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Reasons for an Boycotting Upstate Goods

Posted by Neile on May 13, 1997 at 18:57:19:

* If the religious right can boycott companies fro advertising on NYPD Blue, why can't I boycott Kodak film to sve my home? The economic power of 2.7 million tenants is not a tool to be so casually dispensed with.

* Upstate legislators have peddled their vote on rent laws without fear of retribution. Yet these legislators answer to local voters and face their judgment on election day. Are these voters then responsible for their representatives' actions? If "no", then a boycott is indeed "misguided". If "yes", then we're entitled to hold them accountable.

* I agree the boycott shouldn't limit itself to farmers. The revised proposal targets all upstate goods and services. In any case, it calls for expanded support of upstate economies following the rent laws' passage.

* Affirming the right of a municipality to set its housing laws is consistent with Republican empowerment of local government.

* The economic boycott has an honored history of effecting change. American colonists destroyed bales of English tea to protest their lack of representation. The embargo of South Africa helped end apartheid. The boycott of California grapes brought union recognition to striking farmworkers. African Americans' refusal to patronize white-owned business helped end segregation. In each case, detractors argued a boycott would alienate sympathizers.

* More than anything else, the boycott is a wakeup call. The loss of rent laws will allow landlords to "economically cleanse" their buildings of low and middle income tenants. Those remaining will see their disposable income plummet. Tenants will have little left to buy anything, let alone upstate products. Though realtors may prosper short term, allowing the rent laws to expire risks imploding the state's consumer economy.

* As the boycott's onset is triggered by the rent laws' expiration, the issue will become moot if Showdown '97 succeeds in preserving them. But if those efforts fall short, our failure to ready alternatives could prove disastrous.

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