Remember the Board of Supervisors' tepid boycott of Arizona to revolt against that state's strict "papers please" immigration law? Many lambasted our city's boycott as yet another symbolic, feckless meddling in affairs far afield of San Francisco's issues.
But San Francisco was not alone in this one -- actually joining the ranks of such boycotters as Shakira, the SEIU, the World Boxing Council, and the city of Los Angeles. And a new report released by the progressive think tank Center For American Progress finds the calls for boycotts from organizations and cities across the country have actually exacted a heavy toll on the Grand Canyon State's economy: $141 million in lost revenue since the law's passage in April.
The think tank calculated the state lost $15 million in revenue in the
lodging industry alone via canceled and boycotted conventions and
contracts. From that, the researchers extrapolated out the lost food,
entertainment, transportation, and retail sales, settling on the
startling $141 million figure.
By this logic, all those lost
conventioneers means lost fares for taxis to the convention center, lighter tips for bartenders serving them Budweiser at Applebee's afterwards,
and less toothpaste money for the strippers giving them lap dances.
According to the report:
The state will also lose income taxes on
now-lost salaries, and sales taxes on goods and services that would have
been purchased with those earnings. The ripple effect of the meetings
and conventions that have already been canceled adds up to a fiscal
setback of more than $9 million in lost tax revenue over the next two to
The stricter provisions of SB 1070 that allow police to ask for a person's papers to prove they're in the country legally are on hold, pending a challenge in federal court. Yet it seems the biggest punishment to immigrants is economic. Who do you think makes up the backbone of the hospitality workforce?
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