Re-electing Raburn to the BART board is right choice
By Rob Stoker and Eddie Dillard, Oakland Tribune
Not many politicians walk the walk and follow up words with actions. On more than one occasion, Robert Raburn has demonstrated that promises made are promises kept. He deserves our support for re-election to the BART Board of Directors.
He has been a committed advocate for workers in the Oakland community to get jobs on BART-sponsored projects. The Oakland Airport Connector is a prime example of his commitment.
The project hiring goals were 50 percent of labor hours to be provided by local area residents, 25 percent of labor to Oakland residents, 20 percent of apprentices by local area residents and 50 percent of apprentices by Oakland residents.
The project delivered 71 percent of labor to local area residents, 27 percent labor to Oakland residents, approximately 20 percent apprentices to local residents and 69 percent apprentices to Oakland residents.
These workers not only got a paycheck -- which provided food, clothing, rent, etc. -- but the workers also gained valuable job skills as labors, carpenters, operators and various construction trades skills.
Many of these apprentices came from the Oakland-based Cypress Mandela preconstruction apprenticeship program in West Oakland. Small businesses and local women-owned and minority-owned businesses included in the project (48 Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms) received more than $38 million.
In addition, Raburn has championed the increased security around BART stations to provide riders with greater security and safety. Raburn has been the catalyst of fostering additional bike racks at various stations to augment existing bicycle storage facilities.
Raburn has worked with other directors to trim unnecessary and unjustified perks for BART Board members automatically getting lifetime free BART passes. As the liaison to the BART Business Advisory Committee, Raburn has championed the development of programs and policy changes to give local women and minority owned businesses a chance to get work on BART projects.
For example, through Raburn's leadership the agency has developed a small business bonding program which reduces the barriers small, women and minority owned businesses face when trying to get work with prime contractors on BART-sponsored projects.
Raburn has met monthly over the past four years with the BART Business Advisory Committee to explore methods to increase local business participation. Another prime example of Raburn's dedication was the establishment by the BART procurement department, an email alert system to inform the public of upcoming contracting opportunities.
Raburn has been endorsed by the Sierra Club, Alameda County Carpenters Local 713, the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County as well as various other organizations including the Oakland Tribune.
In the end, Raburn deserves four more years to continue to develop programs and projects that give those who have not had access to business opportunities a chance to get work with the agency.
We urge you to cast your vote on Nov. 4 to re-elect Robert Raburn to the BART Board of Directors.
Rob Stoker is a business representative for Sheet Metal Workers Local 104 and president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County. Eddie Dillard is a member of the BART Business Advisory Committee.