Should SF Blacklist Bidders of Wall?

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Last week, San Francisco District Supervisor Hillary Ronen proposed that contracting companies who bid on Trump’s border wall project will be denied contracting deals in San Francisco.

 

San Francisco has made numerous moves to resist the Trump administration. We’ve declared ourselves a sanctuary city numerous times. We were the first city to sign preemptive legislation condemning the creation of a Muslim registry. Our attorney general, Dennis Herrera, has even sued the Trump administration for threatening to pull federal funding from sanctuary cities.

The Foghorn stands behind these previous decisions to resist Trump. They are rooted in legality and do not infringe on anyone’s personal liberties. However, San Francisco’s latest proposal to ban contractors who are in any way involved in the southern border wall from gaining San Francisco city contracts is a step too far. The staff of the Foghorn agrees with this anti-wall sentiment, but feels this proposition is unfair to contractors, construction companies, and the people of San Francisco.

 

The wall is a symbol of irrational anti-immigrant anger and is an atrocious waste of federal resources and taxpayer money. This is a belief we will strongly defend and unanimously stand behind. But we also recognize the safety concerns that come with construction projects, the importance of government representing their constituents and the political freedom of these construction companies. Therefore, while the Foghorn is vehemently opposed to building Trump’s wall, we feel San Francisco has overstepped its bounds in blocking construction companies who even bid on building such a wall.

 

The city of San Francisco has two big construction projects in the near future: a $1.1 billion terminal expansion at San Francisco International Airport and $860 million plan with SFMTA to help construct a subway extension to Chinatown. These are two major projects that will impact millions of people. The people of San Francisco deserve the best possible contractors for these projects. When the safety of human beings is involved, we feel that political beliefs sit on the backburner.

 

Because San Francisco is a city in the United States, it is tasked with democratically representing its constituents. There might be workers and contractors who voted for President Trump and think border security is a national priority. If they are blacklisted from major city contracts, they are being economically punished for their political beliefs. Banning construction companies for even bidding on Trump’s wall is a bold stance to take without an official vote. If San Francisco were to draft a proposition for voters to decide this issue, then this would be a different story.

 

The Foghorn opposes the construction of a wall separating Mexico and the US. We welcome opposition to the wall. However, we want it to be done legally and to be fair to all constituents. We recognize the difference between PR stunts and legitimate moral stands. A plan to block city contracts to companies who bid on Trump’s wall feels more like the former.

 

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