Seattle is boycotting Arizona. Coffee drinkers are boycotting Starbucks because Seattle is boycotting Arizona. Austin is boycotting Arizona. The Burleson Tea Party and the Hood County Republican Party are boycotting Austin because Austin is boycotting Arizona. Season ticket holders are boycotting the Phoenix Suns because they wore jerseys with the word ‘Los’ on them. Los Angeles is boycotting Arizona.
That last boycott prompted a unique reaction from Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce in the form of a letter to the L.A. city council in which Pierce said he could encourage Arizona utilities to cut off power to L.A. The city draws up to 25% of its power from Arizona, and though the letter was only bluster (he has no direct authority to throw the switch himself), it has certainly electrified the exchange of words over the Arizona immigration law.
While all these boycotts and anti-boycotts will probably just cancel each other out, the real loser in this war of words will be the Arizona economy and, in turn, Arizona’s design and construction community. If you were considering where to relocate or open a new branch for your business, would you choose Arizona during this boycotting frenzy? Even for business owners who support the law, it might give them serious pause to announce a re-location to Arizona in this heated climate where they would need to weigh the potential costs of reactions from their customers, employees and investors.
Arizona voters just passed a temporary one cent sales tax increase this week to cover the budgets for education and public safety because tax revenue from tourism, business and commerce are down in the dumps due to the economy. While the immigration bill isn't likely to have a dramatic effect on the illegal immigrant climate in Arizona, the public relations costs are dramatic, leading to even more lost tourist revenue, lower tax income and reduced commerce.
And that's going to sting, no matter which side of the argument you are on.
It's your turn to let us know your opinion. Do you think it was brave, or foolhardy, of Arizona to stand up and tell the rest of the U.S. that we desperately need comprehensive immigration reform?
If you are an Arizona firm, has the national reaction to the law had any impact to your business? Have you gained any contracts from supporters of the law, or lost any due to boycotts? Have you had any work that was delayed due to hesitation stemming from the current climate?
If you are an out-of-state firm, how does the law affect your willingness to do business with an Arizona-based design firm or contractor? Will you be less, or more willing to hire an Arizona firm, or does it not matter to you either way?
Please leave your comments below.