Councilmembers passed a resolution guaranteeing local hiring for Oaklanders on city-funded projects at Thursday’s Rules and Legislation committee, forwarding the jobs policy resolution to next week’s Community and Economic Development Committee.
Community members are asking City Council to establish the jobs policy before the November election when local residents will vote on a city-wide infrastructure bond that will require $600 million of local tax money for infrastructure construction jobs but doesn’t assure local hiring.
“We’re asking that you pass this resolution before November when voters will decide whether to support a bond that will not hire African Americans for city jobs,” said Carroll Fife of the Post Salon Community Assembly, the Oakland Alliance and the Oakland Justice Coalition.
The resolution, introduced by the Post Salon Community Assembly last week and supported by Councilmembers Desley Brooks, Larry Reid and Rebecca Kaplan, would effectively address the city’s lack of employment by African Americans on construction projects that are city funded or subsidized.
Currently, while African Americans make up 28 percent of the city’s population, they obtain only 5 percent of the employment hours on most city-funded projects.
Provisions of the policy would require the hiring of workers in zip codes with the highest levels of joblessness and creates a preference for contractors who commit to meeting a 50 percent resident hiring goal and 15 percent apprentice hiring goal.
Community members are also requesting that a study on workforce diversity be conducted in order to point out which industries are discriminating the most against hiring local African American workers.