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Successfully facilitating the construction of 82,000-plus residential units in San Francisco by 2031 will be no easy feat for city officials. Meeting the demands of the SF Housing Element requires various departments to work cooperatively. It also requires members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to collaborate on common goals.

California State Senator Scott Wiener and his sidekick, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks — both of whom Local 38 and the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council have supported in the past based on their well-documented support for our members — have decided to turn their backs on us. They’ve gone all-in with the leadership at the NorCal Carpenters Union and greedy developers to attempt to modify legislation to exclude a skilled-and-trained workforce requirement in future housing construction with their recently proposed State Bill 423.

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Both internationally and stateside, the labor movement has lately been showing its strength as its members participate in significant strikes, demonstrations, and various other direct actions taken up against a variety of unjust, anti-worker, undemocratic developments throughout the world.

The nearly-month-long parade of cyclones that struck vast swaths of California in December and January claimed 22 lives and cost the state an estimated $1 billion (at least) in damage resulting from flooding, high winds, downed trees, and landslides. The disaster set records in several regions of the state, including San Francisco, which saw its second-wettest day on record, with 5.46 inches falling downtown on New Year’s Eve.

What started as a practical desire for a permanent public restroom at the beloved town square in Noe Valley has quickly escalated over recent months into a debate about addressing seemingly wasteful government spending, questioning long-held values, and protecting workers’ rights.

Their ideas about ways forward differ in some cases, but housing rights nonprofits and tenants’ associations throughout the City agree on one thing: Building and construction trades unions will be essential to a successful execution of the Housing Element. Leaders from these groups spoke at length about the plan and how they felt the City would best be able to meet its goals.

As California pushes cities to ramp up residential construction, developers working on projects in San Francisco are strengthening their collaborations with local building and construction trades unions. The developers’ objective is simple: to make sure the projects mentioned in the 2022 SF Housing Element get done on time.

They’re called Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs). With a name that sounds like a bureaucratic word salad and a backstory that’s just as deep in the bureaucratic weeds, there’s a lot to unpack with EIFDs. But they can be a powerful tool for cities and builders to better redevelop entire neighborhoods, keep projects moving and put more people to work, so they’re worth knowing about.

Organized Labor


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