Mayor Newsom swears in Sweatfree Procurement Advisory Group
By Judith Ghougassian
June 23, 2006
Mayor Gavin Newsom swore in eleven members of the Sweatfree Procurement
Advisory Group yesterday at City Hall.
Newsom and Supervisor Tom Ammiano introduced a Sweatfree Procurement
Advisory Ordinance in June 2005 to ensure San Francisco does not
purchase goods produced in sweatshops. The ordinance will guarantee
products the City procures are produced under safe, fair, and
humane working conditions.
"It's not just a promise on paper," said Mayor Newsom.
"It actually delivers real results and ultimately these results
will deliver the change we need to see in San Francisco."
According to Alicia Culver, Executive Director of EnviroSpec,
a nonprofit organization that works on environmentally preferable
purchasing, the ordinance mandates the advisory group to develop
preferences to support local manufacturers in San Francisco.
"We spend our money on these name brand goods that are possibly
made by the exploited," said Chairman Nicholas Smith of the
City of Berkeley Commission on Labor. The City of Berkeley is
planning similar legislation.
"It's our responsibility to make sure not only our money,
but our government's tax dollars are spent right," Smith
The $100,000 procurement budget for the ordinance will go towards
hiring an independent monitor who will verify city vendors are
"From a woman's stand point, a lot of the workers that are
in the garment industry are women, " said Angela L.Williams,
Vice President of the Commission on the Status of Women in San
Francisco and one of the eleven members to be appointed.
"And from the commissioner's stand point, we want to make
sure that women are treated fairly within the city and country
of San Francisco, as well as broader within the United States
and the world," she added.
Members of the advisory group include former California State
Senator Tom Hayden, Valerie Orth of Global Exchange, and Alex
Tom, Campaign Coordinator for the Chinese Progressive Association.
Members will serve a two-year term.
All advisory members are volunteers on the commission.
"The populous as a whole will be really happy to know that
San Francisco will look deeper in the products that they are buying,
to make sure that we're not contributing to poverty and inhumane
conditions overseas," said Culver.