Months after Alameda became one of the first cities in the county to pass legislation declaring sanctuary city status, they now may be the first to reject a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Last week, Alameda city officials declined to sign a document required by the Department of Justice in order to apply for federal Justice Assistance Grants (JAG). Signing the document would certify that Alameda “does not restrict sending or receiving information regarding citizenship or immigration status.”
But the city says signing the document would violate its sanctuary city policy approved Jan. 17–three days before President Donald Trump‘s inauguration–that prohibits the city from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Alameda City Manager Jill Keimach, City Attorney Janet Kern and Police Chief Paul Rolleri declined to sign the certification, the city said Tuesday.
The move forfeits an estimated $11,537 in federal grants used primarily for law enforcement, the city said.
Alameda city officials believe it is the first city in Alameda County to reject federal grants related to status as a sanctuary city.
The potential loss of federal funding resulting from approval of the sanctuary city legislation was no surprise to the city council and, in fact, envisioned by city staff in January.
Alameda Councilmember Malia Vella, who along with Councilmember Jim Oddie, who first proposed the city become a sanctuary city, said the loss of federal funding is trivial.
“All I can say is you can’t put a price on civil liberties. $11,500 is nothing in exchange for protecting the civil rights of everyone in our community,” said Vella.
Since late January, nearly every municipality in the county eventually approved some form of a sanctuary city declaration as a bulwark against Trump’s policy on undocumented immigrants. The main holdouts remain Tri-Valley cities in east county.
Most likely the total budget of the city of Alameda is in at least the hundreds of millions of dollars. so therefore the eleven thousand dollars being “sacrificed” for “principle” is not even the tiniest fraction of one percent of the total city budget.
However most likely Keimach, Kern, and Rolleri each have salaries of over 200K per year, and it is quite possible that one or more of them might even have a salary of over 300K, or even over 400K.
So as to prove that they are not just modern style big “liberal” windbags, I suggest that each of them willingly accept a pay cut of $11,537, and rather than everyone in Alameda, and including fast food workers being paid minimum wage and senior citizens, having to contribute to the $11, 537 reduction in city revenues.
According to an article I just checked in Wikipedia, the 2010 US Census stated that the city of Alameda had a population of 73,812, and the estimate for 2016 was 78,906.
So forfeiting $11,537 comes to approx fourteen cents per person. That is such a huge sacrifice, that therefore the next time I am I the city of Alameda I am going to load Jill Keimach, Janet Kern, Paul Rolleri, Malia Vella, and Jim Oddie in my car, and then take all of them to the very finest gourmet restaurant, and such as for instance McDonalds, Burger King, or Jack in the Box, and treat all of them to the one dollar value meal hamburger, since I strongly believe we should reward and recognize those who make huge sacrifices.