Continuing Success With CityBuild
This month, cycle 34 of CityBuild Academy graduated, with instructors, friends, and family participating on Zoom. SF Building Trades President Larry Mazzola Jr. and I attended and offered closing remarks.
Of the 49 candidates who started this cycle, 40 graduated, and, as of graduation night, 31 had already been placed in a union apprenticeship. Those are excellent numbers.
While many might claim to provide construction readiness training, we know that the CityBuild program is really the only game in town, in that it offers legitimate NABTU Multicraft Core Curriculum (MC3) certification.
How is CityBuild able to offer such a certification? It’s all thanks to a partnership between the training agency and the Building Trades. This partnership connects our communities to our hiring halls and builds upon the existing local outreach and hiring efforts our affiliates do year-round. The partnership also means that we have a way to measure success — not just by the course-completion metric, but also by the number of graduates that are entering real construction careers as union members.
All of this could not be accomplished without the hard work of the staff at CityBuild, who work for the mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, City College, and Mission Hiring Hall.
A special thanks goes out to our unions that provided hands-on instruction this cycle: Northern California Carpenters Regional Council and the Carpenter’s Training Committee for Northern California; LiUNA! Northern California District Council of Laborers and the Laborer’s Training Center; DC 16 introduction to the craft; Cement Masons Local 300; Plasterers/Fireproofers Local 66L; and Ironworkers Local 377.
Electing Our Own
With every report from Sacramento, we are reminded why we need more labor champions in the state legislature. We’ve seen the power of having union leaders elected to the California Senate and Assembly — champions such as Connie Leyva, Maria Elena Durazo, and Lorena Gonzalez.
We need more individuals who carry a union card and stand up relentlessly for our issues. We need more people who will frame debates and policy questions around the needs of laborers rather than corporate lobbyists. We need more representatives who come from the working class and are willing to fight like hell for the working class.
Well, those of us who live in Assembly District 18 (that’s you, residents of Alameda, Oakland, and San Leandro) have the chance to send one of our own to the California Assembly by mail-in ballot on June 29: Malia Vella, who is profiled in this month’s edition of Organized Labor, is a Teamster business representative and staff attorney elected Vice Mayor of Alameda, and she also happens to be a candidate for State Assembly.
Having worked alongside Vella as a Teamster, I can vouch for her work ethic and unwavering support for working families.
Pride: Remember the Radicalism
While there won’t be a parade this year, there will be plenty of celebrations around the city for Pride Month. I hope that, amid the corporate branding and advertising, we can all take a moment to recall the history of this important time.
The Stonewall Riot of 1969 in New York was a pivotal moment for our siblings in the LGBTQ movement. Like many uprisings, it occurred as an equal, opposite, and very necessary reaction to an unjust legal system, rampant discrimination, and violence against LGBTQ people.
During Pride, I like to revisit the work and lives of Supervisor Harvey Milk, then-president Allan Baird of Teamsters Local 921, and the late Howard Wallace. They showed us the power of unity during the Coors boycott, and their legacy lives on through the stories of those who survived, like Cleve Jones (Unite Here), and through the activism of our own members.