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N.C. council nixes idea of ‘welcoming city’ Robert Moreno | Sat, Feb 11 2017 12:00 PM

Nearly 100 people crammed into the National City council chambers Tuesday night, many of them having to watch the City Council meeting on a screen mounted to a wall in a conference room or in the lobby while holding signs that read

“No Ban, No Wall.”

They and other residents and non-residents of National City had gathered to show their support for a resolution calling National City a welcoming city, a gesture that would have prevented city employees, including police, from inquiring about immigration status while at the same time gauranteeing city services to all residents.

The resolution would have also encouraged local businesses and charitable organizations to help provide “services to familes relocating to the city of National City and integrating into our communities.”

Typically, sanctuary cities do not require local police departments to inquire into a person’s immigration status.

“National City is a city based on immigrants and diversity, so why not make it a welcoming city?” said Teresa Saez, 53, a Cuban refugee who has lived in National City for the past two years. “All of us together can make this city and nation great.”

Forty-three speakers spoke on the item, some representing the hotel employees and restaurant employees union Unite Here Local 30, others were high school students and still others were current and former National City residents.
Despite the public’s support, the National City council voted  3-2 against designating their city a welcoming city.
Councilwomen Alejandra Sotelo Solis and Mona Rios voted in favor of a welcoming city resolution.

The resolution was brought forward by Sotelo Solis and would have made National City one of a handful of cities in the county to be a safe haven for all people, regardless of immigration status, at a time when the president of the United States pursues a policy that could deport millions of undocumented residents and bar entry to anyone seeking to enter America illegally.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison did not support the item because he said he had a problem with some of the wording in the resolution and worried that National City may lose federal funding if it held a Welcoming City status.
Morrison and Councilman Albert Mendivil said National City does not need to become a Welcoming City because it already is one.

“We are already a welcoming city without the label,” Mendivil said. “We don’t need to have to say ‘we’re a Welcoming City,’ we are already that.”

In a previous council meeting Mendivil voted in favor to consider bringing this resolution forward for discussion.
Rios said she had thought the original resolution would pass because she said Mendivil had approved changes to the resolution that were made by Sotelo Solis.

Morrison, who has been popular with the Latino’s and Filipino’s in the community, proposed a substitute resolution removes the word “welcoming” and reads: “… A resolution of the city council and the city of National City in support of continuing to be a community that supports all residents and visitors…”

But the substitute resolution, which passed by a 3-2 vote, did not please supporters of making National City a Welcoming City.

“I feel embarrassed for the city of National City that the mayor would not stand up to a resolution that all it would do is welcome immigrants to National City. We are a city of immigrants,” he said.

Rios said she was “blindsided at the 11th hour” with the substitute resolution that Morrison made.  She said the approved substitute resolution “watered down” the original Welcoming Cities resolution.

Although her proposed resolution did not pass, Sotelo Solis said she will still represent every single person in National City.

“We cannot legislate in fear,” she said. “In an environment where we are hearing messages of hate and bigotry, we have a responsibility to legislate with language that sends a strong message to our youth, adults, elders that firmly states that their city leaders will advocate for them regardless of their immigration status.”

Urias said he is disappointed in the city’s current leadership and is ready to bring about change.

“I think this goes to stand that here as residents of National City we need to come to more meetings, we need to stand up, we need to vote because those individuals [Morrison, Mendivil and Councilman Jerry Cano] do not belong in office anymore.

“I think he [Morrison] pushed the wrong buttons, he turned his back on the community.”

Rate This Article 4 vote(s)
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DirtyDan Says:

Sat, Feb 18 2017 12:19 AM

Kevin is so correct. If National City had more democratic leadership, it would further establish itself as a welcoming city.


Kevinkcufttub Says:

Wed, Feb 15 2017 06:37 PM

PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS! VOTE DEMOCRAT!


Danny Hernandez Says:

Tue, Feb 14 2017 07:40 PM

To Morrison, mendivil,And cano
The three of you remind of the ministers who pleaded with Martin Luther King jr , that civil rights were a good thing , but not yet! Don't stir things up Martin!When a people are seeking support to feel better during troubled times and you basically turn your back on them ,tdon't ever stand in front of them and say you're on their side!! With friends like you , then they don't need enemies! Don't profess that you love you neighbor and in time of need shut the door on them. You three are quite simply not good samaritans!!!


anniej Says:

Tue, Feb 14 2017 11:21 AM

Ms. Solis Sotelo continues to protect her constituents - hopefully her Community recognizes and appreciates her efforts. Regarding Mr. Morrison - let's look at his priorities - changing term limits and increasing pay. Surprised? NOT IN THE LEAST!!!!!

just my opinion


Nathan Santana Says:

Mon, Feb 13 2017 05:36 PM

Time for residents in National City to come together and show the city council we are better then this.


Gloria Jean Nieto Says:

Sat, Feb 11 2017 07:08 PM

Morrison, Mendivil and Cano all three are an embarrassment for the City of National City. They would not approve the resolution as presented by Alejandra Solis Sotelo when there were 43 persons speaking in favor of the Resolution. I expected it from Morrioson and Cano which ever Morrison wants he seconds the motion. Mendivil I was very surprised being a retired principal from the National School District. Morrison will be gone in 2 years ðð» and Mendivil is up for reelection so we have to work on not getting him reelected. Cano ??? We are stuck with him for 4 more years. He should be impeached or resign. Kudos to Mona & Alejandra for supporting the residents of National City.


Lancers Says:

Sat, Feb 11 2017 06:55 PM

Morrison says he's worried about losing fed funding , what a joke. The dude is scared of trump tower, which shows he has no guts, he is afraid to use the word "welcoming" Sounds like National City of the 1950s.


Mona Rios Says:

Sat, Feb 11 2017 06:02 PM

There is a process and a number of ways Elected Officials have to present substitution motions so that all colleagues get the information in a timely manner and can vote with due diligence on last minute amendments or corrections. The Mayor chose none of those, instead he held it through out the entire meeting, and after forty-plus people spoke, he then read it without providing copies to the public, no less the Council. It was only after, he read it that he handed out a striked, incomplete version to his colleagues. Where is the professionalism from our leaders, when sitting elected members of the Council have to see it publicly displayed on social media (Facebook) instead of their official binders . If someone has to go to so much trouble to withhold and/or blindside folks, instead of adhere to process and transparency, that should be a red flag to all.


Fire Ron Morrison Says:

Sat, Feb 11 2017 12:52 PM

The Latino community has supported Ron Morrison in every election. And this is the thanks we get? He turned his back on us and the other minorities in National City.

I ask Ron Morrison to step down as mayor. You're no longer competent to do your job.

To Albert Mendivil and Jerry Cano all I got to say is the two of you just lost your next election. Cheers!


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