Chairman’s Report by Jim Caldwell – Manufacturing Professional, Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center

The Future State Is In The Hands Of The Voters

Over the past year, the manufacturing community, as well as other businesses operating in the city of San Antonio, have been and continue to be the target of burdensome regulations and pending mandates by City Counsel. After months of closed-door sessions, City Council announced that they were going to enter into a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA) to, in essence, unionize the concessionaires at the San Antonio Airport. With persistent pressure from the San Antonio Manufacturers Association, the leadership of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and many others from the business community, the council reversed the LPA requirement.
After this embarrassing reversal on the LPA, one would think that City Council would engage the business community before putting forth any additional regulations or mandates. Unfortunately, they have not and continue to listen to other entities rather than consulting with the local business community. In August, council adopted the Mandatory Paid Sick Leave policy as outlined in the cover story of this newsletter.
On the horizon, City Council is considering mandates such as a $15/hour minimum wage. Adding a Scoring Matrix column to the selection process of contractors for city. Fair Chance, or second chance program to mandate the hiring felons. Predictive Scheduling meaning businesses have to provide a two -week schedule of work and are required to pay the employee if the schedule changes. Responsible Bidder meaning a company has to show they meet all requirements of the city. And more are in the works.
So how did we get here. Voter Apathy! In May, only 116,222 voters or 11.32% of the 1,026,817 registered voters showed up to cast ballots. In June, only 99,252 voters or 13.16% of the 754,462 registered voters showed up for the runoff election. Within specific council races, there were from 3,752 to 8,490 votes that put council members in City Hall.
It is about time for San Antonio to take our annual local elections seriously. We are not telling our members who to vote for in an election, but we are expecting our members, the employees of our members and our community to know the serious impact that voter apathy is playing which is against the rich history of the city. Please, get out and vote.

Jim Caldwell, Manfacturing Professional, Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center