Editorial: City Council's Action Unenforceable but Symbolic



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Rarely should the Berkeley City Council pass laws that cannot be enforced.

But in passing a consumer privacy protection resolution, the City Council made a long overdue symbolic statement.

The new Berkeley law prevents prevents financial institutions such as banks and credit card companies from selling consumer information to other companies.

While Berkeley police deem this an unenforceable law, the City Council's resolution has symbolic ramifications beyond penalizing corporations for violating the regulation.

Last month, state legislators caved into the financial institution lobby and voted down a similar regulation to Berkeley's.

But the City Council's action has the potential to set an example for other California local governments. This could force the state to take up this cause that is in the best interest of state residents, not large financial corporations.

Where the state government fails in protecting the interests of California residents, grassroots campaigns must respond to represent what the state cannot. The City Council's recent action is a shining example.

We encourage other city and county governments to follow Berkeley's actions. In doing so, California legislators will be pressured to protect the interests of their constituents.

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