In Resisting Trump Agenda, Seattle Takes The LeadTop Stories

February 09, 2017 07:05
In Resisting Trump Agenda, Seattle Takes The Lead

In resistance to the Trump administration’s domestic, foreign, environmental and labor policies, Seattle seized an early lead with a decision on Tuesday to stop doing business with Wells Fargo over the bank’s role in funding the Dakota Access pipeline. Mayor Ed Murray has already defied President Trump’s threat to withhold aid to “sanctuary cities,” having vowed that he will oppose it even if it costs “every single penny” in federal funds.

The Dakota Access pipeline, which was shelved by the Obama administration but has been revived by the Trump administration, has been a flashpoint for the environmentalists and Native American activists for years. Wells Fargo is one of the dozen banks that are lenders to the project, and also had already been targeted last year by the city, which canceled a planned $100 million bond issue over the news that bank had been bilking retail customers for years, resulting in the $190 million as fines. On Tuesday, the unanimous vote by the City Council means that the city’s operating accounts, which handle around $3 billion in a year, will have to find a new home when the contract with Wells Fargo expires in the late 2018.

Studies have shown that Seattle as one of the most liberal cities in the United States, which gave Trump only 38.1 percent of the vote in November. It is represented by the two Democratic senators in Washington and is the home for such progressive companies as Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon, as well as Nordstrom. Another large local employer, Boeing, which is the country’s leading exporter, had rocky relationship with the Trump administration over the foreign trade issues and the cost of a replacement plane for Air Force One.

Highlights of Prime Minister’s Speech in Parliament

But the politics of immigration have galvanized the city like the few other issues. Murray, a long-time state legislator, who was elected in the year 2013, has also said that he plans to maintain Seattle’s status as the so-called sanctuary city, ignoring White House executive order which is targeting the undocumented immigrants.

Washington was one of the two states bringing a lawsuit that won a temporary restraining order against the president’s Muslim immigration ban. While in a recent Atlantic article which highlighted the difficulties of some liberal cities have had with state decisions overriding the city-level legislation, the Seattle’s policies should be in the relative clear, even though most of the eastern portion of the state leans in the Republican. Their governor and also the state house are both Democratic, mitigating the GOP’s small edge in the state Senate.

Federal money is the another matter, and the city is also taking precautions in the case where White House reduces or eliminates its funding in the battle over immigration. In a press conference last month, Murray said that he had instructed the departments to prepare budget cuts in case the approximately $75 million of federal funding in the city’s $5 billion budget was pulled.

Murray did say that $10 million in the federal law enforcement funding could be vulnerable, because it could be directly tied to any refusal to enforce the federal immigration laws. But Murray vowed that, he would not cooperate with the administration on what he views as civil rights issues.

By Mrudula.

If you enjoyed this Post, Sign up for Newsletter

(And get daily dose of political, entertainment news straight to your inbox)

Rate This Article
(0 votes)