Councilwoman Barbara Bry was a close third in the San Diego mayoral race, but short of a November runoff. Photo by Chris Stone
Councilwoman Barbara Bry on election night in March. Photo by Chris Stone

Mayoral candidate Barbara Bry, who was a tech entrepreneur before entering politics, called for repeal of “unworkable provisions” in controversial Assembly Bill 5, which limits the gig economy in California.

Bry proposed the repeal in a message to supporters after a looming shutdown of rideshare services in California was narrowly averted Thursday by a court reprieve.

“The decision by rideshare companies Lyft and Uber to hold off on suspending operations in California until there is further review by the courts forestalls the threat that vital services Californians rely on during this pandemic will no longer be available,” said Bry, a Democrat.

“But unless the Governor and the Legislature get serious about repealing the unworkable provisions in AB 5, we will be right back in a crisis again once the judicial review is completed with the countless other California workers who have had their livelihoods negatively impacted by AB 5,” she said.

She urged the state Legislature to “move past the political agendas and get serious about creating new legislation that both protects independent contractors and reflects the changing nature of our work force and our economy.“

Bry’s opponent, Assemblymember Todd Gloria, voted for the law, which forces most independent contractors to become traditional shift employees or not work in California.

“AB 5 has already had devastating impacts on many sectors of our economy, from small and minority-owned businesses to musicians and other artists,” said Bry.

The 2019 legislation sponsored by San Diego Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and backed by labor unions, which saw the law as a way to organize more workers.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.