A Los Angeles City Council committee on Wednesday voted to allow another loophole in the city's economic boycott of immigration-embattled Arizona. The recommendation of the Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee is to extend a contract with
Arizona's Blue Van Joint Venture, which runs the LAX SuperShuttle, for an additional year. Added: The company has offices in Arizona.
The full council would still have to approve the deal.
If the body does give the contract extension a green light, it would be the second time City Hall has gone against its own boycott, enacted to decry Arizona's controversial new immigration law.
Last month the council extended a contract with an Arizona-based company, American Traffic Solution, that runs the city's red-light cameras. And the Los Angeles Police Department went around the boycott by having a scheduled training mission in Arizona for four officers paid for with outside cash.
It begs the question of whether the boycott was genuinely meant to push Arizona lawmakers on the issue or just to make some on the council look like they're taking a stand (without actually having to give the boycott teeth).
Already it's been pointed out that Arizona-based electricity generators provide L.A. with as much as a forth of its power.
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Janice Hahn, who chairs the council committee and who was a co-author of the boycott measure, said nonetheless that honoring the stand-off with the desert state in this instance would cost the city too much.
"We felt the spirit of the boycott of Arizona could still be preserved,'' she said. "This company actually pays the airport $1 million a year. The boycott was about us not giving our taxpayer dollars to the state of Arizona. It was about banning travel to the state of Arizona.''
Actually, that's not true: The boycott in fact directed city staff to avoid new contracts with Arizona-based businesses and cancel existing ones if possible.
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.