Hiring at home - Page 3

Supervisors make history with mandatory local hire law

ABU founder James Richards, Ramon Hernandez of Laborers Union Local 261, and Sup. Bevan Dufty


Avalos originally proposed to start at 30 percent and reach 50 percent over three years. But after the building trades complained that these levels were unworkable, Avalos amended the legislation to require an initial mandatory participation level of 20 percent of all project work-hours within each trade performed by local residents, with no less than 10 percent of all project work-hours within each trade to be performed by disadvantaged workers.

He also amended his legislation to require that this mandatory level be increased annually over seven years in 5 percent increments up to 50 percent, with no less than 25 percent within each trade to be performed by disadvantaged workers in the legislation's sixth year.

A Dec. 1 report from city economist Ted Egan estimated that the local hire legislation would create 350 jobs and cost the city $9 million annually. But Egan clarified for the Guardian that this cost equals only 1 percent of the city's spending on public works in any given year.

Vincent Pan of Chinese Affirmative Action, which supports Avalos' local hiring policy, suggested that the mayor "check the temperature."

"It would be leadership on the part of the mayor not to veto legislation that's about San Francisco," Pan said.

And Mindy Kener, an organizing member of the Southeast Jobs Coalition breathed a deep sigh of relief when Dufty's vote made the law veto-proof. "It's gonna go across the country," Kener said. "We just made history."