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Why San Francisco Finally Ended Its Boycott of 30 States With Conservative Laws

The city of San Francisco has ended its 2016 law boycotting 30 states with conservative laws on the books.

Seven members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to end the boycott, which prevented city employees from traveling to these locations or doing business with companies in these states. Four members opposed the repeal. 

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“It’s not achieving the goal we want to achieve,” said Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who sponsored the legislation to repeal the boycott. “It is making our government less efficient.”

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the board’s Budget and Legislative Analyst found the boycott racked up nearly $475,000 in staffing expenses, not to mention that hundreds of exemptions had been granted for contracts between 2021 and 2022.  

The law initially only applied to states that enacted measures in response to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015, but later was amended to include states that addressed voting rights and abortion access. 

The effort has also been ineffective in its “central goal” of putting pressure on other states to change their laws. 

“We haven’t changed a single law,” said Supervisor Matt Dorsey, according to the SF Chronicle. “I think San Franciscans would be angry if they knew the amount of hoops that have to be jumped through and the added cost to city contracting.”

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Mayor London Breed previously signaled she'd support changes to the law. 

"The mayor recognizes the well-intentioned effort behind the boycott and acknowledges the many difficulties that affect contracting in the city, and would support changes, including the legislation being worked on by Mandelman," a statement from her office said. 

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