Jane Kim Didn't Give Me No Goddamn Respect, Grouses Union Boss

Categories: Politics
Photos of Mazzola and Kim | Luke Thomas
The Axis of No Respect
Rodney Dangerfield spun an entire career out of bemoaning the shabby treatment he received at the hands of others. It's unclear if dynastic plumber's union boss Larry Mazzola Jr. is hoping to traverse that rather narrow career path. But he's off to an excellent start.

In a terse letter penned to Supervisor Jane Kim earlier this summer, Mazzola -- like his father and grandfather, the head of the Plumbers' Local No. 38 -- manages to max out the Indignant-O-Meter. In four brief paragraphs, he packs in more indignation than experts say any reader should be exposed to in 10 or 15 angry letters. Proceed at your own risk.

The letter follows. For maximum effect, imagine, Joe Mantegna reading it:

Dear Supervisor Kim:

For the last two months I have been trying to set up a meeting with you to talk about issues relating to Treasure Island. I know that you have a busy schedule and, therefore, I have been trying to schedule a date through your aide. On numerous occasions she has told me that you want me to meet with her and I have responded that I prefer to meet with you as you are the Supervisor for District #6 and Treasure Island is in your district.

Friday she told me that you refuse to meet with me and requested that I meet with her. I can't begin to tell you how disappointed I am you would make me give my report to your aide and then have her repeat it to you at a later date.

As you know, I am a Director on the Treasure Island Authority Board and think I deserve the same respect that I would give to you. If you were to call me and ask to meet with me on any matter, I would not ask you to first meet with my assistant. I strongly feel that all Directors of the Treasure Island Authority Board should have an open door policy to the Supervisor of the District.

I hope this is all a misunderstanding and that we can move forward from here. If not, please let me know why you would treat me like this.


Larry Mazzola, Jr.

SF Weekly has placed calls to both Mazzola and Kim in hopes someone can explain this situation and tell us whether it was resolved. Neither has yet responded. We hope they get back to us -- if not, we hope they would let us know why they would treat us like this.

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My Voice Nation Help

"please let me know why you would treat me like this."


Um.  Let's see.  Your father and grandfather worked hard to keep people like Jane out of the trades and, from my understanding, you certainly weren't on her side of her election. Yes, there are more asian plumbers, electricians and drywallers than 20 years ago but still way, way below any reasonable ratio to the city's population.  Oh, that's right, most of your "people" don't live in SF anyhow.


Oh, and women in the trades?  Yes, there are a few.  But let's not kid ourselves.  They are the first laid off (sometimes before the travellers from elsewhere), the last promoted, endure jokes and harassment that would never be permitted in an office in SF, and are generally considered second-class citizens on the job site.


Your family bought property in Clear Lake and then used Plumbers Union money to develop adjacent parcels in hope of profiting and then, laughably, the whole deal went south. This was shockingly corrupt and double-dealing, even for SF.  But the real crime was your family's incompetence at even pulling off this modest deal.  Yeah, you muscled the dough but then blew it.  Pathetic.  And you're in charge of the plumber's penions?  Yikes.


You and your dad still try to act like wannabe Tony Soparanos even though you really don't have the influence that even Theriot enjoys. From the cheapseats, it seems that you've lost most of the big fights you've been involved in recent years.  Remind me why you're on the TI board instead of the GG Bridge board?  Oh that's right.  Things like this letter and your inability to muster votes (kinda important if you want to play in politics).


You needlessly picked a fight with progressives who should be your allies and your constant "hard line" may play well at with the guys at the hall but for the rest of us it's a reminder that your priorities are different from San Francisco's.  I may disagree with Mike Casey on some stuff but there's never a question he's trying to do right by his people AND the City.


Which brings me to my final point.  I grew up in a union trades household where we learned that union labor is trained, skilled and safe labor.  Better workers, better product.  But you never talk about that.  You preach about equity and gains for your members.  You take shots at overpriced managers without ever explaining why union labor is better for SF.


Frankly, your attitude of entitlement is making you increasingly irrelevant (see: brush off from Jane Kim) but there's a new generation of labor leaders who ARE interested in helping the city and their members and are interested in compromising and finding solutions.  My hope is that these folks see that your family's way of doing business is over and that you, my man, are the cautionary tale. 


So please, go loudly into the night.  Kick and scream and tell the world that you are being disrespected.  Let everyone know that you have to shout 'cause you no longer got the clout.





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