D10 candidate Eric Smith on Local SF

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Coming into work this morning, I was greeted by the sight of D10 candidate Eric Smith standing under a San Francisco Bike Coalition tent near the railroad/freeway intersection at 16th and 7th Street in Potrero Hill.

Curious, I stopped by their tent where I was greeted by a hearty handshake from Smith, and plenty of input from the Bike Coalition’s Marc Caswell and League of Conservation Voters president Amandeep Jawa about why they support Smith.

“Eric is about integrity and sustainability,” Jawa said. “In a district like D10 that so desperately needs those things, Eric is the obvious choice.”

“D10 has a lot of really great street projects that are already approved by the MTA,” Caswell added. “So we are looking for strong leadership from Eric on the Board of Supervisors around biking, walking and transportation.”

Smith for his part chatted about Sup. John Avalos’ recently introduced Local SF legislation, which would require contractors to meet local hiring goals that will be phased in over the next few years.

Smith supports Avalos’ legislation—and thinks it needs to go even further.

“A lot of the folks who are clamoring for jobs don’t have the skills,” Smith said, noting that only John O’Connell High School of Technology has vocational training.

“Idle union workers could train folks for prime time, that’s the basic premise of the work that Raquel Pinderhughes did,” Smith said, referring to the efforts of Pinderhughes, an urban studies professor at San Francisco State, to secure truly green-collar local jobs.
“There has to be a mechanism to train folks who need skills, to get them truly trained and ready to take the union tests. That would be a sustainable approach and a huge part of the solution.”