County of Santa Clara
Adopting policy for Community Workforce Agreements on public works
In its February 23, 2016 meeting, the Board directed Administration to require the consideration of a Project Labor Agreement for all public works contracts over $2,000,000 and to include a hiring program that (1) targets employment for current and past County clients, including but not limited to clients of Social Services, Reentry, and Foster Care, (2) to not include targeted hiring if prohibited by federal or state law or would jeopardize federal or state funding; and (3) provide that the Office of the County Executive may recommend individual exemptions to considerations/use of a PLA.
Administration and representatives from Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council (SBTC) are currently working on a PLA template that includes a targeted hiring component for the Board’s review and approval upon completion. Such template will expedite and streamline future PLA negotiations.Tweet
While we all know that Trump refuses to support any good policy that helps working families, our Governor, State legislature and labor movement prioritize our workers.
This week’s passage of the $15 minimum wage was historic and when Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill, he will again show the nation why California is a champion for worker rights and protections.Tweet
Last night, Dennis Kennedy, former Mayor of Morgan Hill, passed away after a long battle with cancer. Kennedy, who up until recently served as a Board Member for the Santa Clara Valley Water District, was considered by many to be a mentor and true public servant. His years of leadership, volunteerism and time as mayor not only helped shape the City of Morgan Hill, but earned Kennedy the respect and admiration of his peers.
Kennedy was passionate about the betterment of his community, which was clearly reflected in how he chose to spend his time. He was an American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley senior fellow, a member of the Rotary Club, former president of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association and recipient of the 2007 Morgan Hill Leadership Excellence Award. In 2015, he was honored by Gavilan College with the Lifetime Community Spirit Award and on December 4th of the same year the city renamed the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center the Dennis Kennedy Aquatics Center.
Kennedy served as mayor of Morgan Hill from 1992 to 2006 before re-entering the political arena in 2013 when he was appointed to the Santa Clara Valley Water District.
Dennis Kennedy was a great leader in Morgan Hill and the surrounding region. His absence will be felt.Tweet
Today, Governor Brown, Legislative leaders and the Labor movement made history by announcing a policy that would raise the wages of underpaid Californians to $15 per hour by 2022. More than one in three California workers, or nearly 6 million Californians, will receive a raise under this policy. Combined with workers who are already on a path to $15 because of local efforts by organizations such as Silicon Valley Rising in the South Bay, more than 6.5 million workers will now have a path to a $15 wage.
The agreement in California is the latest victory for the Fight for $15 and underpaid workers who three years ago launched their movement for higher pay and union rights. In California, local Fight for $15 organizations have won key victories in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In Silicon Valley, cities such as Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Palo Alto, have already committed to a $15 minimum wage, thanks to the regional work by Silicon Valley Rising.
Additionally, the policy ends an unfair exclusion of home care workers from a state guarantee of three paid sick days for all workers. When this agreement is signed into law by Governor Brown, California will be the first state in the nation to adopt this standard for all workers.Tweet
In two months, I’ll be 70 years old. I’ve been fighting for the rights and well-being of working people for longer than many of the people in this room have been alive.
I made my first speech in favor of health insurance for all Americans in June of 1964. The MediCare Act was signed a year later, but after that the next steps took decades. Finally, the Clinton Administration managed to provide health insurance for quite a few children. But in the Year 2000, the SC County labor movement launched an effort to make us the first county in the country to provide coverage for ALL children. And we didn’t stop there. With a little help from President Obama, we helped launch Covered California and expand MediCal. And now our BOS has approved a new initiative to generate coverage for undocumented. We are finally virtually there — where every other modern country has been for years — health coverage for all.
What should we learn from this story? We’re on a long road — a road with few short cuts and a lot of steep hills.
Well, when you’re on a long road, it’s critically important to keep your eyes on the prize so you don’t make a wrong turn. What’s the prize? There’s a lot of pieces of it — wages, and health care and housing and retirement — there’s the right to organize.
When you put them together — it’s all about justice.
Unfortunately, we have to do more than simply walk that long road to justice.
There are people and organizations that have built road blocks to stop us.
At many points, we have to fight to open the way.
Sometimes, the opposition will try to stop us by confusing the issue.
If you listened to the Republican presidential debates, in the few minutes when the candidates weren’t hurling crap at each other, they talked about freedom. The right wing economist, Milton Friedman, even wrote a book entitled, Capitalism and Freedom.
When you think about it, that’s funny. Modern Capitalists and Corporations have found a way to get along with virtually every dictatorship on earth. They had no problem with Pinochet in Chile. They can work with Putin in Russia. In Beijing, corporate capitalists are members of the Chinese Communist Party. But there’s one kind of organization dictators absolutely cannot tolerate — free trade unions. Why? Because when they say freedom, they mean the 1% should be free to control the lives of everyone else. When unions say freedom, we mean the right of people to stand together to determine their own future.Tweet
County of Santa Clara
Forwarding letter of concern over San Jose Crime-Free Housing proposal
The City of San Jose is considering adopting a new law enforcement program that focuses on reducing crime and calls for service at multi-housing complexes. San Jose staff will present a draft report on Crime-Free Housing to the Housing and Community Development Commission on March 10, 2016, and to the Rules Committee on March 30, 2016. The Rules Committee can either accept, reject, or modify the recommendations in the report; following approval by the Rules Committee, the report will go before the City Council.
The spread of these ordinances throughout the nation is cause for great concern, as they lead to costly consequences not just for tenant families but also for the entire community. These ordinances can undermine public safety by silencing crime victims and others who need to seek emergency aid or report crime. They can increase housing instability and ultimately homelessness for victims of domestic and sexual violence, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable tenants. They can reduce the availability of desperately needed affordable rental housing. And they can result in violations of tenants’ and landlords’ rights – including rights to be free from discrimination, to contact the government for assistance, and to receive due process – and thereby expose municipalities to legal liability.
The Domestic Violence Council first discussed the Crime-Free Housing proposal on November 6, 2015. On January 8, 2016, the Domestic Violence Council discussed forwarding a proposed letter to the City of San Jose. Also on January 8, 2016, the Child Abuse Council approved submitting a joint letter from both Councils, and approved the letter as amended. On February 5, 2016, the Domestic Violence Council approved submitting the amended letter to the City of San Jose. Given the potential for this policy to disproportionately impact domestic violence victims, the letter urges the City of San Jose to consider the unintended consequences of a crime-free multi-housing program on the residents of San Jose, and in particular, the strong likelihood of harm to domestic violence victims and their children.
The Domestic Violence Council and Child Abuse Council are requesting permission to forward the letter to the City of San Jose.Tweet
To turn a catch phrase on its head — San Jose does not have a spending problem; it has a revenue problem. The City has a structural deficit because revenues are insufficient to pay for essential services. That structural deficit predates the catastrophic losses to the City’s two pension funds, and without more revenue it will continue, despite the fact that the City is instituting pension reform.
Even the City business community now supports a tax increase. At yesterday’s City Council meeting, Chamber of Commerce head Matt Mahood and Silicon Valley Leadership Group head Carl Guardino joined organized labor in backing an additional 1/4 cent sales tax. Now, for the first time in memory, there is a consensus that City taxes should increase. The City Council voted 9-2 to put a 15 year 1/4 cent sales tax on the June ballot.
San Jose State Professor Scott Meyers-Lipton and others have argued that a gross receipts tax (GRT) would generate more revenue to close the City’s structural deficit and it would be more equitable. The City staff’s memo on the GRT provided evidence in support of those arguments. However, the business community hates the GRT, and Mayor Liccardo managed to address tax equity concerns with an alternative proposal to double the City’s business license tax.
The Mayor’s proposal helps ensure that the increased tax burden does not fall only on City residents, but is borne as well by City businesses. In combination with the 1/4 cent sales tax, the increased business tax will close the structural deficit and restore essential City services in a way that is fair to residents and businesses. The City Council passed a motion to pursue a doubling of the business tax on a 10-1 vote. In June the Council will vote on the language of a tax measure for the November 2016 ballot.Tweet
In an unexpected move, it appears that San Jose District 6 Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio has declared for California’s Congressional District 17 Seat. According to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voter’s Website, Mr. Oliverio has paid the $1,740.00 candidate ballot filing fee and was issued his candidate statement last Friday. He joins an extremely competitive race with longtime incumbent Mike Honda, serial congressional candidate Ro Khanna, and Republican Ron Cohen.Tweet
With the unanimous appointment of Lisa Gillmor to the Mayor’s seat, the characteristically divided Santa Clara City Council has taken an important step in becoming a more collaborative policy-making body. Mayor Gillmor was widely considered the best choice to follow Jamie Matthews, who unexpectedly resigned earlier this month. “Mayor Gillmor will provide us a platform to come together, work harmoniously, and tackle the issues that are important to promoting our working families,” said Councilman Dominic Caserta.
With her move to Mayor, Gillmor leaves an open City Council Seat. At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Council declared a vacancy in City Council Seat No. 6, for the unexpired term ending in November 2016. The timeline to appoint a new Council Member is aggressive, with the application deadline on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm and the interview date on Monday, March 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm. The Oath of Office is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 7:00 pm.
Now, we will keep an eye on who throws their hat into the ring and hope that the Council selects a candidate who is not only well-qualified, but keeps up the new, more collaborative feel in Santa Clara City Hall.
Approving financing plan & design-build construction for $281M new jail
On August 11, 2015, the Board of Supervisors considered the Administration’s proposal to construct a new jail facility, including housing, programming, treatment, and the financing necessary to complete this complex project. On December 17, 2015, the County received a letter from the BSCC notifying us that the County had been conditionally awarded $80 million in state lease revenue bond financing to build the requested facility.
In response to a request from the Board, County staff has conducted several community meetings regarding the new facility. Based on community input, County staff has been working to some add in-person non-contact visitation and additional special management beds to the new facility.
- Adopt Resolution authorizing the application for Senate Bill (SB) 863 Jail Construction Financing.
- Approve delegation of authority to Chief Operating Officer….
- Approve modifications to the County’s proposal to allow for six additional months for construction, increased special management step-down beds, medical and dental space, visitation space, and change in construction method to design build.
- Approve plan to finance the County’s New Jail Facility and accept award of $80 million from the State SB 863 Jail Construction Financing.
Where: Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
When: Feb. 23, 2016, 9 am
Link to agenda: http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=7186Tweet