San Francisco Quietly Admits Boycotting Red States Failed

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James Lynch Contributor
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San Francisco quietly admitted boycotting red states failed to influence state policy and created additional administrative burdens for the city.

San Francisco’s City Administrator’s Office (CAO) reviewed the 12X legislation enacted in 2017 to boycott conservative states by banning city-funded travel and contracting with companies in red states. (RELATED: Blue City Reconsidering Sanctuary City Status Amid Staggering Fentanyl Overdoses)

As of September 2022, San Francisco’s blacklist covers 30 states based on their LGBTQ laws, abortion restrictions and voting laws. It originally applied to 8 states because of LGBTQ laws and expanded to cover abortion and voting laws.

“The CAO was not able to find concrete evidence suggesting 12X has influenced other states’ economies or LGBTQ, reproductive, or voting rights,” according to a CAO report published Feb. 10. “No states with restrictive LGBTQ rights, voting rights, or abortion policies have cited the City’s travel and contract bans as motivation for reforming their laws.”

The report also assessed the boycott’s impact on San Francisco’s operations. “The policy impact of 12X is unclear. Conversely, 12X is associated with high levels of administrative burden and likely imposes significant opportunity costs to the City.” Less competition among contractors increased San Francisco’s contracting costs by an estimated 10-20% annually, the report found.

Alternatives to 12X proposed in the report include repealing the law entirely, repealing the contractor boycott, exempting certain contracts from the boycott, reducing administrative burdens caused by 12X and creating “off ramps” for compliant businesses in red states.

City Supervisors Mandelman, Stefani, Peskin, Ronen and Safai requested the CAO report in October 2022. Its policy recommendations will be sent to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors for consideration.