Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday Rallies 2: Hire Locally

Meanwhile, a rally had been called by San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi's Office on the steps of City Hall requesting that Caltrans use local labor in their huge Doyle Drive freeway project.

The majority of people at the rally were black San Francisco residents, most of whom looked like they were dressed for church.

Mirkarimi's heart is often in the right place but much of his legislation seems to be nothing more than grandstanding. The recent hearings on public access television ended with a toothless request to Comcast and the State of California to provide more money for local operations, and included a raid on San Francisco's budget so that the incompetent general manager, Zane Blaney, and a few of his associates could continue drawing a salary this year. Meanwhile, the producers actually creating content have been all but locked out of the Market Street studio. Similarly, Mirkarimi's attempt to close the Sharp Park municipal golf course in Pacifica has been a misguided attack on a beloved working class recreational center in a town that doesn't particularly appreciate the intervention.

Mirkarimi's latest resolution is equally toothless, "requesting [that] Caltrans and its contractors and subcontractors actively participate in San Francisco Workforce Development Programs when hiring for projects to be constructed within the City and County of San Francisco." I certainly hope that this resolution is coupled with serious lobbying in conjunction with San Francisco's representatives in Sacramento, who might actually know who to persuade at Caltrans. Otherwise, it's just another song and dance, and poor black people will only get shafted again.

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