Newsletter from the California Alliance for Jobs

  • by BPC Staff
  • on February 10, 2014

 the ally


February 2014




Alliance to continue working for water bond that includes needed storage


There is little fishing —-  or water —-  in Folsom Lake due to drought. More storage is needed. 

The state’s worsening drought means California needs to conserve water like never before but it also needs to add to its storage capacity to protect “farmers, fish and people in our cities and towns,” as the Department of Water Resources said, from the consequences of future droughts.


Legislation has been introduced to place a $9.2 billion water bond on the November ballot. The measure includes $3 billion for new storage projects, $2.5 billion in Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta improvements and $1 billion for clean drinking water projects.


The bill is just one of several bond proposals being considered in the Capitol. Some include fully funded storage and Delta restoration provisions while others don’t. The Alliance will continue working with lawmakers on a comprehensive solution that includes storage and funding for regional water supply projects.


Learn more about the state’s water storage needs here.




New alternatives being pursued 

to solve Transportation Fiscal Cliff

The Alliance and its allies in the transportation community are continuing to seek alternative funding solutions to solve the state’s looming Transportation Fiscal Cliff after putting on hold a proposal to raise the vehicle license fee.


The Alliance and Transportation California had led a two-year effort to craft a VLF proposal that could provide more-adequate and stable state transportation investments as state budgets face being cut in half as funds from Proposition 1B are almost all expended.


Ultimately, the decision was made to suspend the effort for now because voters are still feeling the effects and uncertainties of the prolonged economic downturn —- and also believe they gave the Governor and Legislature a “hall pass” by approving Proposition 30 in 2012. Voters are watching to see how well elected officials manage this additional funding.


Unfortunately, congestion and the condition of the state’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems continues to deteriorate, with billions of dollars in investments needed to adequately maintain and rebuild the transportation network.


Among short-term solutions being considered is redirecting truck weight fees back to the state highway account. The fees were historically used for road repair and rehabilitation until the funds were shifted to the general fund to help fill the state’s ongoing budget shortfalls during the past few years.


To learn more about the Transportation Fiscal Cliff, visit our website and watch our latest video.




Sacramento arena proposal would create 11,700 construction jobs 

CAJ has joined a Sacramento-based coalition to support plans to build a new downtown arena for the Sacramento Kings, which would create an estimated 11,700 construction jobs.


The group, called The4000, was formed to support the measure and defeat last-minute threats to the project. These efforts were funded by a hedge-fund manager whose attempts to move the NBA team to Seattle were thwarted and by non-union contractors upset by the city’s commitment to a project labor agreement. (The group’s name stems from the 4,000 permanent jobs the arena is expected to generate.)


Arena opponents are attempting to place the matter on the ballot not once but twice —- in June to ask voters if they want to vote on the proposal, and then in November to actually decide. Because opponents circulated poorly written petitions that differed in wording from each other, the city clerk has ruled that the drive is invalid. Opponents are asking the court to overturn that ruling. Last week, the judge assigned the case was forced to withdraw after it turned out he had signed one of the petitions.




Alliance to play key role in new Alameda County sales tax effort

Missing out on the required two-thirds vote necessary to pass a half-cent sales tax extension and augmentation by a scant 700 votes in 2012, the Alameda County Transportation Commission has cleared the way for a renewed effort in 2014. 


Buoyed by positive reaction in the public through a series of opinion polls and focus groups, the commission approved a transportation expenditure plan that will augment the current sales tax by a half-cent and extend the measure for 30 years.


The measure is set to raise some $8 billion for county transportation improvements including 

  • providing traffic relief by repaving streets, filling potholes and upgrading local infrastructure
  • and expanding BART and ensuring an affordable mass transit system and improving air quality, all while creating good jobs in Alameda County. 

The measure includes strict accountability measures and requires open and transparent public processes to allocate funds.


The Alliance will take a hands-on role in leading the campaign effort to ensure the passage of the much-needed transportation measure. The Alliance will chair a working group consisting of a diverse coalition of labor, contractors, developers, engineers, environment activists, social justice advocates and various other interests groups to ensure that all viewpoints are accounted for and take an active part of the campaign process. 




New English, Spanish radio ads debut

The Alliance went on the air in late January with ads in English and Spanish promoting efforts to rebuild the state’s water and transportation systems.


Paul Rodriguez


The English-language ad —- which, as always, features humorist Will Durst —- reminds listeners that while we’re in a serious drought, we need to take action today to ensure future droughts don’t cause such a large impact to residents, businesses and agriculture. We need more water storage, and we need to start building it now. You can listen to the ad here.


The Spanish-language ad features comedian Paul Rodriguez, and warns listeners about the Transportation Fiscal Cliff. The spot is airing in Fresno and can also be heard here.




Veteran staffer Michael P. Quigley promoted to Alliance deputy director

Michael P. Quigley, the Alliance’s Government Affairs Director since 2008, has been promoted to deputy director.


He will continue directing Alliance efforts areas including transportation funding, regulatory issues, climate change and infrastructure project advocacy.


A graduate of Texas A&M University, he began his career in construction before moving into campaign politics and later advocacy efforts for the Wisconsin State Building Trades Council before joining the Alliance staff.








About the Alliance

The California Alliance for Jobs represents more than 2,000 heavy construction companies and 80,000 union construction workers from Kern County to the Oregon border.

As a unique partnership between labor and management, the Alliance focuses on the core of what really matters to our members and California as a whole: creating jobs and ensuring that our state builds and maintains the transportation networks, water systems and commercial and residential building projects they demand.
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