City Beat

Ironworkers union, Asian business chamber support ‘strong mayor’

Another business group and another building trades union have endorsed the “strong mayor” measure appearing on the November ballot in the city of Sacramento.

The campaign behind the ballot measure announced today that the Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce and the local Ironworkers Union both endorsed the proposal, which would increase the authority of the mayor’s office.

Those endorsements follow the announcements last week that the Sacramento Association of Realtors and Laborers Union Local 185 are also supporting the plan.

As is the case with Local 185, the Ironworkers Union will likely represent many workers on the new downtown arena project – a project championed by Mayor Kevin Johnson. It is worth noting, however, that unions have historically opposed Johnson.

The Asian-Pacific chamber’s endorsement is also not surprising, given Johnson’s pro-business background.

Kevin Ferreira, president of Ironworkers Union Local 118, said ironworkers unions in other cities told him strong mayor forms of government create “streamlined efficient government.”

“Sacramento must be ready to compete for jobs to uplift our economy and get our working class neighborhoods back to work,” Ferreira said in a statement provided by Sacramento Tomorrow, the campaign behind the ballot measure.

If approved, the measure would transfer many of the duties currently held by an unelected city manager to the mayor. Opponents say it would place too much power in the hands of one official.

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