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Saturday, May 25, 2024

San Fran. Admits Red State Boycott Is Ineffective, Costly

'It’s an ineffective policy that complicates the business of San Francisco government and makes it very likely that we pay more than we should for goods and services... '

(Headline USA) San Francisco officials admitted this week that a law preventing the city from doing business with red states was ineffective and costly.

The city passed an ordinance in 2016 that bars San Francisco from contracting with companies based in states that restrict abortion or are insufficiently protective of LGBT rights. It also prevents city employees from traveling to the banned states on the city’s dimes.

A Feb. 10 report from the City Administrator’s Office found that the ban hiked San Francisco’s annual contracting costs by up to 20%. The boycott also did nothing to force red states to change their laws. In fact, the number of states that have passed similar laws went from 8 in 2017 to 30 today.

“This increase suggests that the city’s threat of boycott may not serve as a compelling deterrent to states considering restrictive policies,” the report said.

Following the report, a San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee voted to repeal the ordinance. The full board now has to vote on it.

“It creates a burden for San Francisco,” Supervisor Ahsha Safaí said of the boycott at a committee hearing Monday. 

Supervisor Rafael Mandelman agreed and said he is prepared to introduce his own legislation that would fully repeal the boycott. 

“It’s an ineffective policy that complicates the business of San Francisco government and makes it very likely that we pay more than we should for goods and services,” Mandelman said.

Mayor London Breed said she would support repealing or at least reforming the boycott. Her office said in a statement that while she “recognizes the well-intentioned effort behind” the boycott, she also “acknowledges the many difficulties that affect contracting in the city” and would support changes to the ordinance.

Even the Democrat who proposed the bocyott in the first place said he now has “mixed views on the approach.”

“I’ll be honest, over time I have come to have mixed views on the approach,” Scott Wiener, now a state senator, said. “It is fundamentally not as straightforward an issue as I once believed.”

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