Although efforts to recall Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi seem to have stalled for the time being, a new online petition and social media campaign popped up yesterday that hopes to oust the sheriff on a wave of 50,000 digital signatures. The petition at RossResign.org hopes to avoid putting San Francisco through a costly recall election by pressuring Mirkarimi to resign.
The site is an effort by a new group called Citizens for an Accountable Sheriff, led by Andrea Shorter of the city's Commission on the Status of Women. As Shorter told Bay City News, her group is made up of victims of domestic violence and other community members who feel that a convicted criminal cannot adequately serve in the role of Sheriff. From the site [emphasis theirs]:
We cannot have a criminal in charge of our public safety.
This type of crime would never be tolerated elsewhere. Can you imagine:
- Someone on probation for money laundering, hired as Chief Financial Officer of a company? That’s just not right.
- Someone on probation for drug smuggling, working as a Customs Officer for the U.S. Government? No one would permit that.
Yet someone who’s on probation for a crime holds one of the highest elected offices in San Francisco public safety.
San Francisco citizens are paying Mirkarimi’s salary but can’t depend on him to protect them.
The 50,000 signatures goal is about 300 shy of the number needed to mount an official recall election — an effort that would be costly if held outside of a general election. The petition, then, is really just imploring the Sheriff to "do the right thing," as Shorter says, and step down on his own.
As for spreading the word, the Citizens for an Accountable Sheriff are ready to help those who aren't particularly eloquent in expressing their opinions about the Sheriff. The site includes a canned email supporters can spam to their email contacts as well as two sample Tweets you can copy/paste for your legions of followers. Don't forget the #RossResign hashtag! (Pls RT).