June 20, 2008

Associated Builders and Contractors Inc to defend Chula Vista citizens’ right to vote

ABC of San Diego, Inc has announced it will defend the constitutional right of Chula Vista citizens who signed the Open Competition and Anti-Discrimination in Contracting petition to vote in the November 2008 election against legal challenges by San Francisco based labor union leaders and their lawyers.

The Open Competition and Anti-Discrimination in Contracting Initiative seeks to bring fairness and equality to contracting by allowing all contractors, both union and non-union, to bid for publicly funded construction projects. The campaign committee organized to qualify and pass the measure, Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs and Fair Competition, filed with the Chula Vista City Clerk their intention to circulate the petition and published a public notice advertising the initiative language in a Chula Vista newspaper during February; and the committee held a public signature gathering rally on April 22nd. The committee submitted 15,222 signatures on May 23rd. The initiative would mean greater job opportunities for all local workers, lower costs to Chula Vista taxpayers, and ensure fairness and equality in contracting.

Lori Kneebone, local Chula Vista resident and supporter of the initiative, said “As a fifty year Chula Vista resident and employee of a local construction company, it offends me that out-of-town special interests would attempt to block the ability of residents to vote on such an important issue. Citizen initiatives are a fundamental right of all California voters that should not be ignored. All Chula Vistans should have the right to have their voice heard on this important local issue.”

“The fight to ensure equal opportunity for all workers in construction is under attack. Over 15,000 registered Chula Vista voters signed the Open Competition initiative petition to ensure equal opportunity for all workers, but labor union leaders are seeking to stop Chula Vista voters from being heard during the November election. We believe the citizens of Chula Vista should be allowed to vote on this important issue affecting the use of taxpayers funds and equal opportunity for all”, said George Hawkins, President of ABC of San Diego, Inc.

Robert P. Ottilie, attorney to the campaign committee, said, “Throughout the petition process, the proponents have adhered substantially to the rules and regulations as set forth in the California Elections Code. We are simply asking the court to uphold the constitutional rights of the more than 15,000 Chula Vista residents who are registered voters and petition signers.”

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