UPDATE: The resolution passed unanimously (seven to zero, with Council Members Conlin and Burgess absent).

At its meeting this afternoon, the Seattle City Council will hear testimony and possibly vote on a resolution for city government to boycott Arizona, which recently passed a draconian anti-immigration law that allows officers to demand immigration papers from suspected illegal aliens and arrest those who aren't carrying proper documents. Although a new Ipsos/McClatchy poll says American favor the Arizona law (61 to 36 percent), it has has irked progressive cities (including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Boston, Austin, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.) that have voted to boycott the state. That law "will jeopardize public safety and drive a wedge between law enforcement and ethnic communities," says the resolution sponsored by council member Sally Clark. It calls on city officials not to take business trips to the state or enter contracts with companies based there.

But I wondered how much economic impact would this really have—like, how much money does Seattle currently spend annually in Arizona that would instead go elsewhere? And does Clark think this will send a message to Arizona legislators—or, as some folks may argue, simply have an impact on workers in Arizona?

I emailed Clark those questions, and here's how she answered:

Compared to the impact felt with the boycott by cities like Los Angeles ($8 million in contracts was the figure I saw), any contracting changes by Seattle probably will be felt little in Arizona. The resolution calls on the federal government do take up real, comprehensive immigration reform so states don't go off on their own. That's the main point of it, although the boycott language is what gets people's attention. It's the bright red flag, so to speak. The resolution says the city will "refrain" from sending employees to conferences or on other work trips to Arizona and that the city will "refrain" from entering into new or amended contracts with companies in Arizona "as practicable."

The bottom line is we don't do much business in Arizona. The biggest contract I'm aware of is for purchase red light cameras from a company in Scottsdale. If we go out to bid for those again for some reason, we'd still entertain a bid from the Scottsdale people and they'd probably make a good pitch given that they're running our system now. Ultimately, we need to choose the business that can do the best job for Seattle tax payers. For people who hate the red light cameras, they probably wish the language were tighter.

If you look at the language cities have used so far, it's pretty much the same. The goal is to get the attention of the and to make it clear the Arizona action is not the kind of comprehensive reform we've gone on record requesting. The Arizona law puts police officers in a bad spot. You don't want people to avoid calling 9-1-1 if they need help. That puts individuals and communities at risk.

The city council—which has reportedly been getting a lot of heated emails about the resolution—meets at 2:00 p.m.; you can watch testimony and deliberations live on the Seattle Channel. Mayor Mike McGinn has also come out in favor of the bill.

And in news to the south, Tacoma is slated to vote on a similar measure tomorrow.