Resolution Opposing Trump Border Wall Advances To San Diego City Council
The San Diego City Council's Budget Committee on Wednesday advanced a resolution opposing President Donald Trump's plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Councilwoman Georgette Gomez proposed the resolution, which states that the border wall would be harmful to San Diego's environment and economy. It also calls on the city to divest from companies involved in the wall's design, financing or construction.
The 2-2 partisan vote came after nearly an hour of public testimony, all in favor of the resolution. Because the resolution did not get a majority, it will be forwarded to the full City Council without a recommendation from the committee. It is expected to go before the full council in September.
"I'm not doing this because I'm looking for media attention," Gomez said. "We were elected to do the right thing, and this is the right thing to do."
Gomez was joined by Councilwoman Barbara Bry, also a Democrat, in supporting the resolution.
"The impact on San Diego of Trump administration policies has been devastating, both in terms of economic justice, social justice and environmental justice," Bry said.
Councilmen Scott Sherman and Chris Cate, both Republicans, voted against the resolution saying the city should not be weighing in on matters that are under the jurisdiction of the federal government.
"While I appreciate trying to respond to things coming out of Washington, DC ... I don't think it's appropriate for us to continually do this over and over and over again," Cate said. He added the city should not be "going after businesses based on what they're doing and a political agenda of a legislative body."
The vote continues a trend of Democrats in city government pushing for a more aggressive stance against Trump administration policies. In February, the council's five Democrats voted to sign an amicus brief supporting a transgender teenager in his lawsuit to use his school's men's bathroom. The week prior to that vote, the Trump administration rescinded protections for transgender students allowing them to use school bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
Also in February, the City Council voted to sign an amicus brief supporting a lawsuit against Trump's travel ban. That vote passed 8-1, with Councilman Sherman casting the lone "no" vote.
Those two actions earlier this year were brought to the council by City Attorney Mara Elliott, a Democrat. Cate accused her of "bringing divisive 'DC politics' to San Diego." Elliott said she was simply seeking council direction and could not decide unilaterally whether to sign or not sign the amicus briefs.
A spokesman for the City Attorney's Office said Wednesday that the border wall resolution would have to be clarified before reaching the full City Council.
"In particular, the 'intent to divest' requires clarification, in the form of policy direction, so this Office and the Mayor can complete legal and operation reviews," spokesman Gerry Braun said in an e-mail. "Absent such clarification, our Office has advised District 9 we would not be including the 'divest' provision in the resolution going to Council."
Braun added that the mayor has the authority to veto the resolution.