‘When is it going to end? When everyone is bankrupt?’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A city in central California declared itself a “sanctuary city”—not for illegal immigrants, but for businesses and citizens unwilling to abide by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s shelter-in-place order any longer.
— Vanessa Vasconcelos (@VanessaABC30) May 15, 2020
The City of Atwater passed a resolution on Friday allowing its business, churches and all other organizations to begin reopening in defiance of Newsom’s extended shutdown.
The resolution affirms “the city’s commitment to fundamental constitutional rights” and rejects Newsom’s restrictions.
“This is America. You have the choice. It’s time for the government to stop dictating another month, another three months, six months,” Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton said, according to KFSN. “When is it going to end? When everyone is bankrupt?”
The resolution is largely a symbolic gesture, but it does prevent local authorities from interfering with businesses that choose to reopen, according to the Associated Press.
Even so, businesses that operate under state-issued licenses could still face consequences from the state if officials decide to revoke those licenses.
Newsom has not yet commented on Atwater’s resolution, and Creighton said he hasn’t heard much from Merced County officials either.
The Atwater City Council passed its “sanctuary city” resolution unanimously and were met with a standing ovation from residents in attendance, according to Merced Sun Star.
“We have to base our decisions on the Constitution,” said Atwater business owner Chris Coffelt, who brought copies of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Amendments to the meeting.
“If you receive an order from the governor telling us that we can’t open our business, that’s an illegal order,” Coffelt said. “It’s unconstitutional.”
More than 200 people attended the city council’s meeting, which is the largest turnout Creighton said he’s seen. And almost everyone was in favor of reopening, he said.
“I get emotional on this,” said Donald Covington, president of the Old Town Atwater Association. “People are starving. Two family members have two different businesses with small children and no income. We need to do this today.”