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Non-Discrimination Ordinance Opponents Target Mayor Julian Castro For Recall

Ryan Loyd
TPR News
Mayor Julian Castro listens to residents speaking in support and against a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in the early morning hours of Sept. 5, 2013.

Several groups are now targeting Mayor Julian Castro for violating his duties according to the Constitution for supporting the proposed non-discrimination ordinance. The groups include the Bexar County Conservative Coalition, the San Antonio Family Association, and the Justice Foundation.

They are also collecting signatures to oust District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal, who has been spearheading the issue, for the same reasons.

Opponent Gina Castaneda, who is block walking to collect signatures to oust Bernal from office, says the groups decided to launch a similar campaign against Castro. She said she and others believe Castro inappropriately signed off on the measure without receiving the proper number of signatures on the Governance Committee, which heard the proposal before it went to the full city council.

"There was some backroom game playing going on,” she said. “The ordinance had probably been talked about, but there had not been enough signatures,” she said.

“When they went into the Governance Committee to have that heard, there still wasn't enough votes until the mayor signed off on it."

In San Antonio, Castro is a voting member of the council and on the Governance Committee. An assistant to the council said timing may be why some are calling for a recall for Castro. The council went on recess not long after the Governance Committee meeting where five of the council’s 11 members discussed the issue.

Castaneda said the groups need 70,000 signatures to recall Castro.

So far, she said, they have about half of the 6,000 signatures needed to recall Bernal.

As for future recalls, Castaneda said opponents to the ordinance are ready to recall any and all of the council members that vote in favor of the non-discrimination ordinance revisions.

A vote is expected Thursday.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.