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City Holds Public Lands Meeting for Small, Minori...

City Holds Public Lands Meeting for Small, Minority and Women-owned Construction Firms

The City of Oakland is hosting a public meeting Monday, Jan 8 for Oakland’s small, minority and women-owned construction firms to learn about the latest proposal for developing the jobs’ component of a new city public lands policy.

The meeting will be held 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 2.
The purpose of the event is to hear what small Oakland construction businesses think about the latest draft proposal.

Councilmembers members Rebecca Kaplan and Abel Guillén are co-sponsoring the event.

“I am committed to working for an effective jobs policy on our public lands, to ensure access to economic opportunity and good jobs for all in our community,” said Councilmember Kaplan.

“In the past, such projects have employed too few Oaklanders and underrepresented African Americans, both as employees and for business opportunities,” she said. “I am advocating to make sure those problems are not repeated in future projects, by advocating to include these issues in Oakland’s public lands policy.”

Kaplan is proposing a “ban the box” policy, so that the formerly incarcerated are not excluded from construction jobs. She also wants to include apprenticeship opportunities for Oakland residents, pre-apprenticeship training for local youth and bringing back building trades training to the local schools.
Councilmember Guillén said the purpose of the Jan. 8 meeting is to provide information and “gather feedback from the business community, in particular woman – and minority-owned, local small businesses in the construction industry.”

“In working with the community, I’m looking specifically at opportunities to strengthen Ban the Box policies (fair hiring practices) and ensure that good-paying jobs are prioritized for Oaklanders,” he said.

“For the better part of a year, I have been working with city staff and community advocates to create a more transparent public lands policy that affirms the many potential uses and value of public land, while prioritizing affordable housing,” he said.

“My ultimate goal is to develop a more predictable, open process for putting public land to good public use.”

Guillén said he supports Project Labor Agreements (PLAs), which guarantee jobs on city projects go to building trades unions.

“Project Labor Agreements are an important priority in creating good-wage jobs for Oakland workers,” he said. “Implicit in that goal is full and fair access to those jobs by all Oakland residents, including African Americans and other folks who may have been excluded from participating.

“I’ve taken steps in other areas dealing with development agreements and the city budget to strengthen job-training and placement programs, and the same commitment to these opportunities and protections would hold with our public-lands policies.”

For more information on the Jan. 8 meeting, contact Sarah Ting at sting@oaklandnet.com


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