San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s chief of staff, Vince Hall, has resigned. Hall announced his resignation Friday over Twitter. He posted the following, “As a lifelong activist for women’s rights and equality, I feel I must resign effective today.” This news came shortly after three prominent San Diego-area elected officials joined the growing list of those calling for the mayor’s resignation amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Hall previously worked for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. His LinkedIn profile states Planned Parenthood as past employment while his current profile on Twitter states that he still works there as Vice President of Public Affairs & Communications.
The city of San Diego felt Hall was a very good choice when he was brought on as chief of staff. Many supporters claimed that Hall helped the Mayor from early on and has broad exposure to many levels of government and business. He has been tirelessly devoted to equal rights for women and minorities while keeping a sympathetic ear to labor and business. They felt he would bring much political know-how and a very good heart to the cause of making the Mayor truly an instrument of the people of this wonderful and caring city.
Mayor Filner issued an apology on Thursday after facing calls for his resignation amid sexual harassment claims. He expressed regret for his treatment of women and vowed to change his behavior, admitting “I need help.” Filner also indicated he will not resign but that “I have reached into my heart and soul and realize I must and will change my behavior.” He said he and his staff will take the sexual harassment training offered by the city.
As people grow and experience life, they become connected to people for a variety of reasons. They work with them, hang out with them, and are related to them. People’s lives intertwine and before they know it, they have forged tight bonds. Out of nowhere they are blindsided by an accusation, an argument or some times, a shocking revelation.
It’s this point in a person’s life they are forced to take notice of the way someone else’s actions can affect their future and they respond with a mindset that finally understands they have to take care of themselves. They realize that if they do not handle the situation correctly, they may inadvertently cause damage to themselves. That’s when they can really relate to the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin, in her song, Chain Of Fools.” With a gospel feel she sings of being taken advantage of by a seemingly professional con man posing as her new found love. It is a scenario all too familiar for us all. Whether in relationships, friendships or business partnerships we all have endured the sting of being mislead. Here are a few steps to think about when deciding to make the separation from the ‘chain of fools’:
- When breaking the chain, remember to operate in forgiveness: Once a person comes to grips with being made a fool of, they experience a flood of emotions. From rage to guilt to shame, they will run the gambit of feelings. It is very important to come from a place of grace and forgiveness of all the parties involved. And that includes choices they’ve made themselves as it relates to the other party. Often as people struggle to forgive others, they never consider the option to forgive themselves. It’s important that Hall forgives Filner for his actions; whether he changes or not. Hall can only control his own actions.
- As the chains fall, old behaviors must be replaced with new ones: As with any transition, the most vulnerable time is immediately following a drastic change. When a person removes one habit or behavior, it is important to replace it quickly with a better and more positive one. If it’s not done immediately they will suffer in some way. People are creatures of habit, and left alone can be their own worst enemy. Hall has to immediately begin to work on something else. He can’t sit home and feel sorry for himself or regurgitate his emotions surrounding the actions that caused the decision to resign.
- Hurt people, hurt people: The reason the above principle of forgiveness is so vital to a person’s growth is because without it, they cannot truly heal themselves. Think of each relational confrontation as a tear on one’s soul. As each one is experienced, it leaves another mark that individual inwardly. Even after they survive, they are left in a damaged state. If they do not allow time to recoup, they will end up behaving much like the ones who hurt them. Hall has to perform an autopsy on the his time as chief of staff and even forgive himself for missing or ignoring prior signs that pointed to his separation of office.
It appears, via Twitter, that the people of San Diego and around the globe support Hall’s decision to resign. He made the decision to resign in order to remove himself from Filner’s chain of foolish behavior and can now get on with his mission and passion of standing and fighting for women’s rights. Any other choice would appear hypocritical.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)