by Jim Nintzel
I mentioned in this week's story about SB 1070 that Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association reported that 19 meetings had been canceled, resulting in the loss of more than 15,000 room nights. The hoteliers estimate the economy took a $6 million hit.
Now Cypress Hill has canceled a May 21 show at the Rialto Theatre and we've heard about two conventions, the Glass Art Society and the Alliance for Community Media, canceling 2011 conventions in Tucson.
Tom Philabaum of Philabaum Glass, who estimates that he's put more than 800 hours into organizing the Glass Art Society convention, says the news that they had canceled felt like "a kick in the stomach."
But Philabaum is working to reposition the convention as a local festival next spring, with exhibitions at local museums and galleries. He's meeting with several groups at Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. at Philabaum Glass, 711 S. Sixth Ave. We'll have details in this week's Skinny.
Meanwhile, the Alliance for Community Media has decided against having a conference in Tucson in July 2011. ACM's Debra Rogers writes to Gov. Jan Brewer:
Dear Governor Brewer,
The Alliance for Community Media had planned to hold our Annual
Conference and Trade Show in Tucson in July 2011. Each year over 500
attendees, vendors and speakers attend our industry conference for up to
a week in a host city around the United States.
In response to Senate Bill 1070 recently signed into law in Arizona, the
Alliance for Community Media Board of Directors met last week and
directed me to request that our contract with Marriott be amended to
move our National Conference to another Marriott property outside the
State of Arizona.
Given the fact that our organization has very specific and strict
guidelines in the areas of diversity and equal opportunity, and that
many of our members will be precluded from attending the conference
because of nationwide boycotts against Arizona, the Alliance believes it
would be a violation of our member's trust to hold our conference within
the State of Arizona given the controversy and substance of the recent
immigration law. Further, we are convinced it will do lasting harm to
our organization's image and finances.
It is most unfortunate that the dollars that would have poured into the
state of Arizona to aid in economic recovery will go elsewhere. However,
we can find no justification to keep our conference in your state and
know that many of our members would boycott any event held in Arizona
given the current circumstances.
Like the community media centers we represent across the country, our
mission is non-partisan. We provide an open forum for all community
voices of all political views. We strongly support the right of all
voices to be heard equally and fairly. We embrace and engage diversity,
which adds to the wealth of our nation. We support the right of
individuals to be treated equally and fairly with no regard to race,
religion or ethnicity.
We urge you to consider the economic impact to your state and ask that
you repeal SB 1070 immediately. Until this occurs we must do what is
necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members. We are
eager to spend our money in Arizona, but you leave us no choice but to
take all necessary steps to move our annual conference to another state.
Debra Rogers, Chair
310A Dillingham Ave.
Falmouth, MA 02540