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Thursday, June 14, 2012

TRANSFER OF CONTRACTING FUNCTIONS TO THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR'S OFFICE

Few people know and less comprehend the role of the disadvantaged when it comes to the Bayview Hunters Point.


The many advocates it has produced - over the years.


Some fifty years ago - the Human Rights Committee was formed in the Bayview Hunters Point.


As would be expected the mostly Black community wanted some equity when it came to being able to have sales persons who were Black - who could service the many Black that bought cars.


The same when it came to the Mel Drive-In restaurants; for example - Blacks were invited to come and eat - but, when it came to good job at the restaurant - that was not a topic to be approached.


The Human Rights Committee soon became the Human Rights Commission (HRC) as years went by and moved from the Bayview to Down Town.


Initially the HRC was on the fore front of many changes - fighting for Human Rights  and addressing many injustices - but then as often happens it slowed down.


At the Airport we remember the incident with noose - that was placed - as a threat to Blacks who were given some jobs. When KevinWilliams a Black - as the Compliance Officer - took a stand. Let it be noted - powerful forces - with the then Mayor himself - saw that he was removed and isolated for years.


His Secretary was made the Director of HRC and Kevin - would have to go to work in the morning - then to up to a little room in the attic - and sit there doing nothing. These went on for years - until he finally threw in the towel. History must record this fact - in all its detail - for the world to know - about powerful, very corrupt political forces.


With the invasion of the LGBT community - and seeking a safe haven - no time was lost by the Human Rights Commission under Virginia Harmon and now Theresa Sparks - to take a lead and give LGBT status in many areas.


Slowly but steadily the cause of Blacks was put on the back burner.


And with Blacks put on the back burner - the status and rights of many Latinos and Asians.


Some token respect was given to the Native American - the paradox the local Muwekma Ohlone were not noticed.  So, I went to City Hall with Espanola Jackson and set the tone.


Told those present that this land - all of it was stolen by the Stranger. That until 1927 the Muwemka Ohlone to be precise - were Federally Recognized and then illegally removed. That the Shell Mound the Sacred Burial Grounds - stand testimony - to the First People - and that the strangers - must learn to respect the past - if not they will bear - serious, consequences.


The Unfinished Agenda is a case in point - a well documented document - that has been lying on the shelves - collecting dust and fungi.


It is all about the disparity, the discrimination, not giving opportunity, those many in charge talking the talk and not walk the walk. It is the struggle about the Blacks - who have been decimated in San Francisco. Once there were twenty five percent of the population - today about five percent and rapidly - fading into oblivion


For many years jobs per se was not an issue - when the economic was doing well - all over San Francisco. However there were pockets - we called them hot spots in the Bayview Hunters Point - where unemployment - was and is a issue to be addressed - in a holistic manner.


Crack Cocaine was brought into the community in the early 1980s - the Bayview was inundated with this "santanic drug" - today - the consequences can be seen - single mothers with children - fathers incarcerated - and Society washing its hands. God see it all - and when such blatant act are not remedied - the repercussions will be severe - it is called KARMA.


Education was a problem in the poorer neighborhoods - if you had good education - you could earn a very good income - in San Francisco.


For many years the City employed more then a fair amount of Minorities.


On an average for many years - the City and County of San Francisco has employed - 0ver 27,000 employees per year on its roles.


There were times when providing good housing, certifying minoritiy contractors, and giving opportunities to women were issues that need to be confronted and resolved.


The Human Rights Commission - dabbled trying to address these issues - and did a fairly good - job.


Since 2008 when the Nation experienced an economic downfall - many contractors in San Francisco - had to deal with outside Primes.


These Primes used the loop holes and did everything in their power - to get the best contracts. Bribed their way in - with corrupt consultants paving the way - and did as they pleased - breaking all fair practice labor laws.


When it came to giving opportunities to those that need jobs - more Union paying job - we saw injustice glaring at our face - by these outsider - PRIMES. Less adhering to labor practices - and ignoring local HTC compliance; even less State Compliance law - and daring to insult laws laid by the Federal entities - to protect fair and equitable labor laws for those working in the United States.


In the years 2008 to 2011 - even in 2012 - we saw consultants - deliver projects for a fee. Foremost the Platinum Consultants. They have been fined in New York - but they continue - unabashedly to defy local ordinance, Ethics - and the Ethic Commission, challenge the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and use political power to bring disgrace to San Francisco and those that stand for decency.


Local Business Enterprises - as did MBE/WBE since 1984 have tried their best to secure contracts - and some did. Those that had connections made head way - while those who played by the rules - suffered.


The Human Rights Commission in recent years has not been funded well.


Many Compliance Officers have their Full Time Employment position funded for the Agencies they work for. It becomes difficult to bite the hand that feeds you.


A model has to created where no one can intimidate the Compliance Officers - to date they are. While discussing the changes - no one dares to evaluate the "politics". That silent, power hand - that can catch your neck and sniff out the every breath you need to survive. Hundreds of small contractors - have lost their life savings - because of unfair practices.


Recently I carefully studied on case who got several small jobs to build his small company. He in a short time made payroll in excess of $300,000 dollars. Paid the Union Fees in excess of $80,000 dollars. Paid Workers' Compensation - paid the Bonding Fee - money, money money - he could do this because he had equity and some life saving - having had a good paying job in the Federal Government.


His net profit percentage wise was a little over six percent - with some money little in the pipe-line - it will be coming but it would have been nice - if he had it sooner. However, the times are difficult and business are running aground.


Our local taxes do not favor small businesses. Primes do as they please - they are the MAFIA.


The current changes favor a Centralized Department which sounds fine. What has not been discussed - is the abject "political influence" - that comes with focused jurisdiction - where key "politicians" can twisted the arm of the Mayor and may some calls that can cause - utter pandemonium and distrust.


In 1996 a Charter Amendment was brought about by the then Mayor Willie L Brown Jr. Just like that the City Administrator who was independent - was brought under the Mayor's jurisdiction.


Now; we have the SF Board of Supervisor (BOS) which is the Legislative Branch.


The City Administrator and the Mayor ruling the roost - presiding over the Executive Branch.


Few San Franciscans know this because they are not educated on issues - many are so ignorant about local government - that it is - pathetic.


With the above shenanigans lies the lack of accountability and transparency - there is no entity that is fully independent.


We saw the loop hole and deficiency with the Human Rights Commission too - lacking the ability to create sufficient Full Time Employees (FTE) - to address a need work load and there by compromising the quality and standard of the work - needed to be done.


Independently to carry out their work - without any fear of retaliation. I have been monitoring the HTC for the last thirty five years.


Mayor Ed Lee is well known to me and has a track record as a Civil Right leader - once even heading the Human Rights Commission.


Naomi Kelly has qualified experience as a Contract Manager and Expert but no experience linked to Compliance and the many loopholes the Primes use to deprive workers of Union wages - circumvent the laws.


Primes pride themselves bidding low and making endless change orders. We just have to analyse the major projects costing millions - Primes are having a field day - wheeling and dealing - filling "campaign coffers" and chiding anyone that dares - point out to the world - how corrupt they are.


We need value pricing - linked to our projects. Even the "design built " model - has no inherent evaluation and release of quarterly reports to the public at large. Nibbi, Cahill, Turner and Turner, Swinerton, AECOM, Jacobs, Belfor Beddi, URS, and many others are having a field day.


Many Primes fill campaign coffers - and there is no way to tally the millions given - proxies attending breakfast meetings - at $500 a seat - linked to the many table of tens - and money exchanging for projects given on a platter - as a trophy.


For years anyone could use Women Owned Businesses - to take huge percentages - and many Whites did this because they had the backing of a segment of the population - that had money.


Minorities for the longest time ever - could not compete simply because of the many obstacles -  their color, bonding, workers' compensation, lack of connections, lack of political influence and the list goes on.


In all of the deliberation - fake entities like City Build were created that did nothing to create Career Jobs.


Millions were wasted by folks like Rhonda Simmons who headed City Build and adversely impacted our great City and County of San Francisco.


In my other articles - I will address other issues - suffice to say - the SF Board of Supervisors, the Budget and Finance Committee, the City Attorney has yet to resolve and adjudicate - some pertinent and salient features - of the role of the City Administrator - taking over transfer of functions from the Human Rights Commission to the City Administrator's Office.


Naomi Kelly and Bill Barnes are two young, astute, focused and professional people that can put their heads together and bring about change.


Looming at the back on my mind - and this is my subjective opinion - can the City Administrator - keep at bay - dirty political influence - really?


Today; consultants for a fee can deliver projects - this is well known by many - but few have the guts to speak the Truth and take drastic - action.


The City Administrator has stated that she will adhere to Administration Code Chapter 14B.12(A).
We; will take her word - but; we need the quarterly reports to reveal the empirical data. Time will tell.


The transfer to positions under SF City Charter Section 4.132  will be watched carefully.


The details have yet to revealed to public at large. We advocates are waiting to shine light on those areas that look dark and shady. Too many gremlins lurking in the dark - so many unanswered questions - too much at stake - because we have seen such changes - defy ethics, defy standards, defy plain decency.


We have yet to hear and read the Budget Analyst Report on the subject of this transfer of functions the Harvey Rose Report, the Controller's Report by Ben Rosenfield, the City Attorney evaluation by Dennis Herrera and his office that defies common sense.


Ideally there should have been a Hearing before the facts were deliberated linked to transfer of function from HRC to the City Administrator's Office.


We do have one after the fact - initiated by Supervisor David Campos - calling for a Hearing on this matter - this clarion call has not been heard by many - as many are not aware of what is really - happening.


In these dire economic times - all measures must be taken and adhered to - our project small businesses - have to be protected and nurtured.


Large primes must adhere to Local Hire mandates pertaining to San Francisco.


In the interim permitting LBE/MBE/WBE other entities like NPE and Non-Profit entities that want to compete and serve San Francisco - in a fair manner with full transparency and accountability.


Change is needed - but with true change comes sound leadership.


Good leaders know the way, show the way, and go the way.


We would not like some leaders - wheeling and dealing with Primes - and promising them that most everything will be delivered with no problems.


We will watch you like a hawk - and this time around - put you on notice. Do not take us for granted - our time is now - and we are fully mobilized.


Compliance Officers must be independent and follow the law.


No Primes, no other entity must be permitted to put - putting hurdles in the way - of compliance officers - who should NOT have to follow and adhere to a nonchalant Blue Print - that is invisible to most.


There in lies the crux of the problem. Aho.


The City Administrator's Office:


http://sfgsa.org/index.aspx?page=830

The Human Rights Commission:


http://www.sf-hrc.org/

B Corporations waiting to invade the field:


http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110501/the-social-entrepreneurship-spectrum-what-it-takes-to-be-a-b-corporation.html?nav=next