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Oakland bans contracts with border wall bidders

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City Council calls move “practical response” to White House policy

Eight border wall prototypes on display in Southern California.
Eight border wall prototypes on display in Southern California.
Photos by Ian Volner

The Oakland City Council unanimously passed a measure Tuesday barring contracts with any company that puts in a bid on the White House’s border wall project.

Councilperson Abe Guillen told the East Bay Times the policy is an example of the city “putting our dollars where our values are.” He called the measure “a very practical reaction to what’s going on in DC.”

In part, the ordinance reads that “until and unless President Donald J. Trump rescinds this [border wall] order,” Oakland will:

Refrain from entering into (formally bid/solicited or informally bid/solicited) all new or amended contracts to purchase all goods/commodities and services (i.e., professional, technical, scientific or financial services, goods, construction labor and materials or other services, or supplies) from businesses that enter into contracts to provide such services, goods, materials or supplies to build the U.S.-Mexico border wall (Border Wall Prohibition).

The application of such policy shall include, but not be limited to: 1. Construction 2. Engineering 3. Planning 4. Information technology businesses and their subsidiaries, extending to and including 1. all financial institutions 2. subcontractors.

The ordinance does come with the specified rider applicable only “in instances where there is no significant additional cost to be defined in regulations, or conflict with law.”

San Francisco considered blacklisting border wall contractors, and Berkeley passed a similar resolution earlier this year.

Eight prototype designs for the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall are presently on display near San Diego. Congress has not yet voted any funding for the project, and its future and potential timeline remain unclear.