Support Arizona By Boycotting San Diego!


On May 3, the solons on San Diego`s city council approved, by a 7 – 1 vote, a resolution that, in the language of a memo from council president Ben Hueso urging such action, amounted to “[d]enouncing Arizona`s SB 1070.”

You can read the somewhat milder text of the actual resolution here. After seven harrumphing declarations, each beginning with “WHEREAS,” it says that the council “on behalf of the people of San Diego, … urges the State of Arizona to repeal SB 1070.” A copy of this brave resolution was sent to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer.

Unlike some local governments that have been piling on Arizona, San Diego`s council members didn`t enact a boycott to keep their city from doing business with companies in Arizona — just a statement of their high moral dudgeon. Nevertheless, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on May 14 that some exasperated individual Arizonans have responded by canceling planned vacations to San Diego – and letting the affected businesses know why. This has attracted some attention:

San Diego tourism leaders and hoteliers fear they could lose a sizable chunk of business this summer from valued �Zonies� who are so angered by elected leaders’ recent censure of Arizona for its illegal-immigration law that they’re mounting an informal boycott of their own.

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and several hotels report receiving e-mails and letters from Arizona visitors saying they intend to change their plans to travel here in light of local outcry over their home state’s anti-illegal-immigration stance.

Tourism officials are striking back. In an open letter, they urge Arizona residents to overlook local politics and come to San Diego just as they always have for its mild climate, beaches and attractions. The visitors bureau, in conjunction with the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association, plans to circulate the letter to media outlets and in advertising this weekend in The Arizona Republic.

The bureau says it has received about 25 to 30 e-mails from Arizona residents reacting to resolutions passed last month by the San Diego City Council and school board, which were little more than symbolic protests aimed at the neighboring state’s lawmakers.

Still struggling from the prolonged economic downturn, San Diego’s visitor industry can ill afford to lose any of the 2 million Arizonans it counts on annually, said ConVis President Joe Terzi.

(Some in Arizona canceling trips to S.D., by Lori Weisberg, Friday, May 14, 2010)

The Union-Trib reporter noted that some Arizonans “misconstrued the votes taken by San Diego’s elected leaders as calls for an actual boycott of Arizona.” Disappointed council member Donna Frye responded, â€?The City Council did not pass a resolution boycotting Arizona, and I would hope that the good citizens of Arizona understand that and will continue to visit San Diego.â€?

I, on the other hand, hope that Frye and her council colleagues learn that there`s sometimes a price to be paid for noisy sanctimony.

That goal should be helped along by the Support Arizona, Boycott San Diego [SABSD] coalition, a nationwide group of organizations (including several based in San Diego County) that`s organizing a boycott [PDF] against businesses within San Diego`s city limits, expecting that affected businesses will put pressure on the city council to rescind its moral preening over Arizona`s law.

As the coalition explains,

The boycott will have the strong support of San Diegans themselves. Most San Diegans think the new Arizona law is excellent. Many local boycott enthusiasts will now choose to go to shopping malls, grocery stores, restaurants, movies, sports events, etc. ONLY OUTSIDE SAN DIEGO CITY LIMITS. The choices outside are wide and close at hand!

Dr. Stuart Hurlbert, emeritus Professor of Ecology at San Diego State University and a board member of Californians for Population Stabilization [CAPS], is a co-coordinator of the SABSD coalition. Hurlbert, who lives in the city of San Diego itself, was quoted in the North County Times, which serves northern San Diego County:

Hurlbert … said Friday that the boycott is aimed at the city of San Diego and not other parts of the region. Hurlbert said the groups would tell people to visit North County as an alternative.

“There are people who support open borders and then there`s another 80 percent who think that`s kind of crazy and we`re that other 80 percent,” Hurlbert said. “And we applaud Arizona.”

(Local groups plan boycott of San Diego, by Edward Sifuentes, May 28, 2010)

The coalition explicitly recognizes that San Diego is not the sole, or worst, offending governmental busybody about the Arizona law. (See the list at the very bottom of that same web page.) Those other busybodies are targets for later:

We recognize that the city councils of other cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Austin — are also dominated by fools who have passed resolutions against Arizona, some calling for a boycott of the state. Their resolutions are equally offensive and based on ignorance and misinformation.

Some have asked us why we do not launch simultaneous boycotts focused on those other cities. The answer is simple. We are civilized carnivores. We eat our meals slowly, one bite at a time, sharing with other carnivores.

In a phone conversation with me, Hurlbert had another suggestion for supporting Arizona from afar: Fly the Arizona state flag. For example, 3` X 5` versions are available here for $10.

And why not? True patriots are all Arizonans now! So put up an Arizona flag and use it as a conversation starter on illegal immigration.

Dr. Hurlbert also told me that “organizations wishing to join the SABSD Coalition can do so by notifying sabsd@capsweb.org and giving the name and phone number of the leader or contact person, their email address, and the url for their website (if they have one).” I see that 30 groups from across the country — even Vermont! — are already on the coalition`s roster.