In the two weeks since the passage of the city's nondiscrimination ordinance
that added protections for LGBT citizens, there is still much resentment
and acrimony among opponents who are intent on exacting revenge from Mayor
Julian Castro and the city council members who voted for the measure.