Campos Drops Support for Mazzola Appointment

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on March 19, 2009 with 7 Comments

Supervisor David Campos
Photo by Luke Thomas

By Luke Thomas

March 19, 2009

Supervisor David Campos provided the swing vote to upend the appointment of Local 38 business manager Larry Mazzola Jr. to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District Board during a meeting of the Rules Committee today.

Citing a lack of experience and knowledge about transportation and bridge related issues, Campos asked labor to forward an alternative candidate for the second seat on the 9-member board that represents the City and County of San Francisco.

“I am committed to labor representation,” Campos said, “but, in my humble opinion, I cannot move forward with this specific appointment at this time.”

Campos had previously come under fire from progressive circles for what appeared to be his support for the inexperienced Mazzola.

Supervisor Chris Daly, who locked horns with Mazzola during last week’s committee meeting, told FCJ following the hearing, “I appreciate the development of Campos’ position.”

Supervisor Carmen Chu said she had “a very interesting relationship with labor” and supported Mazzola’s appointment.  She opposed a motion to continue the item to allow time for labor to resubmit for consideration a qualified applicant.

“The Larry Mazzola issue has become more controversial than it needs be,” said San Francisco Labor Council head Tim Paulson, responding to FCJ inquiry. He declined to comment when asked if he had alternative candidates in mind for consideration.

The board also voted unanimously to reappoint Dick Grosboll over transportation expert David Snyder.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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  1. “That said, the building and construction trades were out in force in the past, intimidating decision makers into handing out entitlements to build like confetti. This has led both to unsustainable sprawl and to live work lofts as the precursors to rapid luxury gentrification of the inner city.”

    Hey Marc you got this part all wrong. DO NOT confuse the SFBCT with the RBA. The lofts, the ‘Richmond Specials’, the impact on the various cultural communities in SF, and even the watered down version of the Eastern Neighborhood Plan came from the RBA, and not the building trades. The RBA does not build union, and would not build a stick of inclusionary housing if not forced too. Nothing ever above the bare minimum.

    It was their influence on city politics, not the building trades, that changed the Mission, Hayes Valley, South of Market, etc. There are a couple of photos of your beloved “progressive” leaders on this very blog with them.

    As for the Bridge seat, it has been a Building Trades seat, please note I didn’t say just Labor, for over 50 years because somebody needs to represent the workers who literally hang their asses out over the edge.

    Hospital workers don’t fix the roadways and walkways, laborers and cement masons do.

    Teachers don’t climb the cables with a can and a brush, the painters do.

    Waiters and bar backs don’t fix the signals and controls on the bridge, the electricians do.

    And eventually the suicide barrier will be built by ironworkers not pressman from the Chronicle.

    So that’s why it has been historically a building trades seat. Stick the bicycle guy in one of the other eight seats when they open up.

  2. I don’t envy Tim Paulson having to juggle the building trades with SEIU and the mess of UHCW/NHCW. And the labor council has been there with us for so many campaigns.

    That said, the building and construction trades were out in force in the past, intimidating decision makers into handing out entitlements to build like confetti. This has led both to unsustainable sprawl and to live work lofts as the precursors to rapid luxury gentrification of the inner city.

    The building and construction trades were the mandibles which shoveled more loans into the maw of the FIRE economy which has spearheaded our economic decline.

    All roads led to the fetishization of real estate and the attendant loans with their profitable fees, the lathering on of insurance products to protect mortgages and property which all got sliced out into securities, the composition of which was opaque as the risk associated with the products.

    The building and construction trades appeared like brown shirts, bullying all to support their right to work (our economy into the ground).

    These suckers at the building trades unlocked hundreds of billions in wealth for developers but only got paid enough crumbs to buy a tract house (now under water, couldn’t afford SF anymore) and a big ole truck, a slew of which you gotta be sure was clogging the parking lot at Plumbers’ HQ on Market at Gough during this hearing.

    Exurban sprawl fostered by the building trades also has led to increased commute times, record increases in greenhouse gasses and been one of America’s greatest contribution to climate change.

    If we’re going to create this labor seat out of whole cloth, then let’s at least put someone on it who lives a real San Francisco working class life, whether or not they are associated with the house of labor which, to put it gently, finds itself in general disarray and is in no condition to lead others right now.

    Labor has EFCA to deal with right now and the matter of our local budget crises. If the building trades are not going to come out in solidarity with San Franciscans facing draconian budget cuts and foreclosures, then how can they expect for us to stand in solidarity with them, especially after their greed has played a major part in economic collapse and the ethnic and economic cleansing of our communities?


  3. Question,

    Why did Snyder take himself out of the running for the seat Mazzola sought? That was the strangest part of the hearing. What he said was that he thought that Labor deserved the seat and he wouldn’t compete with them (which brought a big round of applause from the assembled goons).

    All this bullshit about the ‘Labor’ seat is just that, bullshit. There is no seat designated for Labor. But, by the end of the two hearings everyone in the room except Daly was pushing the fallacy as gospel.

    Cause money and muscle talk. Which is why I don’t have any power.


  4. Campos stinko, Paulson stinko.

  5. Correction: David Campos didn’t reconsider anything. He just proved that he wasn’t “wedded” to any particular labor candidate.

  6. It’s annoying how David Campos keeps prefacing things with “in my humble opinion”. Anyway, it is good that he has at least reconsidered his previous opinion (even though he didn’t appoint Snyder).

  7. Good show,

    Salomon put it best, noting that virtually the entire brass of the Labor community present had supported gentrification-friendly candidates from Frank Jordan to Willie Brown to Gavin Newsom for mayor and virtually every Downtown candidate for every other public office.

    He noted further that the actions of the leadership of these unions have created a land-use climate that has forced most of their own members out of San Francisco.

    I’d expect the Labor thug/aristocracy to come back with a candidate who is worse (if that’s possible). Maybe, Larry Mazzola Sr. (if he’s not in jail). Or, the POA’s Kevin Martin (who makes the steamfitters look like choir boys).

    Progressives should present their own labor candidate. I’m suggesting they approach Steve Zeltzer who is probably the top expert on Labor in San Francisco.