06/24/2011 05:05 pm ET | Updated Aug 24, 2011

Los Angeles Arizona Boycott: A Disappointment

Story courtesy of The City Maven

By Alice M. Walton

The long-awaited ordinance that would restrict the city of Los Angeles from contracting with Arizona-based businesses because of the state’s immigration policy was released last week by the city attorney’s office and it includes a host of exemptions that would make the ban ineffective.

Following the passage of SB 1070, which allows Arizona law enforcement officers to inquire about a person’s immigration status regardless of whether the person has committed a crime, Los Angeles City Council members Ed Reyes and Janice Hahn introduced a resolution to ban business with the state.

Fourteen months later, the City Attorney’s Office has finally submitted a draft ordinance on the matter, which defines an Arizona-based business as one that includes ownership or control of personal property and at least 50 employees within state lines.

The ordinance lists 10 exemptions to the ban, including:

  1. Contracts subject to competitive bid requirements
  2. Contracts for the one-time purchase of goods or services
  3. Contracts that would be significantly more expensive or result in poor quality if not awarded to an Arizona business
  4. Situations where awarding a contract to a business outside of Arizona would not be in the city’s best interest

Those exemptions did not sit well with Reyes.

“It wouldn’t apply to the competitive bidding process, so what the heck are we doing? I don’t understand that and we’re going to address that,” Reyes said in an interview with The City Maven.

“That ugly question keeps arising – who is making policy? (The ordinance language) was not the intent of the resolution. I hate to harp on that but it’s kind of like, I wonder if they read the resolution?”

The ordinance was referred to three committees — Budget and Finance, Audits and Governmental Efficiency, and Information Technology and Government Affairs. Reyes hopes the committee process creates a robust discussion and new language in the ordinance.

“We’re (the city attorney’s) clients so we need to align the purpose of the resolution with the verbiage of the ordinance,” Reyes said.