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Santa Monica Council Repeals Arizona Boycott
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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP


Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

 

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

July 1, 2016 -- Arizona has been welcomed back into the Santa Monica family. The City Council on Tuesday rescinded its six-year boycott of the neighboring state, although with significantly less fanfare than when it voted for the blacklisting.

Following the lead of several other local governments, the council approved an Arizona boycott (with some exceptions) in the summer of 2010 after that state’s controversial anti-illegal immigration bill, SB 1070, became a law.

A few weeks later, the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board approved similar Arizona boycotts (“College Board Votes for Arizona Boycott, Student Member Opposes,” June 3, 2010).

City staff recommended the council rescind the boycott for various reasons, including that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down many of the law’s provisions, although not the portion allowing law enforcement to check a person’s legal status during traffic stops.

“The Arizona disclosure requirement negatively impacts the competitive [bidding] process in that any vendor located in Arizona is discouraged from bidding,” a staff report to the council states.

It continues, “Even vendors not based in Arizona have taken exception to the sanctions, and have refused to sign the disclosure stating that they are not an Arizona firm, thereby eliminating themselves from the bidding process.”

The five council members in attendance approved the repeal without any discussion.

Terry O’Day, then a recent appointee to the council, proposed the boycott (“Council Member Calls for Santa Monica Boycott of Arizona,” May 21, 2010).

He told The Lookout in May 2010 that he was most troubled by the enforcement provisions of the law, which he said “place emphasis on how a person appears and suggest that is an indication of their immigration status.”

Shortly after the boycott was approved, the council had its first major test when City staff recommended a team that included an Arizona company provide replacement homes for the Mountain View Mobile Home Park (“Council Rejects Proposed Contract with Arizona Company,” August 12, 2010).

The council rejected the recommendation.

“When we decided to enact the Arizona boycott, it wasn’t just about putting pressure, if you will, on Arizona,” Councilmember Gleam Davis said at the August 2010 meeting. “It was about taking a stand. And stands don’t mean much if the second they become inconvenient, you abandon them.”


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