San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday imposed a moratorium on city employee travel to the state of Arizona for official business and announced the creation of a task force to determine how best to extricate the city from its Arizona-related contracts.
The actions are in response to a new anti-immigration measure signed into law last week by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, and come one day after San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued a statement calling the law "Draconian," urged a City boycott and criticized the state for choosing "to isolate itself from the rest of the nation."
The moratorium is effective immediately as the mayor and others are considering an official city boycott of the state and take steps "to develop a smart and effect boycott that sends the appropriate message to Arizona while protecting the city's financial interests," Newsom said in a prepared statement.
Newsom also announced the formation of the Arizona Boycott Workgroup, which brings together the city controller, purchaser and treasurer along with members of the city attorney's office, among others to help work out details regarding the extent of such a boycott.
Chaired by Newsom's chief of staff Steve Kawa, the workgroup will be tasked with developing "smart and effective" recommendations that the city can implement through ordinances.
In Sacramento, leaders are calling for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to do everything legally possible to sever California's economic ties with Arizona until the law is repealed.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg sent a letter to Schwarzenegger requesting that no new contracts be negotiated and that the state study the legality of breaking existing contracts.
Bay City News contributed to this report.