The Trump administration’s toxic policies against women, immigrants, people of color, and the LGBTQ community has not trickled too far down the pipeline to San Francisco, but when it has, the city has responded en masse. We’ve protested and sent pizza and ACLU lawyers to SFO when the Muslim ban was in effect, we’ve rallied to backfill funds for reproductive rights, we’ve marched for science and women and just today, organized in support of immigrant families being separated at the border.
But this November, San Franciscans will have a new way to protest the bigoted policy decisions made at the national level. Supervisor Hillary Ronen filed a ballot measure Tuesday that would create a series of checks and balances to ensure the city is not financially complicit in discriminatory policies occurring nationwide.
The measure is three-pronged; It would require city officials to monitor and identify local resources that are being employed to assist discriminatory federal laws in any way (something that isn’t currently in effect). It also mandates that San Francisco “consider” backfilling all federal cuts to prejudicial programs, like reproductive rights. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, it protects San Francisco’s right to be a Sanctuary City regardless of any federal threats to withdraw of funds because of it.
“To maintain the people’s trust and engagement, the people urge the city to decline to use its resources to enforce discriminatory federal laws, or implement discriminatory federal policies, to the extent permitted by state and federal law,” the ballot measure reads. “Instead, the people urge the city to use its resources to promote the well-being of all city residents, including city residents who, because of their identities, are increasingly deprived of federal support.”
Ronen says she wants to ensure that city funds are used to benefit San Franciscans, not for their detriment.
“We are a Sanctuary City and we refuse to allow our local resources to be used for ‘license to discriminate’ policies that separate families and block access to critical services,” she says. “In the context of what is happening in Washington, we have to be vigilant in protecting our city and our residents. Considering the irrational and cruel decisions coming down from the federal government, we have to take a stand now.”
The announcement of the ballot measure came the same day as an emotional Board of Supervisors meeting, in which several local politicians cried recounting their anguish over families being separated at the border. It’s co-sponsored by Supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer, Norman Yee, and Katy Tang, and will need at least 50 percent of the vote to pass.