San Diego’s new mayor nearly lost his kippah Wednesday as a cherry-picker hoisted him up to light a 30-foot menorah as part of a Chabad Hebrew Academy Hanukkah ceremony.

It was just the latest stop on what’s been a dizzying tour of San Diego for Bob Filner since he took office, inspiring the Twitter hashtag #FilnerEverywhere, which San Diegans have used to chronicle his extensive list of whereabouts.

So far, no event is too small or too tedious to merit a Filner drop-in.

A smiling Filner has shown up at a Chula Vista City Council meeting, a ribbon-cutting for a new airport store and the annual Clairemont Town Council holiday potluck.

His appearances, which sometimes take place after an event is already under way, typically include an element of surprise.

Late last week, he amazed some City Heights teens by showing up to rally for a new skate park.

Organizers had reached out to Filner’s office ahead of the gathering but never heard whether he’d stop by. They were elated when the mayor appeared as the event was winding down. Then he pledged to do his part to bring a state park to the neighborhood, and coined a new mantra for the effort: “Skate se puede,” a skater-friendly version of Cesar Chavez’s iconic “Yes, we can” slogan.

“Everyone just got very, very excited,” said Diana Ross of the Mid-City Community Advocacy Network, the group that helped organize the event. “That’s the kind of slogan I think we’re going to run with for the campaign.”

A few days later, Filner attended back-to-back school board meetings.

But what’s the point of all these Filner appearances, beyond a victory lap?

The 70-year-old’s packed schedule is his way of delivering on a campaign pledge to be accessible.

“I said that the neighborhoods are going to be important and we need to show it by being in neighborhoods, by being out with people in neighborhoods so I know what they’re doing and what they want,” he said Wednesday.

Filner’s frequent appearances aren’t much of a departure from his mayoral campaign, as our Liam Dillon noted ahead of the election:

Filner shows up anywhere and everywhere. Counting the primary, he probably attended more than 50 mayoral debates and forums all over the city. He danced in Zumba classes in Barrio Logan and pedaled through Little Italy and Old Town on a bike tour.

Here’s a sampling of Filner’s jaunts across and outside San Diego in his first week and a half as mayor:

.@bobfilnermayor “Will somebody tell us what to dance.” About dancing to traditional Filipino music.…

— Alexander Nguyen (@AlexNSanDiego) December 4, 2012

SD Mayor @bobfilnermayor greeting the crowd #SCEDC Holiday Breakfast & Boardmeeting.

— Monica Montano (@MonicaMontanoSD) December 4, 2012

Councilwoman Mary Salas takes oath of office with San Diego Mayor Bob Filner by her side #chulavista

— Katherine Poythress (@ktpoy) December 5, 2012

There are more than a hundred people here at the Vietnamese community meeting with @bobfilnermayor.

— Alexander Nguyen (@AlexNSanDiego) December 6, 2012

Mayor Bob Filner helping the Labor Council celebrate our amazing volunteers and incredible achievements…

— Lucas O’Connor (@lucasoconnor) December 6, 2012

#filnereverywhere at ICWJ breakfast in Mission Bay.…

— Evan McLaughlin (@EvanSDlabor) December 6, 2012

Mayor Bob Filner among those attending SDAR’s Holiday House Celebration TODAY:… via @businesswire

— SDAR (@RealtorsSD) December 6, 2012

Just confirmed that Mayor Bob Filner and former Councilwoman Donna Frye will stop by tonight around 7:45 for our Annual Potluck Dinner.

— ClairemontOnline (@ClairemontTC) December 6, 2012

Newly elected Mayor Bob #Filner speaking at our lawmakers forum.…

— San Diego ACLU (@SDACLU) December 6, 2012

Mayor Filner just showed up at skatepark rally in #CityHeights.

— speakcityheights (@spkcityheights) December 7, 2012

Talking US-Mex border solutions w/ Business & Civic leaders this morning. And yes, he’s here #filnereverywhere W/@scottpeterssd @markkersey

— David Alvarez (@AlvarezSD) December 7, 2012

SD Mayor @bobfilnermayor addresses community Swearing-In of @drshirleyweber, his long-time friend & colleagu

— Assembly Dem Caucus (@AssemblyDems) December 9, 2012

At the 11 Star military holiday reception on North Island with Mayor Bob Filner and Senator Marty Block.…

— Dave Roberts (@DaveRobertsSD) December 10, 2012

Photos from the Port’s Pier Party & last night’s Parade of Lights: Thanks @bobfilnermayor for joining us! #sandiego

— Port of San Diego (@portofsandiego) December 10, 2012

@alvarezsd ,Thella Bowen, @bobfilnermayor & others cut ribbon on new Duty Free America store at @sandiegoairport today…

— Ruben Barrales (@RubenBarrales) December 10, 2012

@bobfilnermayor supporting Sweetwater trustee @pearlquinones being sworn in by her son, holding her grandson.

— WendyFry (@WendyFry) December 11, 2012

.@bobfilnermayor attends both #SDUSD and #Sweetwater meetings as new and returning members swear in:

— NBC 7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) December 11, 2012

Long day of being everywhere, it seems. #FilnerEverywhere…

— Lauren Steussy (@LaurenSteussy) December 11, 2012

Lisa Halverstadt is a reporter at Voice of San Diego. Know of something she should check out? You can contact her directly at or 619.325.0528.

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Disclosure: Voice of San Diego members and supporters may be mentioned or have a stake in the stories we cover. For a complete list of our contributors, click here.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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