Mayor Todd Gloria
Mayor Todd Gloria with labor leaders outside City Hall. Courtesy of the mayor’s office

Mayor Todd Gloria on Thursday announced his support for Measure D to allow the city to accept project labor agreements that are a prerequisite for state funding of infrastructure work.

Measure D would repeal a 2012 ban on project labor agreements that conflicts with state law. Such agreements cover multiple contractors and unions to systematize labor relations at a construction site.

“San Diegans have been waiting a long time to see progress on addressing the backlog in repairs, improvements and new facilities,” said Gloria at a press conference. “But San Diego’s big plans rely on state funding to make them reality, and the only way to make sure we remain eligible for funding is by saying yes on Measure D at the ballot box this November.”

According to the city’s Independent Budget Analyst, the current ban “may expose the city to loss of state funds for construction projects.” The report also notes that the current law “raises the risk of litigation costs and related project delays.” 

Gloria pointed out that such a delay that took place during his time in the state Assembly, when a lawsuit filed by contractors led the state to freeze state funding for Pure Water, San Diego’s ambitious water recycling project. Gloria sponsored emergency legislation, but the delay cost an estimated $130 million. 

“We can’t afford that kind of uncertainty, “he said. “We need to pass Measure D and avoid the risk of litigation and costly delays.”

In addition to protecting San Diego’s eligibility for state infrastructure funding, Measure D requires public disclosure for all bids and contracts over $10,000, establishes a citizen oversight committee, and prohibits all forms of discrimination and harassment on city projects.

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