Berkeley, California, Adopts Uniform Selective Purchasing Policy
Pedro T. Coelho, 14 Jan 1999
Dear Friends And Supporters of East Timor:
On January 12th, 1999, the Berkeley City Council approved, in a 8 to 0 vote, with one
abstention, the final text of the selective purchasing and investment policy legislation
impacting Indonesia and East Timor. The vote also carries with it a profound revision, and
the uniformization, of selective purchasing policies previously adopted by the City of
As you may recall, in 1998, the City of Berkeley adopted a Resolution of Intent to
enact a selective purchasing and investment law concerning East Timor and Indonesia.
Thereafter, in light of a desire to strengthen previously adopted selective purchasing
laws, and to lower implementation costs through their uniformization, the City Attorney's
office took the opportunity to initiate the development of the Uniform Selective
Purchasing Policy now adopted.
The favorable vote cast on the proposed Uniform Selective Purchasing Policy prompted
the simultaneous adoption by the City of Berkeley of five Resolutions, (1) expressing
support for a national foreign policy which places paramount importance on human rights by
prohibiting the expenditure of public funds for personal services, procurement of goods,
investments or deposits with business entities which do business with those governments
designated by the Council as "Oppressive States" and repealing selective
purchasing Resolutions previously adopted by the City of Berkeley; (2) adding the Nation
of Burma(Union of Myanmar) to the Oppressive States list; (3) adding the Tibet Autonomous
Region and the provinces of Ado, Kham and U-Tsang to the Oppressive States list; (4)
adding the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Oppressive States list; and (5) adding the
Republic of Indonesia and the territory of East Timor to the Oppressive States list.
Myself having had the honor to initiate and actively participate in the year-long
process which took us to this victory of global social responsibility, I am very happy to
note, that the adopted legal text does include the initially proposed divestment and
disclosure provisions, and, albeit in a different format, the desired exemptions for
"non-profit community organizations" and "humanitarian" activities.
The law's exemptions, will enable organizations such as those dedicated to the practice of
Fair Trade to find shelter for their business in targeted territories. Moreover, the
Resolutions concerning Burma, Tibet, and Nigeria, have also been considerably strengthened
by the City's uniform adoption of provisions we initially proposed for East Timor and
My deepest appreciation goes to the Citizens of Berkeley, and to Linda Maio, the City
Councilmember who most actively supported our efforts to see adopted a selective
purchasing and investment Resolution pertaining to East Timor and Indonesia in the City of
My heartfelt thoughts go to the People of East Timor who, after twenty four years,
still today endure and fight off the brutal military occupation of their land by
For a Socially Responsible Global Village.
Long Live East Timor!
Pedro Tropa M. Coelho, Esq.
firstname.lastname@example.org (510) 558-7101 Berkeley, California
The Uniform Selective Purchasing Policy was presented to the Berkeley City Council by
Manuela Albuquerque, City Attorney, 510-644-6380. Copies of the adopted Resolutions can be
obtained, when made available within approximately a week, from the Berkeley City Clerk