Executive Officer's Forum
Bob Alvarado, Executive Officer
I wanted to let you know how thankful I am for all the hard work and commitment that union members have shown in the recent election. In all of the 46 counties, members stepped up and sacrificed their own time to make sure that candidates were elected who support Carpenters issues. On nights and on the weekends, field representatives, organizers, the CIA and other rank-and-file activists were making it happen.
From the governor’s race to local elections, you proved once again that the Carpenters Union in Northern California is the "go to" organization. In all of our victories your hard work is recognized as key to the candidate’s victory. At the end of the day, this successful election will help us in our on-going fight for job opportunities and respect for Carpenters in the state of California.
Carpenter-friendly candidates won most of the races we were involved in. Others are too close to call, and seem likely to remain that way for a couple of weeks. Still, we know that we are in tough times, and no one individual is going to turn this economy around overnight. That’s why we also closely watch ballot measures, to see how they affect Carpenter jobs. The passage of State Proposition 22 looks like it will protect local transportation dollars, and the Legislature can’t take the money for other purposes.
This may be offset by the uncertain impact of Proposition 26, which could limit some transportation and other infrastructure spending. As with many state initiatives, we will probably have to wait for the courts to sort out the meaning of the new laws.
Meanwhile, we continue to work on creating jobs, through supporting projects that will put Carpenters to work. The recent groundbreaking for the BART Oakland Airport Connector is just one example of the work that we are doing. We also supported local bonds around the region, which will result in putting members to work on school jobs and infrastructure work around the state.
Just as the economy has been tough on members’ budgets, it has been tough on the union’s budget as well. Every day, we are looking for ways to maintain a high level of service to you, while making sure we are doing so in the most efficient and effective way possible. Recently, as detailed in this issue, the General President determined that the structure of a few of our smallest Locals did not meet this standard. These consolidations do not mean that there is a wave of changes or restructuring in the works; it is simply part of this ongoing process of being sure we make the wisest use of your dues money.
Going forward in gratitude
I want to conclude by wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. While times are tough, I hope you can find reasons to be thankful, and look forward to a better future. While I don’t think the recovery will be rapid, I do believe the beginning of one is underway, and the results of this election will help move California in the right direction.
Meanwhile, I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of this great Union, and for the hard work and commitment of our brothers and sisters throughout our Council to making sure tomorrow will be a brighter day.