Political Director’s Report – June 2021

It’s been about six months since President Joe Biden was sworn in as our president and let’s be clear, our country is better off for it. Positive COVID cases have decreased. Our economy is opening back up. And we at IBEW will continue to grow. Please take a moment to become familiar with President Biden’s American Jobs Plan because it will create thousands of jobs for the Build Trades and IBEW. The Jobs Plan is a major investment in our roads, bridges, waterways, airports, ports, and transit systems and it’s President Biden’s current domestic priority. The unfortunate part of the story is that Republican senators are back to their old ways of blocking our progress and are stalling the bill. Rest assured that our Business Manager is engaging our federal representatives with our message – Pass the American Jobs Plan and create more jobs ASAP!

Locally, as everyone is experiencing, the cost of housing in Los Angeles is climbing at a record pace and we need something done fast. Yes, we need to build more housing, but we also need to make sure the workers building the housing are valued and are paid prevailing wage. Our message to our state and local leaders is simple — expand prevailing wage jobs and build more housing. As the California Legislature works its way through multiple bills to address this issue, they must prioritize both the need for housing and fair wages. We need to build our way out of this housing disaster and take care of our workforce.

There have been multiple reports and news articles about the transition away from fossil fuels and other efforts to reduce emissions ever since President Biden mentioned IBEW during his first joint address to Congress back in April. Many local elected officials took notice of the mention and called or texted me about it. It was an exciting moment. Our message here is simple — yes, we need to lower our emissions. But, as President Biden mentioned, that effort must be coupled with jobs for IBEW members. We know that IBEW members have been working these “green” jobs before the jobs were popular or well-known. Our members have been installing solar panels, making buildings more energy efficient, and installing electric vehicle charging stations for decades. More of that work will be coming, and we will fight to ensure those jobs are IBEW jobs.

This pandemic has not been easy. Many have lost loved ones. Many have lost their jobs. IBEW Local 11 is in a position to grow and organize, and for that I am grateful. Please call at (626) 660-9550 if there is a political issue you want to talk about.

Antonio Sanchez
Political Director
IBEW Local 11

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