FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Berkeley, CA - On February 24, the Department of Homeland Security issued a pre-solicitation notice for President Trump’s proposed US-Mexico border wall. Since then, more than 600 vendors, including nearly 100 from California, have signaled interest.
This enthusiastic response to the administration’s plans for a border wall demonstrates a dangerous normalization of President Trump’s agenda. Rather than denouncing the project – which scapegoats immigrants and demonizes our Mexican neighbors – companies are lining up to do business as usual.
Last night, the Berkeley City Council took a strong stance by voting unanimously to divest from all companies involved with designing, building, financing, or otherwise contributing to the creation of President Trump’s border wall. The resolution that was passed denounces the wall, directs a City commission to compile a list of companies working on it, and prohibits the City from awarding contracts or doing business with said companies.
This initiative, led by newly elected Councilmember Ben Bartlett, would make Berkeley the first City in the nation to divest from companies involved with developing President Trump’s wall.
Councilmember Ben Bartlett commented, “Societies are weakened through division; history teaches us that policies of economic and social inclusion result in greater prosperity. We need longer tables, not higher walls."
Across the nation, cities are stepping up to safeguard and promote progressive values. Cities are passing local ordinances to protect undocumented immigrants. They are also filing suit against President Trump’s unconstitutional executive order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. Progressive cities like Berkeley have the power to change the course of the country. In the face of President Trump’s divisive rhetoric and policies, using that power has never been more important.
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin commented, “As Mayor, it is my duty to ensure that Berkeley remains a safe place for all its residents. Our city is one that is known for breaking down walls, not building them. We will continue in that tradition regardless of what happens at the federal level.”
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