I haven’t seen a lot of super useful Council Referrals come through this City Council, but I thought that the most recent one from Jim Oddie was probably one of the better uses of the Council Referral process. This is probably going to be a contentious issue, but one of the ways for Alameda, the City of Alameda that is, to step up given the new world we will be living in come January.
While there are clearly some people in Alameda, about 15% of you, that are happy with the outcome of the national election, the majority of us are not that thrilled. And beyond being not thrilled, there are some of us that are fearful for our neighbors who are part of the subgroups targets during the campaign season. Which is why Jim Oddie’s Council Referral is so important in the small way that all politics is local, the title:
Consider Directing Staff to Draft and Return to Council: 1) an Analysis of Declaring Alameda a Sanctuary City; 2) a Policy Refusing to Honor Mandates Regarding Mass Arrests or Internments; 3) a Policy Refusing to Register Individuals Based on Their Religious Beliefs; and 4) a Resolution Reaffirming the City’s Commitment to Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Rights, Religious Freedoms, and Racial, Social, and Economic Justice. (Councilmember Oddie)
And, the short summary:
Protection of Vulnerable Community Members
The federal election has left many frightened over the threats to immigrants, LGBT rights, religious freedom, and racial, social and economic justice.
This referral requests that the City Council direct the appropriate City Staff to draft and return to the City Council the following:
1. An analysis of the potential and realistic financial impacts of declaring Alameda a sanctuary city, and draft legislation supporting such a declaration;
2. A policy instructing the Alameda Police Department to refuse to honor any request by the incoming administration to use any of its resources to participate in any mass arrests or internments mandated by the incoming administration;
3. A policy instructing all city departments to refuse to honor any request by the incoming administration to register individuals based on their religious beliefs; and
4. A resolution, similar to the one recently passed by the San Francisco Board of supervisors, reaffirming the City of Alameda’s commitment to LGBT rights, religious freedoms, and racial, social, and economic justice, and our commitment to the values of inclusivity, respect, and dignity.
It will be interesting to see which City Council members are supportive of moving this forward. This item is heard after the new City Council is sworn in, so we’ll see if there is unanimity on this item or if we see members who have previously refused to take a vote on any issue that was broader than local issues continue in that vein.