Posts Tagged ‘sierra club’

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer Realistic About NUMMI Commission, Report Due March 3rd

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Our State Treasurer certainly seems realistic about the chances of getting Toyota to take over the Toyota/GM NUMMI plant in Fremont, CA, so that’s a good thing. Bill just wants to do all that he can before giving up.

Bill Lockyer introducing commission members at the initial meeting in the CPUC Building on Van Ness yesterday:

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Here are some new deets, below. Let’s wait and see what they come up with…

“Toyota’s Proposed Plant Shutdown to Be Scrutinized by Panel of California Leaders

Blue Ribbon Commission holds public hearing, will issue findings next Wednesday on economic, social, environmental costs of automaker’s proposal to close award-winning NUMMI plant in Fremont

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 24 — A 10-member panel of California leaders convened by State Treasurer Bill Lockyer held a public hearing in San Francisco today to gather facts and take testimony from a broad range of experts on the expected impact of Toyota’s planned shutdown of New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. – or NUMMI – auto plant in Fremont. The plant has consistently won top ratings from J.D. Powers and is widely regarded as a model for the auto industry.

A shutdown of NUMMI would be the largest mass layoff in the current recession, and the prospect of having to endure the loss of potentially tens of thousands more jobs in the plant itself and related industries has spurred broad concern throughout the state. The Blue Ribbon Commission has been charged with both collecting the facts on the impact of closing NUMMI and examining alternatives for keeping the plant in operation.

Lockyer explained, “Californians are deeply concerned about how the loss of this plant might affect their economy, their state and their lives, and it is the job of this Commission to help find the answers to those questions. It is a testament to the quality of leaders on this panel that they have been more than willing to take up this challenge. I have asked the panel, and they have agreed, to gather and assess the facts and to have a report on my desk by next Wednesday morning so that I can share it with the public at noon.”

Acclaimed actor Danny Glover, who serves on the Commission, echoed those sentiments when he said, “California leaders – religious, civic, labor, and business – have come together on this Commission to determine for ourselves if the closing of Toyota’s California plant is necessary, to assess the severity of the impact that would follow such a closing, and, if possible, to explore strategies that might make it possible to avoid a shutdown. It is an honor to have been asked to serve my state in this serious and important matter.”

Some economic experts have projected that Toyota’s impending NUMMI shutdown could cost the state – already one of the hardest-hit by unemployment during this recession – as many as 50,000 more jobs. That figure includes the more than 5,000 now employed at the plant itself and an estimated 50,000 more in related industries up and down the state. In anticipation of the closure, some companies that supply the plant with parts and material have already announced layoff plans.

Concerns about the impact of the shutdown do not end with its economic consequences, however. The membership of the Commission reflects the breadth of issues that have fueled the growing alarm over Toyota’s plan to abandon auto manufacturing in California. The members of the Commission are:

 –  Professor Harley Shaiken, UC Berkeley
 –  Bob Wasserman, Mayor of Fremont
 –  Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Presbyterian Church USA
 –  Victor Uno, Chairman, Port of Oakland
 –  Richard Holober, Executive Director, Consumer Federation of California
 –  Bruce Kern, Executive Director, East Bay Economic Development Alliance
 –  Carl Pope, President, Sierra Club
 –  Nina Moore, Fremont Chamber of Commerce
 –  Art Pulaski, Chief Officer, California Labor Federation
 –  Danny Glover, Actor.

 
Another Commission member, the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, who is the head of the Presbyterian Church USA and of a San Francisco Bay area congregation, said, “This Commission has a moral duty to serve our community and state to sort out the facts, to assess the implications of those facts, and to search for solutions that will best serve the needs of Californians and their families.”

Source: California Labor Federation”

Danny Glover’s Going to Travel to Toyota City, Japan to Keep Our NUMMI Plant Open?

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Let’s see here, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer juststarted a commission to keep Fremont’s NUMMI auto plant running past April, 2010? This commission, meeting for the first time tomorrow in San Francisco, will soon be going on the road, it appears:

“The treasurer’s office said commission members will go to Japan and report directly to Toyota officials.”

Ready or not, Toyota, here we come.*   

A NUMMI representative parading on the Streets of San Francisco, during happier times a few years back:

The commission members:

UC Berkeley professor Harley Shaiken (chairman)
Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman
Presbyterian Church USA’s Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow
Port of Oakland Commission Chairman Victor Uno
Fremont Chamber of Commerce member Nina Moore
Consumer Federation of California Executive Director Richard Holober
East Bay Economic Development Alliance Executive Director Bruce Kern
Sierra Club of America President Carl Pope
Art Pulaski, Chief Officer, California Federation of Labor
Danny Glover, Actor

Look forward to reading Mr. Danny Glover’s Twitteringabout going 200 per on the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train when he’s on his way to Nagoya.

Does it make sense to build cars in the bay area anymore?** Would the bay area buy the products of the NUMMI plant in the future? We’ll see.

*Down with the landing gear/ up goes the useless prayer.

**The shut-down dealership in Oakland that the Chron’s op-ed fretted about, that deal had more to do with the health of Nissan than Toyota, actually. Anyway, the place just got reopened – called One Toyota of Oakland it is.  

San Francisco Man Swears He’ll Never Drive More Than 60 MPH – The Pledge 60 Movement

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

This man, recently seen on Franklin Street, has sworn he will never drive his Mazda 626 LX-V6 more than 60 MPH. Why? Cause he’s a part of the Pledge 60 Movement. Check out the sign that he printed at home (or at work, let’s hope, considering the cost of replacement printer ink, “starter cartridge” don’t get me started):

“I pledge 60 MPH max to save U.S. gas $

Fair enough. Not sure how this would work on the nascent Trans-Texas Corridor where they’ll have an 85mph limit, or for that matter Montana where teen-aged girls on narrow highways will pass you in their tiny three-cylinder cars going 90+, but oh well.

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The Sierra Club has/had a similar campaign – “I Can Drive 55 (or whatever the limit is).”

Pledgers should keep to the right (avoiding those carpool lane-stickered Toyota Priuseses going 80+ on the I-80) and they’ll be fine.

Pledge on.

(These kinds of pledges probably will have a higher success rate than those chastity pledges that don’t seem to work.)

Supervisor Eric Mar Calls on Senator Feinstein to Support Employee Free Choice Act

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

This was the smaller, quieter labor rally at Civic Center today – basically, it was aimed at just one person, Senator Diane Feinstein. A host of elected officials called on her to support the federal Employee Free Choice Act on the steps of City Hall.

Read all about it, below.

Supervisor Eric Mar, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, Assessor Phil Ting and John Rizzo were all up there behind the podium this afternoon:

 

Local Asian and Environmental leaders Come Together to Support Workers’ Rights

Coalition Says Employee Free Choice Act Provides Critical Protections for Vulnerable Workers; Calls on Senator Feinstein to Support Critical Legislation

 

San Francisco, CA (May 28th, 2009) — Local Asian and environmental leaders today called on Senator Diane Feinstein to support critical workers’ rights legislation pending in the United States Senate. The Employee Free Choice Act, which will allow workers the choice to form a union and toughen penalties against corporations that violate workers’ rights, is critical to leveling the playing field for working people and creating good jobs with health care and secure retirement.

 

“San Francisco’s Asian and immigrant community is particularly affected by unfair and unsafe workplace practices like exposure to toxic chemicals and workplace discrimination,” said San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar. “The Employee Free Choice Act provides important protections for all workers, including the most vulnerable, and that’s why it’s so important that Senator Feinstein support this legislation.”

 

The Employee Free Choice Act will allow workers the choice to form a union through majority sign-up, helps workers secure a contract with employers in a reasonable amount of time and toughen penalties against corporations that harass or intimidate workers who are trying to form a union.

 

As union members and environmentalists come together to urge the creation of millions of new jobs in the clean energy economy, it is important that these green jobs be good jobs. Union workers earn roughly 30 percent more than their non-union counterparts, and are more likely to be covered by health insurance and have a pension. In addition, efforts to improve workers’ rights are closely linked to protecting the environment.

 

“Working people are the front line of defense against hazardous pollution and dangerous chemicals in the workplace. Providing a fair way for workers to form a union is an important way to make sure our economy is safe, productive, and fair for everybody,” said John Rizzo, an activist with the local Sierra Club Chapter. “The Employee Free Choice Act would give workers the ability to protect themselves and their workplaces, to work for decent pay, be treated with dignity and take care of their families.”

 

Sierra Club President Allison Chin recently noted, “Sierra Club members overwhelmingly support Employee Free Choice Act because they understand that the right to organize would not only help safeguard the health and safety of workers, but also increase access to good jobs in the growing green economy, particularly for traditionally under-represented communities, such as women and Asian Pacific American minorities, who have suffered from workplace discrimination.”

Also in attendance at today’s event were Board of Supervisors President David Chiu; Assessor Phil Ting; Leon Chow, SEIU-UHW; Chinese Progressive Association; Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance San Francisco Chapter; Chinese For Affirmative Action; National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

San Francisco Tells the Secretary of Interior: NO to Off-Shore Oil Drilling

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

This was the scene today down at UCSF Mission Bay where the Secretary of the Interior got an earful about how San Francisco doesn’t want offshore oil drilling anytime soon. Poor Interior Secretary Ken Salazar  got an earful:

Our state is saying clearly to you today, no,” Sen. Barbara Boxer told Salazar at the opening of the hearing at the UC San Francisco Mission Bay campus. The California Democrat said the state’s coastline is a huge economic asset “just as it is.”

Logistics, that’s what the protesters had going for them today. You couldn’t miss all the furries, like this seal for example. Click to expand:

Or this polar bear, played by nine-month-old Kai Savage, assisted by Miyo Sakashita of Oakland. “23 DAYS TO SAVE ME”:

This is the what you could see on the long walk to the protest area. A passer-by ID’ed these animal’s as “shark, dolphin, whale, orca” in rapid-fire succession. Right, one of those anyway.

Dude was selling American Apparel T-shirts for just $5. What a country!

The only people not wearing shirts were selling shirts. Go figure:

The Sec-Int was prepared for all sorts of shenanigans. For example, “full body costumes” were not allowed inside, officially.

Only Time Will Tell what the Interior Department is planning.