by Victor D. Torres

As we exit Winter and head towards Spring, the political temperature in 2020 is as hot as it gets.

This issue is reaching you just as you are preparing to vote in the California March Primary election. There are many offices to fill with dozens of potential candidates striving to obtain your vote. This newspaper contains a listing of Teamster endorsements for many of these positions. The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council is another resource for you to utilize to obtain a listing of additional labor friendly endorsed candidates. Links to both are available on our website.

In order for any of these candidates to receive labor’s endorsement, they must demonstrate not only by words, but most importantly by their actions that they are in tune with and completely support working families.

While our branding is widely coveted, it is not easily obtained. We set high standards and we have long memories with deep roots in our San Diego community. The voting records of local politicians running for re-election are frequently referred to during the vetting process. Community involvement supporting working families is another measurement that we utilize for incumbents as well as first-time candidates.

In addition to the candidate races, there are also important initiatives that voters will be weighing in on.

The most important of those initiatives impacting working people in the City of San Diego is Measure C. Simply put, Measure C will expand the San Diego Convention Center. In order for the big conventions like Comic-Con to continue to be held in our great city, the Convention Center must be expanded. Nearby cities in Southern California such as Anaheim and Los Angeles, already provide convention facilities which outdo our almost 30-year old center. Failure to approve this measure is not acceptable. Good paying jobs associated with our Convention Center including new jobs and construction trade jobs hang in the balance.

The structure of Measure C is that there are no taxpayer tax increases associated with it. The cost of the Convention Center expansion lies with those visitors that stay in our local hotels and actually attend the various conventions which take place in the Convention Center area.

Additional components of Measure C that are important for you to know about is that significant percentages of the monies collected to expand the Convention Center are earmarked for increased creation of affordable housing and for social services desperately needed to assist the homeless population in our city.

It is also noteworthy that Measure C is a bipartisan initiative. Representatives from all parties, Republicans, Democrats and Independents support this measure. From the most powerful business interests to our Labor Council have played a part in drafting Measure C and instituting safeguards that these monies are lock-boxed exclusively for the stated purposes. Enforceable penalties for any violations of these funding provisions are included in Measure C.

The majority of our current Local 481 membership is tied in with the tourism industry. A significant segment of our future Local 481 membership is also tied in with tourism. For that reason and many others, we strongly recommend that you review materials being sent to you on this subject and vote Yes on Measure C.

All of this and more is possible if we register to vote in mass and vote in both the primary and the general elections in 2020.