Councilman facing recall election in Foster City, California

A recall election against Councilman Herb Perez is being held on March 3 in Foster City, California. The recall effort was organized by a group called FC Watchdog, which accused Perez of “open disdain for residents” and having a pro-development agenda. Jeff Regan, an organizer for the recall, said about the recall effort, “It’s because when a resident goes up to speak publicly and gets treated with disdain — that blocks democracy and it’s an intimidation tactic. At a certain point, enough is enough.”

Perez responded to the recall effort and said, “I respect democracy. It’s unfortunate that individuals behind the recall do not. They would circumvent the will of eight years of voters who have consistently supported and voted me into office and that’s unfortunate. … They cannot name a single wrongdoing, no illegal taking of money, nothing. They just don’t like me and I’m OK with that.”

Petitioners were required to gather valid signatures equal to 20% of the registered voters in the city. The requirement was 3,313 valid signatures to put the recall on the ballot. Petitioners submitted 4,389 signatures for verification on September 16, 2019. Enough signatures were verified on October 15, 2019, to put the recall on the ballot.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.

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Additional reading:
Laws governing recall in California 
Political recall efforts, 2020