We request that you remove San Diego Mayor Bob Filner as the keynote speaker at the National Military Women Veterans Association of America’s benefit on August 30-31. On Thursday, July 11 alarming sexual harassment claims were surfaced and Filner publicly admitted that he had mistreated women in his office, saying he had "diminished the office" of mayor. Filner also said, “As someone who has spent a lifetime fighting for equality for all people, I am embarrassed to admit that I have failed to fully respect the women who work for me and with me, and that at times I have intimidated them.”
You had originally planned to present Filner with a lifetime leadership award for his advocacy work on behalf of female veterans, including the issue of sexual assault. When Donna Frye, former city councilwoman, and lawyers Cory Briggs and Marco Gonzalez broke the scandal and called for him to resign as mayor, you outstripped Filner from receiving the award. But, instead of disinviting the mayor from the August gala entirely, you instead announced that he will address the scandal in a keynote speech.
When an individual - let alone a city mayor - has admitted to such unconscionable behavior, how can you give him the honor of being the lead speaker? Your organization issued a public statement saying that, "We do not tolerate sexual discrimination at any level within our society." But, your actions don't support this. You have repeatedly expressed the importance of creating awareness, but this is not the way to do it.
Women veterans and all victims of sexual assault deserve better than this. The National Military Women Veterans Association of America is a worthy organization with a valuable cause. As such, we request that you not hurt your organization’s mission by tying into Filner’s filthy scandal. Out of respect for all of those Filner has assaulted, insulted, harassed, and demeaned, we beg that you not give this man a pulpit at your event.
Please disinvite Mayor Filner from serving as your keynote speaker at your gala event on August 30-31!
This petition closed over 3 years ago