The California High-Speed Rail Authority is moving fast to display tangible, physical signs in the Central Valley of its vision for a high-speed rail planned from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
On January 14, 2013, the obscure California Public Works Board authorized negotiations with property owners to obtain 349 parcels of land between Merced and Fresno for the High-Speed Rail. And yesterday (January 18, 2013) was the deadline for the five pre-qualified design-build consortiums to submit their proposals for the first segment of the High-Speed Rail, complete with their commitments to sign a Project Labor Agreement for the first segment of the California High-Speed Rail with the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California (an umbrella lobbying group for construction unions).
Central Valley farmers, frustrated middle class taxpayers, populist radio talk show hosts, and disgruntled small business owners see that time is running short to stop this $68 billion project, by far the most expensive taxpayer-funded public works project in American history.
Ordinary people are trying to offset the multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded public relations juggernaut driven by powerful politicians, labor union leaders, executives for architectural, engineering, and construction firms, and environmentalists to lock in their “Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train.” Behind the scenes, bond investors and financial service firms eagerly await the state to exercise its authority to borrow $10 billion (not including interest and transaction fees) by selling bonds.
But the people are finding out more about the High-Speed Rail all the time; for example, the Northern California Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors is informing ordinary California citizens through talk radio about the Project Labor Agreement. On January 15, 2013, the chapter’s Government Affairs Director Nicole Goehring was on the Chris Daniel Show on KMJ 580 AM & 105.9 FM in Fresno (the relevant segment is 15:00 – 40:45). And KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco named Nicole Goehring their “Watchdog of the Week” for exposing the Project Labor Agreement on the “Whistleblower” show (the relevant segment starts at 5:40 on the January 16, 2013 morning show).
Yesterday I received an emailed “Important notice RE HSR Meeting Next Wednesday in Sacramento” indicating that a coalition of grassroots citizens organizations planned to attend the January 23, 2013 meeting of the Board of Directors of the California High-Speed Rail Authority. And this morning the Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction emailed this notice:
Despite all of the lies and flaky data the $68 billion choo choo train to nowhere has not stopped. After months denying what we all knew was true, we now know that there will be a Project Labor Agreement covering the California High-Speed Rail project. We need your help in order to stop this Project Labor Agreement.
On Wednesday January 23rd, 2013, the first High-Speed Rail Authority meeting will be taking place since the truth behind the hidden Project Labor Agreement came out. We need you, your workers and staff to attend this meeting. You are welcome to come and speak out against this Project Labor Agreement, but it is most crucial that we have bodies showing strong opposition to this agreement. We must send a message that this is bad for the construction industry, and bad for California.
Can we count on you?
When: Wednesday, January 23rd 2013 at 9:30am
*Meeting starts at 10am but we want to make sure we get seats
Where: Sacramento City Hall
915 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
Please let us know ASAP if you can help by contacting us at info [at] opencompca.com.
Thank you for your consideration.