So my long-time friend Vladimir Morales generated headlines over the past few days requesting the 'People's Republic of Amherst' boycott all things Arizona due to their recent legislation essentially mirroring federal immigration law--except of course for the enforcement part.
Since Vlad has been active over the past ten years trying to get legal immigrants the right to vote in local elections (something I have always supported on the floor of Amherst Town Meeting) it's no big surprise he would jump in to this current international frenzy.
Select Board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe doesn't seem overly enthused about Amherst officially taking this up now as a cause celeb, as they are currently knee deep in annual Town Meeting and running a $60+ million enterprise takes precedence over symbolic meddling.
I was interviewing state Senator Stan Rosenberg this morning on another project and couldn't help but ask him about this recent dust up. Like Princess Stephanie, he does not think the Massachusetts state legislature will take up this crusade anytime soon because at the moment they are busy with issues that directly impact legal Massachusetts citizens.
Springfield Republican Reports
Recent note to Amherst Chamber of Commerce and Select Board from Kenneth Robinson:
"If the voters of Amherst want to elect people like comrade Morales to public office that is, or course, their business.
However, actions have consequences. If the Select Board votes to approve Morales' Boycott Arizona resolution I will implement my own Boycott Amherst policy.
I enjoy dining , upscale and casual, in Amherst. I like shopping local (especially at independent booksellers) and grabbing a coffee at a non-chain coffee house. But, I do not like subsidizing politically correct idiocy.
As a consumer I have plenty of choices where I spend my money. If Amherst wants to pass pointless, symbolic resolutions that I find offensive its businesses will not be receiving any support from me."