The Berkeley City Council took a strong stance this week 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.
Since Department of Homeland Security issued a pre-solicitation for President Trump’s proposed US-Mexico border on Feb. 24, more than 600 vendors, including nearly 100 from California, have signaled interest.
The resolution passed by Berkeley City Council denounces the wall, directs a city commission to compile a list of companies working on the wall and prohibits the city from awarding contracts or doing business with such companies.
This initiative, led by newly elected Councilmember Ben Bartlett, would make Berkeley the second city in the nation to divest from companies involved with developing President Trump’s wall.
According to Councilmember Bartlett, “Societies are weakened through division; history teaches us that policies of economic and social inclusion always result in greater prosperity. We need longer tables, not higher walls.”
Across the nation, other cities are working to safeguard human rights. ACLU National Political Director Faiz Shakir stated in an interview with the Huffington Post, “Cities have a lot of power to change the direction of the country: They have constitutional sovereignty. They have power in local ordinances. They can really alter the course of the way the country is going.”
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín said, “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.”