Over the weekend, AGC’s Bay Area regional members received an update from Mike Blach, President of AGC of California and Chairman of Blach Construction about San Francisco considering changing construction's essential status.
I hope you, your family and your colleagues are well and healthy. I regret to bother you on the weekend, but an important matter has just come to my attention, and I believe it to be critical to our industry remaining open and operating in the Bay Area.
Here’s the situation -- yesterday the AGC Government Affairs Team received a copy of a letter from the San Francisco City Administrator sent to San Francisco City and County Department Heads. The letter details concerns over whether or not construction will remain “essential” in San Francisco. After seeing construction jobsites not adhering to COVID-19 protocols, the San Francisco Health Officer is strongly considering rescinding our industry’s “essential” status and stopping all construction projects in San Francisco.
This action would cause a significant negative impact on our projects and business operations in San Francisco and could leave thousands of individuals without work. And aside from the effects felt by our industry, project shutdowns would hurt other essential sectors and Bay Area residents. Stopping transportation infrastructure improvements would leave our roads and bridges less safe for essential workers still traveling to and from work. A pause on broadband infrastructure work could leave our students without reliable access to Internet as they begin a school year with distance learning. Hospital improvement projects aimed at increasing capacity and improving facilities to better care for all Californians would come to a screeching halt. Moreover, we’re concerned this action could be viewed as a viable solution to slowing the spread of COVID by other cities and counties.
We must work together to ensure the City and County of San Francisco does not revoke construction’s “essential” status.
I’m asking you to reaffirm your commitment to following all COVID-19 safety protocols by ensuring your jobsites are adhering to the strictest of standards. AGC developed a bevy of resources for you and your teams to use, and are continuing to work with safety and health professionals in construction to provide updates or new materials as needed.
AGC’s Government Affairs team is also in constant communication with elected and government officials to ensure they know the commitment our industry has made, and will continue to make, to safety and health during this crisis.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Kate Mergen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rosa Trevizo at email@example.com. We will keep you updated as we learn more about any anticipated changes.
Let’s keep working together to keep our vital industry open for the betterment of California!
Stay healthy and well,
President, AGC of California
Chairman, Blach Construction