Monday, September 28, 2020

Los Angeles Boycotts Arizona

Arizona Watch

Los Angeles, the nation’s second-largest city, voted in a council resolution on Wednesday to engage in a boycott of doing business with the state of Arizona.  The resolution, sponsored by Council members Ed Reyes and Janice Hahn, was meant to protest the state’s recent passage of a controversial new anti-immigration law, SB1070.

When it goes into effect, the law will require all immigrants to carry proof of legal residency and gives local police wide leverage to stop individuals suspected of being in the country illegally.  Many argue it will lead to racial profiling of Latinos.

The LA City Council resolution, which passed by a vote of 13-1, would ban most city travel to Arizona and future contracts with companies in that state.  It also called on the city attorney’s office to review all of the city’s $58 million in existing contracts with Arizona companies to determine which can be canceled.

A morning of impassioned debate preceded the vote.

Councilman Ed Reyes said, “As an American, I cannot go to Arizona today without a passport. If I come across an officer who’s having a bad day and feels that the picture on my ID is not me, I can be … deported, no questions asked. That is not American.”

In his remarks, Councilman Paul Koretz likened Arizona now to Germany in the 1930s.

“This is very frightening stuff,” he said. “If this was being proposed at the federal level, I would think we’re absolutely at the very beginnings of what went on in Nazi Germany.”

“And you may think I’m overstating it, but I’m not, because SB 1070 — the immigration law — is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said. Koretz also cited the ban on ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools, that, as reported in La Plaza, the governor recently signed into law.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, however, issued a statement opposing the Arizona law but cautioning against the use of such Holocaust comparisons.

A number of US cities have called for a boycott of Arizona including San Francisco where the Board of Supervisors approved a similar resolution earlier in the week.  They join over 30 organizations and labor unions which vow not to boycott the state or have cancelled conference previously scheduled there.

Despite the overwhelming support in City Council, one of the sponsors, Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who is also a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said she has received hate calls and hate email opposing the resolution. But, she said, “we know bad things happened when good people don’t stand up and say something.”

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa now receives the resolution for his signature.

LA Times

LA Times