City Council votes 5-3 to oppose border wallAround the City, Online Only, Top Highlights Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
The San Diego City Council voted 5-3 Tuesday along party lines to oppose President Donald Trump’s proposal to construct a billion-dollar wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Council’s five Democrats voted in favor of Councilmember Georgette Gomez’s resolution to oppose Trump’s executive order to build a wall and to oppose a House bill seeking to fund it from a fee on remittance transactions sent from the U.S. to several other countries.
“I think I’ll keep it simple so our president … will understand. The border wall is a stupid idea,” said Councilmember David Alvarez. “It is a horrible abuse of our taxpayer dollars. It’s a sham by the president. I think it’s important to send a message.”
Third District Councilmember Christopher Ward seconded Gomez’ resolution saying, “Today’s resolution will make our priorities clear.” Council President Myrtle Cole said, “We should work on building bridges and not walls.” Also voting in favor was Councilmember Barbara Bry.
Voting no were Councilmembers Lorie Zapf, Chris Cate and Mark Kersey, who are all Republicans. Council member Scott Sherman was absent. Cate and Kersey said nothing during the hearing, but Zapf got into an exchange with Gomez and her staff about the length of the current wall and when upgrades were constructed.
Zapf said she believed portions of the current wall went up when President Bill Clinton was in office and upgrades were done when President Barack Obama served, but staff members disagreed.
“This is not history 101,” said Council President Myrtle Cole, who urged Zapf to move on in her comments.
“I don’t see a point with this resolution,” said Zapf. “It’s political posturing.”
Zapf asked City Attorney Mara Elliott if the city should disclose names of firms which may have worked on the border wall in the 1980s and 1990s, but Elliott told her that was not before the Council Tuesday.
Zapf was reacting to another proposal which will be voted on later to debar firms who do business with the city and who are part of constructing the border wall. The proposal would prohibit the city from using the services of any company that participates in the border wall construction.
There were over 50 speakers who urged the Council to vote in favor of the resolution, while only three people said they were in favor of building a wall.
“Anyone who is against this wall is un-American, in my opinion,” said Hud Collins. “We need to secure our country for our citizens.”
Rebekah Hock-Held, who works at The LGBT Center said, “The border wall is a huge mistake” and it was based on fear. Another representative from The Center told the Council “walls go against our values. Say no to the border wall.”
“The wall is profoundly un-American,” said Bruce Coons, the executive director of the Save Our Heritage organization, who added it was “detrimental to tourism.”
The resolution encourages local companies to not participate in the design, construction or financing of the border wall. It says the wall and the House measure for funding it will “be damaging symbols of fear and division that will increase tensions with Mexico.”
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