District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen speaks to a 150-plus crowd outside San Francisco City Hall. The rally, planned by District Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer in conjunction with Indivisible San Francisco and the Brightline Defense project, was held to support Fewer's introduction of a resolution calling to impeach President Trump. Photo by Susie Neilson

Less than a year after President Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, more than 16 towns and cities across the country have passed resolutions calling for his impeachment. District 1 Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer wants San Francisco to join them.

On Tuesday afternoon, Fewer introduced a resolution at the Board of Supervisors calling for Trump’s impeachment and sponsored by 5 of the 11 supervisors. A vote will take place next week.

“Every morning I wake up, I remind myself this is not normal,” Fewer said as she introduced the resolution.

Fewer’s resolution charges Trump with three impeachable offenses: Obstruction of justice, collusion, and violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause. Within these larger offenses, however, it lists 63 clauses. Among the offenses cited are Trump’s improper pressuring of former FBI James Comey; his connections to disgraced former National Security advisor Michael Flynn; and his foreign business ties.

Fewer’s co-sponsors on the resolution included District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen, District 11’s Ahsha Safaí, District 4’s Katy Tang and District 8’s Jeff Sheehy.

Even before the meeting, Fewer co-hosted a rally on the steps of City Hall with Indivisible San Francisco and the Brightline Defense Project, whose attorneys also partnered with her on the resolution. The rally lasted about 45 minutes.

Ronen, Safaí and Sheehy spoke at the rally, noting their different reasons for supporting the resolution.

“Let’s face it,” Sheehy said. “The man is mentally ill, and he’s got his finger on the nuclear button.”

“We have to build a movement,” he continued. “Our very lives are at stake.”

Ronen noted a less life-threatening but more bizarre instance of the president’s conflicts of interest.

“I cannot believe that the president of the United States is using the most powerful office in the country to peddle his daughter’s fashion goods,” she said, later adding: “I feel like we’re living in an alternative universe.”

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Safaí noted that he was born in Iran—a country banned under Trump’s executive travel order.

Esperanza Cuatle, director of operations at Pangea Legal Services,  spoke about being undocumented.  “I know I am not safe anymore, and my family isn’t either,” she said. 

Cuautle noted that while over 35,000 people had been deported from Northern California between 2010 and 2015, the situation has worsened considerably under Trump. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is using more aggressive tactics, she said, and Bay Area sanctuary cities are getting targeted.

At the front of the crowd stood Quanah Brightman, his fist closed around a hunk of burning sage. Brightman is executive director of United Native Americans Inc., a non-profit indigenous movement organization.

President Trump, Brightman said, is “basically gutting” vital programs for Native welfare, including housing, healthcare and tribal education funds. Brightman said Trump had taken about $2 billion dollars from these programs.

If Trump remains in office, he said, “We’re gonna be hit the hardest.”

Fewer said she began drafting the resolution in July after receiving multiple requests from constituents and Indivisible San Francisco and Brightline– the former a political organization devoted to organizing San Franciscans against Trump, the latter a policy advocacy non-profit.

“Oakland’s done it, Berkeley’s done it, Richmond’s done it,” she said. “San Francisco, I’m sorry, we’re the leader in speaking truth to power. We have seen our residents under attack, we’ve seen our city under attack as a sanctuary city, and still we’re standing strong.”  

The resolution, if it passes, has no legal impact. However, Fewer and others believe it will send a symbolic message to senators and members of Congress.

“Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Jackie Speier, Kamala Harris … They’ll hear us,” said Christine Wei, a member of Indivisible S.F.

Quanah Brightman, executive director of United Native Americans Inc., holds up burning sage and a feather amidst activists from the Tenderloin. Photo by Susie Neilson

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