San Diego City Council passes resolution opposing Trump’s border wall
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 09/20/17 - 01:11 PM | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The current walls that separate Tijuana, Mexico from the United States, with San Diego in the background. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The current walls that separate Tijuana, Mexico from the United States, with San Diego in the background. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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The San Diego City Council voted 5-3 Tuesday along party lines to oppose President Donald Trump's proposal to construct a billon-dollar wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The City 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 its important to send a message."

District 3 Councilmember Christopher Ward seconded Gomez' resolution, saying, "Today's resolution will make our priorities clear."

City 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. Councilmember 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, who represents District 2, 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 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 that may have worked on the border wall in the 1980s and 1990s, but Elliott told her that was not before the City Council Tuesday.

Zapf was reacting to another proposal that 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 City 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."

"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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