Seattle City Council approves Arizona-boycott resolution

Emily Heffter

The Seattle Times

May 17, 2010

The Seattle City Council approved the Arizona-boycott resolution 7-0 Monday afternoon. It calls for comprehensive immigration reform, and denounces the Arizona law.

The resolution urges Seattle city govenment to refrain from sending employees to Arizona and from entering into new contracts with businesses headquartered there --when legal and practicable.

The Seattle City Council will consider a resolution Monday afternoon to protest Arizona's new illegal-immigration law through a city boycott of goods and services from Arizona.

Councilmember Sally Clark sponsored the legislation, which she says makes a statement about the city's disapproval of Arizona's approach. But the resolution was carefully crafted so as not to interfere with the city's biggest contract with an Arizona company: the red-light camera agreement with American Traffic Solutions, which is up for renewal early next year.

The legislation hedges thusly:

City Departments should to the extent practicable, and in instances where there is no conflict with law or prior contractual agreements, (1) refrain from entering into any new or amended contracts to purchase goods or services from any company that is headquartered in Arizona, and (2) avoid sending City officials or employees to conferences or events in Arizona.

The city pays the Scottsdale-based company about $106,000 a month to operate cameras at 29 intersections.

"If we can't meet the needs of city services and provide for the efficient provision of those services, then we would still contract with an Arizona company," Clark said in an interview last week.

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