The City of Sacramento has still not given public access to the ballyhooed union Project Labor Agreement for the planned $448 million new Sacramento Kings arena (Entertainment and Sports Center). Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson and other officials announced the backroom union deal with great fanfare and celebration via a press conference on September 4, 2013 at Downtown Plaza. That was 44 days ago.
Are the People satisfied with talking points and press releases? The standard for sports and entertainment journalism is insufficient for government and political journalism. The public must get access to primary source documents to confirm or refute the claims made on September 4, 2013 by public officials using public resources.
Here is a request for public records that I submitted to the Sacramento City Clerk this morning. This is going to irk some powerful people, but I’ve been vainly calling for a public copy of the Project Labor Agreement for 44 days. (See one example: Eight Steps to Possibly Alleviate Taxpayer and Contractor Outrage about the Backroom Deal for a Project Labor Agreement on Construction of the Sacramento Kings Arena.)
Obviously people want to hide the union deal from public scrutiny. They don’t want a line-by-line analysis floating around, like this analysis of the “Community Benefits Agreement” for the California High-Speed Rail.
From: Kevin Dayton
Subject: Sacramento City Clerk: Public Records Request
Date: October 17, 2013 9:10:07 AM PDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
October 16, 2013
Shirley Concolino, MMC
City Clerk, City of Sacramento
915 I Street
New City Hall
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Ms. Concolino:
Under the authority of the California Public Records Act, I am requesting the following records to determine the involvement of the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento in the development and promotion of the Project Labor Agreement for the Entertainment and Sports Center, aka new Sacramento Kings Arena.
“Public records” include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento regardless of physical form or characteristics. “Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photocopying, photographing, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing, any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols or any combination thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.
“Public records” shall include writing from private email addresses used by the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento for public business. For example, if a staff member sends electronic mail through a Google mail account to schedule a meeting or press conference involving the mayor, that email is a public record.
Please provide the following public records – in electronic form if possible – from the Office of the Mayor of the City of Sacramento:
- The final or latest version of the Project Labor Agreement for the Entertainment and Sports Center. (There is reported to be a version, dated at or around August 29, 2013, that includes signatures from representatives of most construction trade unions.)
- All public records dated March 1, 2013 through October 16, 2013 related to the development and implementation of the Project Labor Agreement for the Entertainment and Sports Center.
- All public records dated March 1, 2013 through September 5, 2013 related to the planning and execution of the press conference held on September 4, 2013 at Downtown Plaza to announce the Project Labor Agreement.
- All public records dated September 4, 2013 through September 30, 2013 related to the reporting and evaluation of the press conference held on September 4, 2013 at Downtown Plaza to announce the Project Labor Agreement.
- All public records dated October 14, 2013 through October 16, 2013 related to the press conference held by “Voters for a Fair Arena Deal” on October 15, 2013 at the old city hall building.
Upon receiving this request for a copy of records, please, within 10 days, determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the Office of the Mayor and promptly notify me of the determination and the reasons therefor.
In unusual circumstances, the time limit may be extended by written notice, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched. No notice shall specify a date that would result in an extension for more than 14 days, and the notice shall provide the estimated date and time when the records will be made available.
President and CEO
Labor Issues Solutions, LLC