This story is not unusual in California nowadays: an ambitious elected official is tangled up in a bizarre personal incident (see Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, Wife of California Treasurer, Acknowledges Substance Abuse, Affair – Contra Costa Times/Bay Area News Group – February 14, 2012).
But this case is noteworthy from the perspective of TheTruthaboutPLAs.com because the elected official voted for Project Labor Agreements ten years apart on two different local government boards in two completely different geographic regions.
In 1998, Nadia Lockyer (then named Nadia Davis) was elected to the board of trustees of the Santa Ana Unified School District in Orange County. In March 2000, she was part of the 4-1 board majority that voted to require contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement for $145 million in school construction funded by the district’s Measure C. As reported in the March 15, 2000 Los Angeles Times:
The bricks and mortar for the largest school building project in Orange County history will be laid exclusively by union hands, Santa Ana Unified board members decided Tuesday night. In a controversial decision that continues a spate of victories for labor interests, all but one of the five board members voted to support a Project Labor Agreement, which would open bids to the $145 million in school-building plans only to union companies or nonunion contractors who hire through union hiring halls.
Despite this accomplishment for union special interests, Ms. Davis lost her re-election campaign in 2002 as the district was caught up in numerous controversies, including mismanagement of the district’s construction program. Eventually she ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in 2010 she was elected as Nadia Lockyer to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
Different place, different year, but same contempt for the taxpayer and the merit shop contracting community. Her accomplishments to date on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors were described on February 17 by a San Francisco Chronicle columnist:
… largely an unknown, even after her election. Since her arrival on the Board of Supervisors, Lockyer has worked on general assistance policy issues and helped craft a project labor agreement for the construction of a new Superior Court building.
Remember the axiom: behind every push for a Project Labor Agreement is an elected official dreaming of higher office.
With her second victory in using a local government to force contractors to sign union Project Labor Agreements for taxpayer-funded construction, Supervisor Nadia Davis Lockyer is again locking in future labor union endorsements and preparing for a fine career in the California State Legislature, or maybe even U.S. Congress or statewide office.
Her climb to the top will simply happen in Alameda County rather than in Orange County.