San Diego City Council Considers Joining Lawsuit Against Trump Travel Ban

by on February 14, 2017 · 1 comment

in Civil Rights, Culture, Election, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

City Council

By Doug Porter

Today, Tuesday, February 14, the San Diego City Council will vote on whether to join the Washington State lawsuit challenging the Trump Travel Ban. Local activists are being asked to support this effort by contacting City Council members and attending a hearing on the matter.

Editor: This is all happening in closed session in Council Chambers, beginning at 10am  at the City Administration Building, 202 C St. in downtown San Diego.

Although a unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a temporary restraining order preventing enforcement of a ban on travel from some Muslim-majority nations, the suit challenging the executive order continues to move forward.

One year ago the very idea of San Diego joining this lawsuit would not have been considered. The election of Mara Elliott as City Attorney has changed the political landscape.

From City News Service, via KPBS:

City Council approval is required before the city of San Diego can initiate or get involved in legal action. City Attorney Mara Elliott plans to brief the council members on the case and seek their direction.

“San Diego was asked by the city of Chicago to join with it in filing an amicus curiae brief in state of Washington vs. Donald Trump,” Elliott said in a statement. “The travel ban has consequences for San Diego — for our families, our border economy and our innovation and technology sectors. Our voice should be heard.”

San Diego Indivisible and numerous other groups are asking everyone to call their City Council member on Monday and urge support the lawsuit against the Muslim ban.

The support of five council members is needed to move forward. There will be an opportunity for public testimony regarding this issue (which, as is true with all legal matters, will be voted on in closed session) beginning today at 10am on Tuesday, February 14, at the City Administration Building, 202 C St. in downtown San Diego.

If you’re willing and able, come to the meeting and register to speak in support of joining the lawsuit. The item is CS 2: State of Washington v. Donald Trump. Even if you think your councilperson would normally favor such a resolution, it is important to call so they and their colleagues understand the depth of public sentiment.

Resist Trump Tuesdays

During congressional recess-—also known as a “District Work Period”—Members of Congress come home from Washington and, if they’re doing their jobs correctly, spend their time hearing from constituents. The upcoming recess will start Feb 17 or 18 and stretch until Feb 26.

Local activists are also planning for rallies outside of local offices for Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris on Tuesdays. Organizers say these are now ongoing events are “….showing everyone that we are not getting tired, we are not going away, and that we have only just begun to fight.”

This week’s theme is “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!,” with the aim being to communicate the need for California’s Senators to take an active role in opposing the Trump agenda, especially its draconian policies towards immigrants and refugees.

Last week at Issa’s Vista office, via Facebook

The rallies are at Senator Feinstein’s office (880 Front St., 92101) at noon and at Senator Harris’ office (600 B St., 92101) at 1:00. For more information.

In El Cajon, there will be a picket line in front of the offices of Rep. Duncan Hunter. (Tuesday, 10am, 1611 Magnolia Ave #310). For more information.

In Vista, there will be demonstrators at Rep. Darrell Issa’s office. (Tuesday, 10am, 1800 Thinodo Road) For More Information

Also in Vista, they’re going all out next Tuesday with an emergency Town Hall meeting, with or without Rep. Darrell Issa. A coalition of 20 organizations is hoping to crowdfund a full page ad in the Union-Tribune inviting Issa to attend since he’s apparently ignoring constituents these days.

Why This is Important

It would appear the resistance has managed to get the attention of the national media and more than a few Congressional offices. Now it’s time to make sure local politicians are getting a message about just how big this resistance movement really is.

Nationally, legislators are seeing increasing protests at town halls and other events, as communities have been taking up the call of numerous resistance factions formed after the election.

Many are taking their cues from the Indivisible Guide, a manual written by former congressional staffers designed to help activists organize at the local level.

Here a snip from Common Dreams about a weekend event in Utah (!):

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was confronted by angry crowds at a town hall in Salt Lake City on Thursday, over what they saw as his failure to properly investigate President Donald Trump’s conflicts of interests, in another showing of a growing resistance to the new administration.

Almost 1,000 constituents were gathered inside the Brighton High School auditorium, many booing and shouting, “Do your job!” at Chaffetz, who is chair of the House Oversight Committee, as he claimed that presidents are exempt from conflict of interest laws. At another point, when Chaffetz said he wanted to get rid of Trump’s recently-confirmed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—indeed, he wants to eliminate the Education Department as a whole—an audience member shouted, “We want to get rid of you!”

The Congressman abruptly cut the meeting short, refusing to take questions from the press as he left.

Chaffetz later blamed “paid protesters” for his raucous reception, a claim we’ll likely be hearing a lot more of in the coming weeks. Republicans are in denial over the depth of opposition to their personas and policies.

Fearless Leader Trump has already gone past denial to simply lying about protests, claiming they’re actually supporters.

A Moral March

In Raleigh, North Carolina, 80,000 people participated in a “Moral March” on Saturday. led by Rev. William Barber, president of the state NAACP branch.

A snip from Barber’s speech:

“A racist and greedy extremism that came to power in North Carolina four years ago now controls the White House and the Congress in D.C. Millions are afraid. A loud majority is outraged and the whole world is in turmoil asking what can we do. Well, we know we’ve got a hard fight ahead, but we know how to win.”

Planned Parenthood Pushback

Planned Parenthood supporters in Minnesota outnumbered forced birther by 10 to 1. Photo via Twitter.

Also on Saturday, hundreds of ‘Defend Planned Parenthood’ counter-demonstrations were held across the country in response to a push from forced birth organizations calling for defunding women’s clinics.

In Encinitas, roughly 2000 people responded to a Facebook posting by two high school students urging people to support and defend Planned Parenthood.

From the Union-Tribune coverage:

Also of concern to protesters were several GOP leaders’ pledges to cut funding, feared loss of women’s health services if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and the president’s recent executive order to cut federal funds from international organizations that perform or promote abortion.

“Planned Parenthood is just so crucial for women and men’s healthcare everywhere. So many people rely on it for (sexually transmitted diseases) tests, cancer screening, birth control,” said Sophia Stremel, 18, of Carlsbad. “If they defunded Planned Parenthood, many closed clinics would be in rural areas where people rely on them the most.”

Stremel organized the march with fellow 18-year-old Pacific Ridge School student Elena Scott, who noted that no federal funding goes toward abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life of the mother.

Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.

This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at SDFP.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Frank Gormlie February 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm

They did it. Council voted to oppose the ban and join the lawsuit. The San Diego City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday to file a brief in support of the state of Washington in its lawsuit over President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration. Councilman Scott Sherman cast the dissenting vote.

Here’s San Diego Councilmember Chris Ward (District 3) statement following the City Council’s 8-1 vote to join the amicus brief opposing the Presidential Executive Order restricting non-citizen travel to the United States:

“Today the City Council took a bold vote to join the amicus brief challenging the Presidential Executive Order restricting non-citizen travel to the United States, and I commend my colleagues for taking this critical action in support of those we represent. I’ve been overwhelmed in recent months as tens of thousands of San Diegans have mobilized themselves in defense of each other and the values of respect and inclusiveness that define our city. I’ve been proud to stand with them in those efforts and today, I’m proud that their City Council has said loud and clear that we will continue to fight for you. This is an important first step to begin defining how San Diego will respond to efforts which threaten to undermine the safety of our communities and the human rights of all our neighbors, but we know it won’t be the last. Our constituents are right to expect strong action from elected leaders and today I am reminded that together we can accomplish important things.”


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