A group of self-appointed community leaders are reportedly planning a boycott of Columbia Center Boulevard, the mall and nearby businesses, in response to a Facebook post made a few weeks ago by Councilman Bob Parks.  The post, on his personal Facebook page, made some controversial remarks about Yakima and 'building a wall.'  Now, some Latino leaders say they want to pressure the city by organizing an economic boycott.

Rick Rios and some other leaders claim they have regional support from other groups, and it appears the boycott is in response to the city not removing Parks from the City Council. These community 'leaders' wanted Parks to be removed from the Council for his Facebook post, but Parks has indicated he has no intention of resigning.

According to The American Immigration Council, if all undocumented immigrants left Washington state it could remove $14.5 billion in economic activity. But no supportive paperwork or other proof was given of these numbers. The AIC is a lobbying group based out of Washington D.C. that's been active in the government's fight against the State of Arizona for trying to enforce immigration laws, and other controversial measures such as the Dream Act.

Rios is part of a group called Consejo Latino, which is reportedly a group of Pasco Hispanic community leaders. He also does an independent online radio blog, Latino Rebels.

Rios claims there are other places you can spend your money, and apparently these people are hoping to use economic pressure to force changes they want to see in city government. Supporters say they're right, critics say it's a form of economic blackmail.

Some city officials have been in contact with Rios and others to try to set up some sort of partnership. Rios claims "we know the financial pressure that the immigrant community can inflict on the city of Kennewick can be huge."

It appears they are attempting to use economic pressure to force changes they want to see in the city government of Kennewick.

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