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Daily Business Report-Aug. 19, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 19, 2013

 Attorney Gloria Allred spoke out against San Diego Mayor Bob Filner during a rally to kick off a recall campaign on Sunday.

Recall Filner Campaign Officially Launched

City News Service — The effort to recall embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner officially kicked off on Sunday, as petitions were circulated at midnight and volunteers worked at three daytime civic events, capped by a Freedom From Filner rally attended by more than 300 supporters in front of City Hall.

Signature gatherers went to the America’s Finest City Half Marathon at Balboa Park, as well as at an afternoon volunteer orientation and kickoff event at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley.

The vocal crowd of supporters, many wearing blue T-shirts saying “Please Resign Mayor Filner,” stood in front of the Civic Center and listened to grass-roots leaders calling for the mayor to “resign or be recalled.”

“We are here today to have our voice heard,” said anti-Filner rally spokeswoman Kathryn Vaughn, a San Diego attorney and workshop leader on sexual harassment in the workplace. “Our message is clear. We the people and the citizens of future generations want a leader who has honor, dignity and respect for all people. We stand united.”

Promising her group will be relentless, Vaughn said “We will work every hour of every day until you (Filner) step down.”

Referring to the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream speech,” Los Angeles-based attorney Gloria Allred, representing Filner’s former communications director, the first woman to come forward with sexual harassment allegations against him, said “I often have a dream of gender equality. I dream that our daughters and granddaughters, our mother and our sisters, will all be treated with dignity and respect.”

John Cox from Rancho Santa Fe told the crowd the Filner Recall also was about reforming the political system. “We should be electing our candidates in our neighborhoods, not through our campaign funders,” Cox said.

Delores Chavez spoke of the courage of the women, 16 of whom have thus far come forward to accuse Filner of inappropriate sexual advances.

“The most important thing is their courage, their conviction to stand by their principles and not be overwhelmed by their fear of the consequences,” Chavez said. “When many would have watered down their stance — they held firm.”

The recall drive needs to turn in at least 102,000 valid signatures by Sept. 26 to qualify for the ballot.

Earlier Sunday, Filner Recall organizer Michael Pallamary said there are exactly 39 days for the recall to qualify for the ballot. He said more than 800 San Diegans have signed up as volunteers to collect signatures or manage other aspects of the volunteer effort.

Discussing his motivation for organizing the Filner Recall drive, Pallamary said, “I have a 10-year-old granddaughter who is waking up every day and hearing these lurid accusations and stories. We need to stop this. We need to take it off televisions and out of the newspapers. My granddaughter needs to be empowered, and to know that this kind of behavior is not acceptable.”

Recall spokeswoman Rachel Laing said she was not surprised that Filner was attempting to stay in office despite widespread efforts to either coax him to resign or oust him from power.

“Based on everything we know about him, he has no shame,” Laing said.

“He seems to enjoy conflict and anything that gives him a sense of power. The fact he has this sociopathic tendency makes it obvious why he’s not stepping down.”

Laing — who worked for Filner’s mayoral predecessor, Jerry Sanders — said she supported and voted for Filner during his 2012 candidacy, something she now heartily regrets.

“If people knew what he was like, they never would have voted for him,” Laing said. “I thought I voted for someone who stuck up for the little people, the voiceless and the powerless. Instead, it turned out he was using his power to prey on people. I, like a lot of people, feel betrayed by him.”

Filner has apologized for mistreating women but contends his actions don’t rise to the level of sexual harassment. He is also accused of shaking down developers for donations and misusing his city-issued credit card.

Judge Sides With City of San Diego in Pension Case

State legislation adopted last year that would have required the city of San Diego to provide new employees with Social Security benefits has been ruled unconstitutional by a San Diego Superior Court judge. The ruling By Judge Joan Lewis, which confirmed her tentative ruling in favor of the city, was in regard to Proposition B, a pension reform measure approved by voters in June 2012. It eliminated defined benefit pension plans for new employees in exchange for either Social Security or a 401(k)-type plan. The city and its labor unions would negotiate those options. The state legislation, AB 1248, sought to mandate Social Security for all new hires.

San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith hailed Judge Lewis’s ruling. “This lawsuit was about local control,” he said. “We will defend the right of a charter city to negotiate terms and conditions of employment with our labor unions without Sacramento dictating those terms.”

Innovative Tuberculosis Treatment Monitoring System Debuts

Tuberculosis patients now have a less-intrusive treatment program that will improve the likelihood that they will take all their critical medications, thanks to an innovative, locally developed treatment-adherence monitoring system that uses mobile-health technology. Creation of the new system, Video Directly Observed Therapy (VDOT), was led by Richard Garfein in collaboration with researchers at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine; a team of developers from Qualcomm Institute/Calit2, a research and development unit at the university; and public health officials from San Diego and Tijuana.  Verizon provided funding via a grant and in-kind technology. VDOT allows TB patients to video record themselves taking their daily medications on smartphones and send the videos to health departments, which then can remotely monitor and document each dose of medication.

C. Janie Chang Named Director of School of Accountancy

The College of Business Administration at San Diego State University has named accounting professor C. Janie Chang as the William E. Cole director of the Charles W. Lamden School of Accountancy, effective today. Chang will continue to serve as the Vern Odmark-endowed professor of accountancy at SDSU with a specialization in accounting information systems. Chang earned her Ph.D. from UC Irvine and has been with SDSU since 2006.

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Names Executive Vice President

Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. has appointed Terrence Moore as executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Moore has more than 25 years of experience as a senior member of sales and marketing teams at several pharmaceutical company. He most recently was a principal of Cook-Moore Consulting and before that was vice president of Transcept Pharmaceuticals.

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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: