SHARECOMMENTMORE

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Another day without a public apology brings more calls for Lewiston Mayor Robert Macdonald to resign.

Maine People's Alliance held a press conference and rally outside Lewiston City Hall Thursday morning and delivered petitions asking for the mayor's resignation to his office.

A spokesperson for the MPA said they have collected more than 1,400 signatures so far.

The petitions are not likely to cause the mayor's resignation, however, because the city has no procedure in place for a recall.

The MPA is responding to Mayor Macdonald's recent interview with the BBC.

"When you come here, you come and you accept our culture, and you leave your culture at the door," Macdonald said to the BBC.

Somalis have joined members of MPA in protest of the mayor's comments.

"We came to this community because it is safe and peaceful, and now because of the mayor's statements, we feel more vulnerable to violence," said Nimo Yonis, a Somali community organizer.

Mayor Macdonald has not apologized, but clarified his comments in a Lewiston City Council meeting on Tuesday.

"I was speaking of my desire for immigrants to assimilate into the American way of life, not for them to change who they are or leave their culture behind," said Mayor Macdonald in the meeting.

But that does not appear to be enough for those rallying for his resignation.

"It is ironic that such remarks come from a mayor of a city literally built by French Canadian and Irish immigrants," said Louis Morin, Director of the Franco-American Heritage Center.

Lewiston City Councilors stopped short of condemning the mayor's comments in a press conference Thursday.

"The mayor's comments and beliefs are his own," said City Council President Mark Cayer.

Instead of demanding an apology, Cayer asked for community members to unite and cooperate.

Cayer added he would apologize if he were in a similar situation.

Though the mayor's opponents may be speaking publicly, the mayor's supporters are voicing their opinions, too.

Twin City Times Publisher Peter Steele said he has received phone calls, emails, and comments on social networking sites voicing support for the mayor's positions, and asking the newspaper to continue to publish his columns.

"Many, many, many residents and business owners in Lewiston, and again in Auburn, do agree with the mayor's sentiments," said Steele.

He emphasized that as the publisher, printing the column should not be taken as an act of endorsement, but rather as support for free speech.

Mayor Macdonald has not responded to multiple requests for an interview.

SHARECOMMENTMORE