Hayward Anti-Discrimination Task Force
meeting last spring.

At a Hayward City Council meeting last June, city officials basked in the glow of a standing ovation from those who have long advocated for declaring the Latino-heavy city a sanctuary for immigrants.

The city announced Wednesday that it received an award from the Local Government Hispanic Network for its efforts in adapting to changing federal immigration policy and immigration law enforcement. Hayward received the 2017 Civic Engagement Award this week at a conference in San Antonio.

Hayward Assistant City Manager Maria Hurtado is a member of the Local Government Hispanic Network’s board.

But in the East Bay, praise for Hayward’s reaction to threat posed by President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and polices toward immigration were somewhat undeserved since nearly every city in Alameda County had passed similar resolutions months prior and during times of great anxiety in various immigrant communities.

Instead, Hayward city officials chose to kick the sanctuary city debate in February to a 22-person task force, also charged with updating its decades-old anti-discrimination policy.

The alternative track, as opposed to neighboring cities such as Alameda, San Leandro, Oakland, Berkeley, and Fremont, which supported either sanctuary city declarations or so-called “compassionate cities,” Hayward came under fire from grassroots Latino groups and numerous elected officials for its perceived intransigence.

The task force subsequently recommended sanctuary city status and the council approved the resolution on June 6. But not before some members of the task force claimed weighing-in on the immigration debate was not part of the original task force’s agenda.

Meanwhile, the revision to Hayward’s Anti-Discrimination Plan is scheduled to be presented to the City Council for final approval in late November.