Road construction on San Diego Mission Road. Photo by Chris Stone
Road construction on San Diego Mission Road. Photo by Chris Stone

The National Black Contractors Association is calling on San Diego voters to oppose Measure D, saying it would prevent minority-owned, non-union firms from working on municipal projects.

The measure, which is backed by Mayor Todd Gloria, would permit the city to recognize project labor agreements covering multiple contractors and unions in order to receive federal funds. These agreements were banned in 2012 by an earlier ballot measure that sought to exclude unions to lower construction costs.

Opponents say the measure would keep out 80% of the construction industry that is non-union and shut out many minority-owned firms.

The effect “is discriminatory in nature,” according to the National Black Contractors Association, because it would “give a monopoly to around 20% of San Diego’s construction workforce.”

Association President Abdur Rahim Hameed appeared with civil rights leader Shane Harris and other community leaders at a rally Thursday to urge voters to reject Measure D.

“San Diego taxpayers are not going to pay back campaign debts for politicians through a deceptive and misleading measure, as we the people are being told that federal and state funding will be cut off by political friends in Sacramento,” said Hameed. “The San Diego Superior Court has ruled this to be false and misleading. San Diego will not be owned by Washington, DC, or Sacramento”. 

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