San Mateo to revisit law regulating day laborers

An ordinance banning day laborers from gathering on the street in unincorporated San Mateo County may soon be history, as supervisors are expected to vote Tuesday to end the law.

“This ordinance came about in response to a lot of community concerns around day laborers darting out and congregating along the streets,” said Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson, who voted for the law in 2006 and now wants to do away with it. “We have a responsibility to provide safety for the workers as well as everyone else.”

Supervisors will vote on whether to add a sunset clause to the law, called the Roadway Solicitation Ordinance, allowing it to expire in June.

Two months after the law took effect, the county signed a contract with the Multicultural Institute, which operates a day laborer program in the North Fair Oaks community of unincorporated Redwood City. The program has virtually eliminated the safety hazards by doing street outreach and connecting day laborers with potential employers through cell phones and the Internet, supporters say.

According to San Mateo County Human Services Agency Director Beverly Beasley Johnson, who will present a report on the day worker program Tuesday, complaints to the Sheriff’s Office about congregating workers have decreased by 64 percent since 2006.

The program has registered 407 men and 22 women for employment, as well as 104 employers. Staff members at the Multicultural Institute have found work for 178 day laborers, according to the report.

Jacobs Gibson said that if the ordinance is lifted, sheriff’s deputies will closely monitor the North Fair Oaks area to make sure problems don’t return.

The board of supervisors discussed the ordinance at its Sept. 11 meeting, but postponed a decision until the Human Services Agency report was completed.

tbarak@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalPeninsula

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Diners at Teeth, a bar in the Mission District, on July 9, 2021. Teeth began using digital menus based on QR code technology in August. (Ulysses Ortega/The New York Times)
The football stadium at UC Berkeley, on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. George Kliavkoff, a former top executive at MGM Resorts International, took over the conference at the start of the month. (Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
What’s Ahead for the Pac-12? New commissioner weighs in

‘Every decision we make is up for discussion. There are no sacred cows.’

The sidewalk on Egbert Avenue in the Bayview recently was cluttered with car parts, tires and other junk. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
New surveillance effort aims to crack down on illegal dumping

’We want to make sure we catch people who are trashing our streets’

As the world reeled, tech titans supplied the tools that made life and work possible. Now the companies are awash in money and questions about what it means to win amid so much loss. (Nicolas Ortega/The New York Times)
How tech won the pandemic and now may never lose

By David Streitfeld New York Times In April 2020, with 2,000 Americans… Continue reading

Most Read