San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera committed this morning to suss out and terminate city contracts with Arizona companies in protest of the state's harsh new immigration law. Herrera also said he would offer his staff's assistance in any legal challenges to the law.
While no progressive San Franciscan would say that the Arizona law is anything short of a disaster, should a department facing $1.6 million in budget cuts commit resources and staff time to challenge an out-of-state law?
City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey says this is not mere grandstanding -- and might have a real effect. "I know this is an issue that resonates personally with [Herrera]. ... I think Dennis feels strongly it's worth anything this city could do. There's also the reality of if enough cities do this, there's critical mass, and Arizona might change its position."
True, San Francisco is not the only entity calling for a boycott of
Arizona. Democratic congressman Raul Grijalva, who represents the border
region of Arizona, has called
for a nationwide boycott of conventions held in his own state.
Some 70 truckers from California and Arizona have agreed to stop
driving goods in or out of Arizona for a week.
Dorsey says the efforts don't have to be a huge drain on resources: The
contract division could help identify Arizona-based companies and a
staff attorney could write an amicus brief to file with a likely court
challenge. "We got Cocoa Krispies
to fold with one press release. Sometimes the bully pulpit strategy
is pretty cost-effective."