Tuesday, June 14, 2011

BOYCOTT, SCHMOYCOTT: Los Angeles' Threatened Boycott of AZ Fizzles

The Los Angeles Times has a story up on what happened to the Los Angeles City Council's ridiculously stupid boycott of the State of Arizona over "possible civil rights violations".    Lip service only it appears:

But a year later, little has changed in the way Los Angeles does business with the state next door.

The city still buys street sweeper parts from one Arizona firm and has a contract for emergency sewer repairs with another, officials say. The Harbor Department alone has four contracts with Arizona companies that total nearly $26 million.
A similar pattern can be seen across California.  Boycotts in Oakland, San Francisco and Los Angeles County made headlines last year but have since delivered little punch.

None of those jurisdictions has canceled a contract with an Arizona-based company because of the boycott — leading some immigrant-rights activists to dismiss the high-profile calls for economic sanctions as empty symbolism.

The disappointment is especially felt in Los Angeles, where Latino elected leaders strongly backed the sanctions.

"This is a moment of hypocrisy if the city of Los Angeles says one thing and does another," said Rabbi Jonathan Klein, executive director of the Los Angeles chapter of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice. Klein was speaking to a crowd of protesters gathered at City Hall to demand follow-through on the business ban.

Protesters have complained about several exemptions the City Council has granted in the last year, including approvals of contracts for made-in-Arizona Taser guns and red-light traffic cameras, as well as a contract with a Los Angeles International Airport shuttle provider that has offices in the state.

Councilman Ed Reyes, who wrote the boycott, voted to approve those exceptions. He said the deals were in the best interest of the city. Reyes said he, too, was disappointed with the boycott's slow progress, but he blamed City Atty. Carmen Trutanich's office for taking more than a year to draw up an ordinance specifying the terms of the ban. A spokesman for Trutanich said an ordinance is still in the works.

Despite the lack of clear guidelines, Reyes said there had been at least one boycott victory: Last year the Los Angeles Police Department opted not to send a team of helicopter pilots to a training conference in Phoenix.   OP:  Big Whoop

In fact, the Los Angeles Times itself proves it doesn't care much about ACTUAL civil rights violations as they recently accepted sponsorship from the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, a tribe that ACTUALLY practices apartheid on their reservation.   Pechanga ACTUALLY violates the civil rights of it's people, not "potentially does".

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