Update: Austin Says No to Arizona’s Immigration Law!

30 04 2010

After one day of hard work & online advocacy via Twitter, FB, snail email and one phone call, we have a proposal for an economic boycott against Arizona by the Austin City Council. Standing up for Austin is Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez who said in a press release that he didn’t want to “expose city employees to potentially hostile environment in Arizona” and “that our Austin community stands in vehement opposition to racial discrimination in any form.” And being who I am, I vehemently agree!

Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Austin Councilmember Bill Spelman and Mayor Pro Tem Martinez will introduce the resolution at the May 13th Austin City Council meeting. Meanwhile, I’ve been gathering mas support via Twitter & Facebook. So if you want to keep up to date on the resolution or show your support, please join us on the “Austin Says NO to Arizona’s Immigration Law!” We’re already up to 294 LIKEs and y’know we like the LIKEs now!

Muchisimas gracias to Bobby Garza and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez for taking the lead on this effort. They are a prime example of city officials listening and working for the people! You can read the full press release below.

Adelante!

Mando

For Immediate Release

April 29, 2010

Contact: Bobby Garza, Office of Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez

(512) 974-2264

Austin Council Members To Propose Arizona Boycott

Austin, Texas – Austin Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, City Council Member Bill Spelman and Mayor Lee Leffingwell announced today that they will introduce a resolution at the May 13th City Council meeting directing the City Manager to limit employee travel to Arizona and to present a plan to the Council for terminating business and investment relationships with the State of Arizona.

“The reasons for introducing this measure are two-fold,” said Mayor Pro Tem Martinez.  “First and foremost, we want to ensure that we are not exposing city employees to risk by sending them into an uncertain and potentially hostile environment in Arizona .  Second, we want to send a loud and clear message to the State of Arizona that our community stands in vehement opposition to racial discrimination in any form.”

“This resolution has precedent in past Council actions,” added Martinez .  “For example, we’ve previously passed policies prohibiting the city from doing business with manufacturers who utilize sweatshop labor.  It is squarely within the Council’s purview to determine with whom the city should or should not do business based on their practices.”

The resolution comes on the heels of passage of SB 1070 in Arizona that effectively mandates racial profiling throughout the state.  Other cities across the country, including Los Angeles and Washington D.C. , are contemplating similar legislation.  San Francisco has recently passed a resolution that will terminate all contracts with Arizona-based companies and end city business with the state.

“ Arizona ’s new immigration law puts anyone traveling to the state in jeopardy of being detained, based on a law enforcement officer’s ‘reasonable suspicion’ that that person might be an undocumented immigrant,” said Council Member Bill Spelman.  “That’s wrong, and I can’t responsibly allow our city employees to be placed at such a risk.”

“While I’m normally reluctant to support the Council formally weighing in on issues outside of our jurisdiction, Arizona ’s legislation potentially has a direct impact on our employees, and is generally so offensive that I believe it demands our attention,” said Mayor Leffingwell.   “I’m supporting this resolution because I believe that we have a responsibility not only to protect our own employees, but also to speak out loudly against racial discrimination wherever it exists.”

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Adelante Austin: Getting Austin to boycott business in Arizona

29 04 2010

Yesterday, my friend Perla Cavazos posted the story about L.A. boycotting or “refraining from doing business in Arizona” in the L.A. Times. I thought to myself, what a bold move and way to show support and solidarity for Hispanics – immigrants and Americans! See excerpt from L.A. Times story…

“On Tuesday, seven members of the Los Angeles City Council signed a proposal for a boycott, calling for the city to “refrain from conducting business” or participating in conventions in Arizona. Councilman Ed Reyes, who coauthored the proposal with Councilwoman Janice Hahn, said he wants city officials to spend the next 90 days assessing the financial relationships that exist between various city departments and businesses based in Arizona.”

So of course, I asked myself, what about Austin? What can we do to help? So I posted the question on FB and Twitter and got some good responses.

After talking to a few peeps, online and off-line, I decided to take action. So this morning I called Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez’s office and since then have been communicating with  Bobby Garza. Both Mike and Bobby told me that they’re working on pushing forward a proposal to present to the Austin City Council to boycott business in Arizona. Sweet! And I was still trying to get some support via my Twitter amigos and it’s looking good.

So now I’m waiting on details from Bobby to set up a Facebook page to get all of Austin mobilized around this effort. I hope you will join me!

Adelante!

Mando








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