By Kate Linthicum |
A year after the City Council approved the sanction, little has changed. There's not even an ordinance specifying how the boycott should work.
In May 2010, Los Angeles was a part of wave of cities that voted to boycott Arizona after lawmakers in that state passed a controversial law targeting illegal immigrants.
City Hall staffers were ordered to review contracts with Arizona companies for possible termination, and official travel to Arizona was supposed to be suspended.
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.