KCBS: Proposed San Francisco Hiring Plan Angers Neighboring Counties

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Unemployed union workers are demanding that San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom sign a measure requiring the city to hire more local employees for construction jobs, and business groups in at least one neighboring county oppose the law.

The so-called “local hiring law” was approved by a super-majority of the SF Board of Supervisors. It would require that at least 50 percent of the workers hired for city construction projects, actually live in San Francisco. Mayor Gavin Newsom is mulling it over.

Two local job advocacy groups held rallies at City Hall, pressuring him to sign it. James Richards leads Aboriginal Blackmen United, which is based in the Bayview.

“We want to put the Merry in the Christmas, and put the Happy back in the New Year, because that’s what that would mean to us,” said Richards. “It would give us hope for the next year if they signed the local hiring legislation.”

Richards says fewer workers can afford to live in the city, because jobs are farmed out to people from the Peninsula and the East Bay.

But Joe Arellano with the Bay Area Council, said mandating so much local hiring will send the wrong message.

“It’s setting a bad precedent for counties to basically set policies that pit each other against other jurisdictions in the Bay Area,” said Arellano.

San Mateo’s supervisors have come out against it too, saying the Bay Area needs regional solutions to its economic problems.

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