Political Director’s Report – July 2021
In addition to maintaining relationships with elected officials, your political department has been focused on confronting two issues – residential construction and battery energy storage systems. Here are some highlights from our work.
The high cost of housing has been a hot topic both in Sacramento and here in Los Angeles County. Let me break it down. The City of Los Angeles just released a new study on our housing needs, and it doesn’t include anything groundbreaking. The study concluded that our region is in desperate need of more housing, all types of housing. That means workforce housing for low-income families and high-end, market rate housing, and we need to provide housing for people who are experiencing homelessness. This is nothing that we didn’t already know. In order to meet all those goals, we need to build thousands of new residential units, and they should be near transit hubs or job-rich areas.
You should care about this issue for several reasons. The first is that all the construction workers building new housing must be union. The State Building Trades, with our help, is working to ensure that is the case. Also, adding more units will decrease the current high cost of housing. So please keep that in mind as residential job calls come in. Because if we don’t take those calls, developers will start saying that we don’t want to work in residential construction and our elected officials will not require the developers to include us.
The other hot topic we’re tracking is related to “green jobs” and the scope of C-46 contractors. The C-46 classification was created for the installation of photovoltaic solar energy systems and some other minor work. The issue came up when some C-46 contractors started working out of their scope by installing battery energy storage systems. Those contractors were not shy about what they were doing, so we went to the California State Licensing Board (CSLB) to stop them.
It took some time, but we are happy to report that a recent study conducted by the CSLB, recommends that C-46 contractors should not have a bigger scope and that only C-10 contractors should install battery energy storage systems. Now we wait to see what the CSLB decides, but it’s looking good us. As I always remind all legislators, green jobs must be union jobs. And in most cases, those greens jobs are IBEW jobs.
Lastly, on September 14, we will be voting on whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Our position is clear. The Governor had our back during the pandemic, so now we must have his. I’ll have more on that later, but for now, please remember to vote no on the recall. Stay safe. And always feel free to reach out if you have a pressing political questions or issues.
IBEW Local 11