Oakland Beats S.F. to the Punch on Arizona Boycott

Categories: Government
Arizona.jpg
They'll be boycotting cacti across the bay in Oakland. But not here in San Francisco. Yet.
San Francisco's proposed boycott of the state of Arizona drew a national spotlight. But the distinction -- be it positive or negative -- of actually enacting a boycott goes to Oakland, which can add that laurel to the city's trophy case alongside being dissed by Gertrude Stein.

Oakland's city council last night voted, 7-0, to economically punish Arizona for its passage of the controversial immigration bill SB 1070. San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, meanwhile, delayed. As item No. 38 during a marathon meeting, the supes opted to continue debate of the Arizona boycott until next week.

Since the boycott resolution was presented for "adoption without committee reference," it would have required a unanimous 11 votes to pass (this category is usually reserved for uncontroversial measures such as commending civic groups and do-gooders). Supervisor Sean Elsbernd -- who has no intention of voting for the boycott -- moved it be placed on next week's agenda, when it will require only eight votes to pass.

Supervisor David Campos, the resolution's author, had mixed feelings about the delay.
He told SF Weekly that it was "good" Oakland passed such a resolution, but "I wish we were the first one, but, you know, that didn't happen."

Elsbernd predicted the resolution will pass next week despite his guaranteed "no" vote, and described it as "totally symbolic." As SF Weekly noted before, the resolution "urges" cutting ties with Arizona "to the extent practicable" and in circumstances where it won't cost the city money.

Campos defended that language, saying it would be irresponsible to commit San Francisco to potentially squandering millions during tough times. And he argued that his resolution is not toothless: "I think a number of contracts will be impacted," he says.

We'll see if Oakland can make that claim too. We'll see if their boycott measure has any there there. 


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