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The cover story of this week’s San Francisco Weekly is the saga of Midtown Park Apartments that faces a struggle for its very existence in light of dubious actions and activities by San Francisco Housing Director Olson Lee and his staff. The City, which owns the Midtown property, has neglected to make millions of dollars worth of repairs over the past several decades despite hiring property managers to maintain the property, collect rents and enforce terms of tenancy.
On Monday, Feb. 3, residents of Midtown Park Apartments, joined by civil rights nonprofit Brightline Defense, legal services provider AIDS Legal Referral Panel and over 50 supporters, filed the biggest rent control petition in the history of the City and County of San Francisco. The petition requests protection against unlawful rent increases and evictions for 139 low- and moderate-income Western Addition households.
The long journey to an equitable pathway for community workers and contractors at San Francisco Unified has seen great progress over the past year; and the same policy makers, community members, labor leaders and community contractors that brought us this far appear poised to carry a torch now held by many across the line between longstanding hope and a truly historic reality.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has made the announcement that clean energy and green job advocates in the Bay Area and beyond have waited nearly 12 months to hear: He supports full funding for the landmark GoSolarSF incentive program, which has helped over 2,000 homeowners, tenants, businesses and nonprofits install solar panels since 2008.
The San Francisco School Board is considering a strong local hiring and contracting policy that will give Blacks and all San Franciscans a chance to compete for a share of the $531 million in school construction funded by Proposition A – and give our children the economic security they need to succeed in school and in life.
Over the last several months, a conversation has been underway about job standards for maintenance workers at Treasure Island. The fundamental question of the Treasure Island dialog is: How do we serve a targeted population of candidates while delivering the wages, benefits and retirement enjoyed by workers doing the same work in the City and County?
Despite quadrupling the number of solar panels in the City in just over four years, the GoSolarSF program is proposed to be gutted and City leaders have remained mum as environmental and cleantech industry opposition to the cuts grows. The Board of Supervisors will vote on a final two-year city budget as early as tomorrow.
These are clear signs that we can use the City’s local hiring policy to get more local workers onto public projects and break cycles of poverty in our most disadvantaged communities while continuing to save taxpayer money on construction. Our local hiring law is a new model for how community groups and labor can work together to rebuild cities.
TODAY the SF Budget and Finance Committee considers vote on America’s Cup development, hearing at 1 p.m., America’s Cup discussion at about 2 p.m. Come to demand local hire and inclusion of disadvantaged contractors! At stake are 1,100 construction jobs and some $2 billion in contracts.
Local hiring is a job creation tool. A guaranteed 20 to 30 percent of these jobs for taxpayers in our local communities over the next couple years was enough to win. This is just the beginning of the opportunities that the local hiring law has created.
While Assemblymember Jerry Hill and his controversial anti-local hiring bill AB 356 were busy drawing statewide opposition, the counties of San Francisco and San Mateo were calmly settling their differences for the betterment of workers in both jurisdictions. “There has been one positive thing resulting from the AB 356 debate: It has united leaders and communities all over the state to say that local hire is crucial to economic recovery,” said Greenlining Institute general counsel Samuel Kang. “Jerry Hill awoke a sleeping giant. By trying to kill local hire, he’s only made it stronger.”
A sea of overwhelming opposition in cities from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles has risen against San Mateo Assemblymember Jerry Hill and his anti-local hiring measure, Assembly Bill 356, which threatens state funding for any California city with a local hiring policy.
After many months of discussions with the City regarding the rescission of an award to rebuild the Bayview Library, Liberty Builders has retained San Francisco civil rights attorney DeWitt Lacy to pursue legal remedies for discriminatory breach of contract.
The so-called Greenest City in the Country has withered on the vine ever since a much-criticized decision to ban certain trade unions from working on municipal solar projects led to what is believed to be the nation’s first community protest and work stoppage at a solar installation and a nine-month delay in breaking ground on new solar projects.
The new local hiring law is a tool to maintain and promote San Francisco’s working class by giving local workers a leg up on projects they pay for as taxpayers. It goes into effect this week amid high hopes and growing excitement.
A crowd of over 200 community advocates, elected officials, labor leaders, community contractors and City department heads came together on Feb. 23 to celebrate the passage of the historic local hiring ordinance.
The Black population in San Francisco drastically declined when urban renewal, Redevelopment and the gentrification of the Fillmore/Western Addition started in the ‘60s, bulldozed the hearts of African Americans, many forced to move out of the City.
Assemblymember Hill today unveiled legislation that attacks local hiring by banning state-funded construction in any city with a local hiring law, even shutting down Bay Area projects that residents of his own district work on.
Preliminary numbers from the 2010 Census put the remaining African American population for the city of San Francisco at around 3.9 percent! How did we get to this point? Why are we leaving this city in such droves? Why isn’t City Hall doing more to stop the mass exodus of African Americans from this city? Join the discussion on ‘The State of Black San Francisco’ – screening of ‘Straight Outta Hunters Point’ and panel discussions – at the Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St., SF, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2-5 p.m., child care provided.
A city ordinance authored by Supervisor John Avalos and passed by a super-majority of the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 14 requiring work for local residents on San Francisco-funded public works and new opportunities for workers in disadvantaged communities went into effect Christmas morning.
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