Board of Supervisors President London Breed is known to speak her mind – so much so, in fact, that she once shut down her own Twitter account to prevent herself from continuing to post controversial Tweets.
On Tuesday, Breed introduced a resolution during the Board of Supervisors meeting that stands up to the worst fears of a Donald Trump presidency. Resolutions carry no legal weight but can apply political pressure.
No controversy there. But some of Breed’s choice of language didn’t sit well with at least one member of the board, and some significant edits to the resolution took place.
For instance, the original version of the resolution read, “On November 8, 2016, American voters elected an erratic, ill-informed racist and misogynist as President.”
But that was edited from the resolution before the board unanimously approved it. The edits came after Supervisor Katy Tang succeeded in passing amendments to the language.
The resolution now officially reads: “On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to become the 45th President of the United States.”
Why the change?
“I would like us to focus more on positivity,” Tang said, “rather than focusing on the negative aspects.”
She added, “I just do not want us as a Board of Supervisors to stoop the level of our president elect and I’d like us to focus more on the positive aspects of San Francisco and what we stand for.”
While Breed defended her initial language choice, she ultimately voted in favor of the changes. “I do want to make it clear based on the comments, based on the tone that had been set by our president elect. I wanted to focus on sending a real strong message. We need to make it clear and call out what we know to be the truth.”
Tang also changed the title of the resolution.
The draft title read: “Resolution responding to the election of Donald Trump and reaffirming San Francisco’s commitment to the values his election threatens.”
The officially approved version states: “Resolution responding to the election of Donald Trump and reaffirming San Francisco’s commitment to the values of inclusivity, respect, and dignity.”
Another change from the Breed draft initially stated: “That bigotry may have won an election, but it cannot change who we are, and it will never change our values,” which now reads, “That we condemn all hate crimes and hate speech perpetrated in this election’s wake; that although the United States will soon have a President who has demonstrated a lack of respect for the values we hold in the highest regard in San Francisco.”
This isn’t the board’s first foray into national politics via resolutions. In 2006, a resolution calling for the impeachment of then-President George W. Bush for leading the country into the Iraq War and for eroding civil liberties was approved by a previous board makeup.
The resolution states a number of core values San Francisco holds most dear and those city officials fear Trump would undermine based on his comments on the campaign trail since announcing his candidacy in June 2015.
“That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City,” the resolution states.
Trump has threatened to cut federal funding of cities like San Francisco with sanctuary policies, which restrict local law enforcement and other officials from reporting undocumented immigrants to federal authorities for deportation.
The resolution establishes a city policy to stand united and defiant against the worst fears of a Trump administration. Trump’s inauguration is Jan. 20.
The resolution comes as anti-Trump protests have sprung up in major cities across the nation since Election Day when Trump beat Hillary Clinton to the surprise of most. It also builds on multiple city mayors, including Mayor Ed Lee, digging in their feet in support of sanctuary city policies amid Trump’s threat to deport millions of “criminal aliens.”
The resolution also speaks to protecting LGBT rights, the environment — the resolution states “climate change is not a hoax, or a plot by the Chinese” — religious freedom, police reform, universal health care and “internationalism.”
Meanwhile, Lee told reporters Tuesday that if the president elect follows through on threats to cut federal funding for political reasons, it could turn into a legal battle.
“[Trump’s] made a lot of statements,” Lee said. “The question that we all have is how will he really manage the country.”
The mayor said there are agencies with a “constitutional mandate” to provide services, such as the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, a federal public housing agency.
“If there is denial of constitutional funding then we will get our attorneys to see who is correct in this,” Lee said.