Tim Paulson

by Tim Paulson, Secretary-Treasurer
San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council

One of the tenets of a working, functional Democracy is a robust legislative process.

And despite the roadblocks created by the current President and the anti-worker Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, there has been productive engagement at the national level with leaders such as San Francisco’s own Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris.

I just returned from Washington, D.C., and our building trades council delegates met with both women leaders.

As everyone knows, legislative laws are negotiated at the local, state and national levels. All levels provide their own jurisdictional importance.

In San Francisco, as reported in this paper, we advocated and finally won passage of a Citywide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) through the Board of Supervisor which was signed by Mayor London Breed.

We are also negotiating with the City and County for wage increases for our members – a process that will have to be voted on by the Supervisors.

Early last week we met in Sacramento to discuss statewide legislation with our representatives, David Chiu, Phil Ting and Senator Scott Wiener – all who achieved 100% on our scorecard for labor votes. All three have been helping lead our discussions and engagement about legislation to build more affordable housing, expand fire safety protections, protect labor rights, and invest in aging infrastructure as well as continue to fund high speed rail.

Back in DC last weekend we engaged our leaders in similar decisions: finding public funding to rebuild our infrastructure as well as defending proposed irrational and immoral cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

And – as a country built by immigrants – we also heard from our legislators about stopping the racist policies from Donald Trump who, despite the will of the American people, still wants to build a Wall to keep refugees and their families from entering the safety of our Democracy. Even the Republican President Ronald Reagan’s most famous statement is still: “TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!”

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressmember Eric Swalwell, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Amy Klobuchar and other leaders also prepared remarks supporting working men and women. And all noted that the Union Movement is still the key to maintaining and creating the middle class.


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