The Executive Committee of the Coconino County Democratic Party voted this week to support a resolution by the Flagstaff City Council denouncing the border wall with Mexico. The City Council will have this on its agenda next Tuesday, January 16.
The following is the position statement of the county party:
The Coconino County Democratic Party agrees that the Flagstaff City Council should denounce and oppose the President’s Executive Order 13767 and all associated actions calling for the construction of a border wall or continuous physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, for at least these reasons:
- “The Wall” is a symbol of hate and oppression that is insulting and terrifying to members of the Flagstaff community.
- Trade and friendship with the Sonoran government are vital to the economy of Flagstaff and the State of Arizona as evidenced by the recent joint visit to Sonora by Governor Ducey and Mayor Evans. “The Wall” is the wrong message for that relationship.
- We stand with the National Congress of American Indians and the Inter-Tribal Association of Arizona, which oppose construction of “The Wall.”
- The President revoked DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), which impacts many members of our Flagstaff community, and now he refuses to negotiate for legislation to reinstate DACA without including funding for “The Wall” in the law; this is immoral.
- The $18 billion cost to build “The Wall” and then the additional millions each year to maintain it will leave less money in the federal budget for spending that is important to Flagstaff. Federal spending is under siege following the recent passage of the Republican’s trillion-dollar tax give-away to their rich donors. The following programs, which, among others, are important to Flagstaff are threatened in the upcoming budget process:
- infrastructure (road repair and completion of the Rio de Flag flood control project, among other projects)
- healthcare (North Country Community Health Center funding and insurance payments to FMC)
- Medicaid funding, including to local non-profits that serve the disabled
- Veterans (the proposed Veteran’s home on McMillen Mesa and healthcare insurance)
- Social Security (a significant portion of Flagstaff’s population receives payments as elderly, disabled, and survivors)
- Many other programs that are about to be discussed and cut in the new Republican budget
- Although “The Wall” would be hundreds of miles from Flagstaff, its environmental impact will have a ripple effect on our own environment and the loss of endangered species will impact the enjoyment of Flagstaff residents who travel to the area for recreation.
While we as Democrats and citizens of Flagstaff and Coconino County support the proposal for the City to denounce “The Wall,” we prefer a resolution that includes protections for Flagstaff-based businesses who may innocently derive income from some association with Wall-related construction projects.
The City Council in a 5-2 vote adopted the resolution condemning The Wall. Our local paper published an editorial condemning the resolution as not pertinent to local issues. Here’s our response from Vice Chair Sallie Kladnik.