Tuesday, February 7, 2017

At least 300 people showed up at the Petaluma City Council meeting tonight just to get It Won't Happen Here on the agenda. These folks are our model! Thank you. I've heard back that the new Police Chief, who was sworn in tonight, made a statement of non-cooperation with the Trump administration.
The Santa Rosa City Council meeting to discuss their resolution will begin at 4:00 Tuesday afternoon. It will be discussed after public comment on subjects not on the agenda. The public comment will start no earlier than 5:00, so this will all be much later than the discussion last week. I'm not sure what they are going to do about an overflow crowd. Last week they set up chairs outside and broadcast the proceedings, but it's supposed to be raining tomorrow.
The principle feedback I received to my email about the resolution was concern about the phrase "shall not enforce Federal civil immigration laws and shall not use city monies, resources or personnel to investigate, question, detect or apprehend persons on the basis of a possible violation of immigration law, unless required by State or federal law."
That seems like double speak to many. The wording comes from the immigrants' rights community and is referring to laws which are constitutional now. Our statement has been written in anticipation of laws which will violate the Constitution and our civil liberties, so, obviously, the response of the two groups is different. The groups which have been working on sanctuary have been doing so for a very long time. I believe we should agree to support their wording on issues of immigration.
It was originally hoped that the city and county would consider immigration issues separately from our statement (though we include immigration in our statement) because the threat is different. The other marginalized communities are not being threatened with deportation with a structure in place for doing that. Both the city and county have lumped them together in one resolution. I don't personally see that as a problem. San Francisco has done a fine job of including all communities in their statement. They have only one "whereas" followed by a series of "resolved's" - one for each community, listing the individual threat to that community, followed by a promise to protect. Here's an example: "RESOLVED, That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate - we build bridges, not walls; and be it FURTHER RESOLVED, That we will never back down on women's rights, whether in healthcare, the workplace, or any other area threatened by a man who treats women as obstacles to be demeaned or objects to be assaulted...."
And what's best about the SF resolution is that it doesn't discuss how it's going to do this and it doesn't discuss laws - this implies a "by any means necessary" approach. It allows them to consider breaking unjust laws without saying so up front. It could be interpreted as cowardly, but I'm inclined to think it's clever.
The city's resolution is a first pass from the staff, not the council members. Julie Combs asked, at the last meeting, that the statement be inclusive of all threatened communities. It feels as though the staff just threw something in without much thought. The council is seeking suggestions with wording. Our statement has some specific wording about the threats and the communities. If you choose to speak, this is something you could speak about.
At the last meeting, council member John Sawyer said that things were coming out of Washington a lot faster than he had anticipated. We need to reiterate that point. The city needs to be ahead of the curve.
And, as with my comments about the county, we need the state, counties and cities to come together in a solidarity of resistance. We need to confirm for Trump that California is "out of control," out of his control. - Peace, Susan

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