Da Mayor, local hire advocate

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Da Mayor
GUARDIAN FILE PHOTO BY REBECCA BOWE

Even as Sup. John Avalos continues to be raked over the coals by San Francisco Examiner columnist Melissa Griffin for his so-called “peacocking, disrespectful demeanor” and “flexible hate speech standards,” the progressive District 11 supervisor nevertheless earned something akin to praise May 22 from an unlikely figure: former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

The San Francisco Chronicle columnist, attorney (Brown mentioned in his speech that he paid $50 a semester for law school), sometimes PG&E consultant, self-proclaimed “buddy” of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and all-around power broker delivered his Annual Lecture on Political Trends at the Commonwealth Club yesterday. He plugged his own column, saying, “On Sunday, you can read a column that can’t be disputed. Because it’s my version of the facts.”

Brown is known for his cozy relationship with Mayor Ed Lee and is politically at odds with Avalos, who ran against Lee in 2011. Emphasizing his support for Lee, Brown lauded him for clinching the city's right to host Super Bowl 2016 events in San Francisco. He pointed out, “That Super Bowl is going to be exactly when he’s possibly seeking reelection.”

Brown also mentioned accompanying the mayor on a recent trip to China, where Lee was reportedly “treated as if he was the president of America instead of just the mayor of San Francisco.”

However, Da Mayor had a bone to pick. He launched into a tale of how he often wanders down to the city’s bustling construction sites, marked by “these 24 or 25 cranes that you see around town” (presumably he finds time for this aimless wandering this between international excursions, dining with the Gettys in North Beach, and palling around with his “buddy” Schwarzenegger?). “Invariably I take a look at the cars, the crews,” he said, and has concluded that “they’re not San Franciscans.” Not only are private development projects being built by out-of-towners, he said, no local hire requirement was imposed upon the city’s Central Subway contractors. 

Giving voice to a cause long championed by Avalos, a progressive who fought doggedly to enact a local hire ordinance, Brown expressed frustration that locals aren’t the ones scoring gigs in the city’s construction bonanza.  

Then he gave Avalos a sort of backhanded compliment, calling him “the strongest advocate for local hire,” but saying “he hasn’t followed up the way he should follow up, to ensure that people who live here get the jobs.”

It seems unfair to lay the blame for this at Avalos’ feet, but Da Mayor seems to be on the money as far as this point is concerned: As long as SF has embarked on a building frenzy, shouldn't it be residents who reap the benefits of decent paying construction gigs?

Comments

candidate over someone imposed on my by a "zip code quota".

If the government wants to adopt local hire as part of a beggar-thy-neighbour spat with the many other Bay Area cities, then so be it. But the voters comprehensively backed Lee over Avalos on this issue and many others, and I see no reason to constrain successful SF businesses with quota politics.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

If your out of town workers were the best qualified candidates why don't they have projects in their own towns to work on?

The best and the brightest are right here in San Francisco and don't nobody never forget it.

Posted by Guest on May. 23, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

Why restrict applicants to those from one place? Such beggar-thy-neighbour policies lead to inferior work and higher costs. It's a failed policy which is why it only happens in the public sector - private companies won't go for it.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 6:02 am

Because the mayor claims to have waged a "pro-jobs campaign" against the Avalos "anti-jobs" campaign.

So if it isn't about jobs jobs jobs that makes it a bunch of lies lies lies.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

That includes people from elsewhere who work in SF, and we therefore collect the tax on those jobs.

Then there are the people who live in SF but work elsewhere, say in Silicon Valley.

It happens and, while we do not want to limit or restrict anyone or anything, it would be good for SF to have more jobs here regardless of the location of the workers that fill it.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

There's nothing wrong with government stimulating more employment in SF. The tricky part is learning the details of how that stimulation will work. Looking the other way for the sake of creating jobs eventually means creating conditions for a Bangladesh-style factory collapse that will cause worker deaths.

Posted by Peter on May. 24, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

see how "exploitation" even comes into the equation.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

I think when Ed Lee talks about jobs he implies jobs for San Franciscans. Because Avalos was "anti-jobs."

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

You obviously have zero experience in construction Mr 'Employer'. Construction crews are gypsy crews from every corner of the USA.

There's not enough space to explain why this is so.

But it isn't about SF stealing jobs from Oakland.

Posted by pete moss on May. 24, 2013 @ 8:40 am

Because using out of town developers who hire out of town labor to build condos for out of town buyers is just the way this mayor rocks.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 1:13 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

Plus, even skilled union trade workers can't afford to live in SF.

Out of all the job sites I've worked the last couple years I've known exactly one tradesman who live in SF.

He was a member of IBEW and made good money but he still wouldn't have been able to live in SF if he hadn't inherited a house from his granny.

Posted by pete moss on May. 24, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

When Ed Lee says he is pro jobs, I didn't think there was a footnote....jobs for South Bay.

Because Avalos ran on an "anti-jobs" platform. That San Franciscans rejected.

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 7:55 pm
Posted by lillipublicans on May. 23, 2013 @ 5:54 pm

Especially her insistence of remembering what people have said in the past. Ugh!

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 5:02 am

There are very few in this town who actually research the details INDEPENDENTLY. I'd put Joe Eskanasi (sp?) in there as well...

Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 9:20 am

The educrat's in SF have bashed working class jobs from its vision statement..

Posted by Matlock on May. 23, 2013 @ 11:03 pm

I really don't understand why he has so much influence. He's nothing but a sociopathic hustler and pimp.

Posted by steelhead on May. 24, 2013 @ 11:57 am

... sure does like nice clothes, but anybody calling him that could be assumed to be racist unless you use it in a sentence such as "Willie Brown pimping out San Francisco to the highest corporate bidder."

Are you "steelhead" that I remember from before I was banned from SFGate for disagreeing with the wingers too much? The one with the G.W.Bush avatar?

Bestemor.

Posted by lillipublicans on May. 24, 2013 @ 3:07 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 24, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

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