Sunday, February 19, 2017

Defining "Sanctuary City"

As the Common Council contemplates passing a resolution to make Hudson a sanctuary city, there is uncertainty--among supporters and detractors--about what that exactly would mean. This morning, the question was taken up on NPR's Weekend Edition: "The Call-In: Answering Your Questions About 'Sanctuary Cities.'" If you missed it, it is recommended listening. Click here to do so.


  1. Without offering advice one way or the other on the prospect of becoming a sanctuary city (whatever the term means), I hope we'll begin with a clear-eyed look at what it would mean for Hudson to lose federal funding as a result.

    As long as we understand the implications, only then will we be able to say, later on, that our decision was an informed one.

    But how many of the grants we receive, or even try to win, are federal in origin? For that matter, how many grant applications does the City have out at any one time, or in any given year?

    I recall an exasperated Superintendent Thurston asking the same questions some years ago at a Common Council meeting, when she suggested we keep a tally of our grant requests and even post the list for all to see.

    That would be very useful right now, as we prepare to commit to a course of action which could put some of these grants in jeopardy. But how many, and what kinds of grants?

    These grants may not be worth the indignity of being threatened with their loss, but without actually knowing our degree of dependence on them we'd be acting out of ignorance.

    In Florida, Miami-Dade County says it bowed to this same threat, but perhaps the County only needed a change of language in a new and deftly-worded Resolution.

  2. The monthly Treasurer's Report, prepared by the City Treasurer and presented at the Council's monthly Finance Committee meeting, often contains a list of matching requirements and potential matching requirements for all pending and awarded grants. It's not in every month I don't believe though there is always a summary in each month's report.

  3. President Trump has proposed spending billions of dollars rebuilding America's crumbling infrastructure. Here in Hudson, we could use such funds to rebuild the Ferry Street bridge, sewers, roads, and water mains. Perhaps Trump plans to withhold such funds from sanctuary cities as a way to punish them.