U.S. Rep. Scott Peters. Photo by Chris Stone
U.S. Rep. Scott Peters. Photo by Chris Stone

Reps. Scott Peters and Juan Vargas have urged San Diego voters to approve Measure D, which will permit the city to recognize project labor agreements in order to receive federal funding for infrastructure investments.

The two congressmen spoke at a press conference at San Diego International Airport on Thursday.

“To put it bluntly, current city law makes San Diego less competitive for federal infrastructure funding,” said Peters. 

Project labor agreements cover multiple contractors and unions to systematize labor relations at a construction site. They were banned in 2012 by an earlier ballot measure that sought to exclude unions to lower construction costs. Measure D would repeal the ban.

Peters said the federal government requires project labor agreements as a condition for eligibility to receive federal funding for major infrastructure projects. 

“Juan and I worked hard to pass the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to bring tax dollars back to San Diego,” Peters said, “But when federal agencies are reviewing applications, any potential risk can move an application to the bottom of the pile. The city’s ban on Project Labor Agreements creates a serious risk.”

Rep. Vargas pointed out that Chula Vista voters recently repealed a similar ban, and Measure D has widespread local support.

“If you want to know where to stand, just look at who’s on each side,” Vargas said. “Measure D is supported by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, San Diego firefighters, police, lifeguards, teachers and nurses, the Democratic Party, Mayor Gloria, the Sierra Club and many more. No on D is funded by corporate lobbyists for the construction industry and major GOP donors in San Diego.”

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