Tim Paulson, headshot

Kamala Harris took me out to lunch a while back. I had just been elected to my previous job at the labor council and she was calling to congratulate me. She wasn’t the mayor or president of the Board of Supervisors. But she was the first local leader to reach out in my first days on the job. I will never forget that. We went to a funky hamburger joint and talked for over an hour. She had a big black Suburban or whatever folks drove in those days. Driven by a cop. I asked her about the cop.

“Don’t be silly, Tim. I am a prosecutor and put people in jail. Some folks get angry.”

We talked about social justice and health care and raising wages and political power and probably could’ve talked longer but we were busy. But it was an important reach out for me, and the labor council and the building trades council have supported her in all her endeavors when she ran for California Attorney General and then U.S. Senator. When our hamburgers arrived she cut hers into four pieces. I had never seen that before.

Now she will hopefully be our next Vice President and we are excited. Hope that turns our more votes this November. As recently departed Congressman John Lewis from Georgia stated: “Voting is the best non-violent tool of Democracy that all Americans can use.”

Please vote this November.

I just realized that Labor Day is coming up next month and it will be the first day ever that we don’t have our Friday breakfast and the picnic in Alameda County. But the values we need to celebrate and promote these days are not just the bumper stickers that say: “It’s the unions that brought you the weekend, overtime, good education, etc.,” but today during this crisis we need to push for more contemporary values such as:

America’s Five Economic Essentials:

  1. Keep front-line workers safe and secure. 
  2. Keep workers employed and protect earned pension checks.
  3. Keep state and local governments, our public schools and the U.S. Postal Service solvent and working.
  4. Keep America healthy—protect and expand health insurance for all workers.
  5. Keep America competitive—hire people to build infrastructure. 

COVIC 19 update

Many have seen City Administrator Naomi Kelly’s letter warning that construction jobs may have to close if workers don’t comply with safety and social distancing regulations. And they have found some places where things have lapsed.

In my recent discussion with her and the Mayor’s office they have assured me and the building trades council that this isn’t on the top of their radar and but that we still need to be as diligent as we’ve been when they reopened up our construction sites as “necessary work” in San Francisco.

The biggest and most obvious takeback from this is that if OHSA and City inspectors see workers not wearing a mask – that is an excuse to look deeper and jeopardize a job being shut down.

Please wear your mask!

The National Football League (unlike the MLB and NBA) has somewhat that same structure as construction. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. And I have heard players telling their teammates/co-workers: “Don’t screw this up for all of us!”

Wear your damn masks!

Be safe.

Organized Labor


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