Community Groups Rally to Support Warriors Arena
Workers and Advocates Highlight Opportunity to Bring Basketball and Thousands of Good-Paying Jobs to San Francisco by 2017
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 17, 2012--After several months of discussions about plans to build a state-of-the-art basketball arena on San Francisco’s waterfront, dozens of local workers and job supporters came out yesterday to rally in support of bringing the Golden State Warriors to San Francisco.
Brightline joined community groups including the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Charity Cultural Services Center, and Mission Hiring Hall, as well as labor unions Laborers Local 261, Carpenters Local 22, and Operating Engineers Local 3, to highlight the opportunity to create nearly 2,000 construction jobs if the arena breaks ground in the summer of 2014 and nearly as many permanent jobs when the Warriors start the 2017 season in San Francisco. The groups have come together to work with the City and the Warriors to support the landmark effort and develop a pathway to guaranteed opportunities for local residents to participate on the project.
The 17,500-seat, $1 billion Warriors Arena must still undergo environmental and planning review, but the fifty to sixty workers and advocates that came out in support last night stressed their hope that all necessary steps will be taken to allow the project to go forward and provide a much needed shot-in-the-arm to lingering unemployment in the construction trades, an economic boost to the San Francisco waterfront, and a long-sought solution to repair the City’s eroding dock at Piers 30-32.
Given the arena's ability to generate nearly $20 million of annual revenue for the City budget and additional new economic activity, Mayor Ed Lee has made the opportunity to build a new waterfront basketball venue a priority of his administration.
“The Warriors Arena will not only generate thousands of jobs, but have a very positive economic impact on the City,” said Carmen Ho, executive director of Charity Cultural Services Center, a job developer in the Chinatown community.
“We look forward to working with the City and the Warriors on a jobs plan to deliver benefits to our diverse communities,” stated A. Philip Randolph Institute – San Francisco executive director Jacqueline Flin, who works to connect Bayview-Hunters Point residents with employment opportunities.
Don Marcos, executive director of Mission Hiring Hall, who works with San Francisco's CityBuild Academy to prepare San Francisco residents to succeed in construction careers, noted that “the local resident population has the chance to access the design process and work that will go into the arena, delivering many community benefits.”
Laborers Union Local 261 business manager Ramon Hernandez, who represents 5,000 workers across San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin county and is a member of the Warriors Arena Citizens Advisory Committee, commented during a Committee hearing that followed the rally that it was “great to see so many people come out to talk about how to move forward, create jobs, and bring the Warriors to San Francisco.”
“We can’t lose the Warriors for a third time,” commented A. Philip Randolph Institute Western Region Director James Bryant, who manages APRI’s efforts to support workers of color across the western states, referencing prior attempts to bring basketball back to San Francisco.
At the same time, “it’s not lost on any of us that for San Francisco to gain a team, Oakland will lose a team,” said Brightline executive director Joshua Arce, whose organization worked on the landmark local hiring legislation authored by Supervisor John Avalos and successfully implemented by Mayor Lee. “Going forward, we will be engaging our brothers and sisters across the Bay around a strategy to support workers in Alameda county if the Warriors make the move westward.”
A lengthy public vetting process awaits the proposed Warriors Arena, leading to potential approval in April 2014.