This is the first known sanctuary city for businesses in the state and the country and will also shed light on the debate over the necessity of occupational licensing.
On Friday afternoon, the city council in the small town of Atwater, California defied California Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order and voted to declare itself a “sanctuary city” for businesses. The city council stated that its move “affirms the city’s commitment to fundamental constitutional rights,” ABC30 reported.
Atwater Mayor Paul Creighton exhorted, “This is America. You have the choice. It’s time for the government to stop dictating another month, another three months, six months. When is it going to end? When everyone is bankrupt?”
“At the Friday meeting, most people coming up to speak were for the sanctuary city reopening, not to mention members of the City Council and the Mayor voicing approval as well,” the California Globe reported.
Although the city, which is located in Merced County and has a population of roughly 28,000, is open for business, businesses that are regulated by the state could have their licenses revoked, which may inhibit them from opening. Creighton advised, “We’re not looking to jeopardize anyone’s business. That’s a license you hold with the state of California. So, we don’t want to cause any harm there, use your best judgment.”