The measure passed by nearly 12 percentage points. The ban dates to 2012, when Republicans controlled city government. The city now has a Democratic mayor in Todd Gloria, and all nine seats on the city council are held by Democrats.
“San Diegans have been waiting a long time to see progress on addressing the backlog in repairs, improvements and new facilities,” Gloria told reporters during a news conference in late October. “But San Diego’s big plans rely on state funding to make them reality, and the only way to make sure we remain eligible for funding is by saying yes on Measure D at the ballot box this November.”
San Diego, with a population of nearly 1.4 million people, had been the largest city in the United States that banned PLAs. The measure’s win will make the city competitive for state and federal projects, a high priority after the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act were passed by Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden.
The IBEW’s signatory contractors will be more competitive in bidding for contracts against nonunion competitors, who pay lower wages and offer less quality for taxpayers. That will be a major boost for San Diego Local 569, which plans to expand its apprenticeship classes.
“Make no mistake, this was a top priority for all our members,” Local 569 Political Director Gretchen Newsom said. “They walked door to door every single Saturday and Sunday for more than two months. We phone-banked, we text-banked, we pulled out all the stops for a successful campaign while the other side was spending a lot of money against us.”There’s also some symbolic value in the vote. San Diego will host the next International Convention in 2026.