experience

Julian Gross

Julian Gross is an attorney with two decades of experience in community economic development, representing community-based organizations and local government entities in urban development negotiations and in legislative and policy matters. Julian is the leading attorney in the nation on community benefits agreements, having represented coalitions of community-based organizations in over a dozen successful CBA negotiations, and having written and spoken widely on the subject. He has also drafted numerous local hiring and contracting policies, and has worked on living wage policies, DBE policies, and many other community economic development initiatives.

curriculum vitae (pdf)

community benefits agreements

San Francisco Organizing Project

Julian represented SFOP’s community leaders in negotiating an historic community benefits agreement in Bayview Hunters Point, San Francisco. Not only is Julian incredibly knowledgeable about contract and community development law, but he is also a keen strategist and dedicated community partner. Julian secured the needed resources to spend hours with the families we organize, making sure that questions were answered, concerns were aired and that the process was understood and owned. He understands that, in working for justice, process is as important as outcome.

Erika Katske
Executive Director, San Francisco Organizing Project

A community benefits agreement, or CBA, is a legally binding contract entered into between a developer or public entity and a coalition of community-based organizations, setting out the community benefits that a proposed development project will provide, and ensuring support for the project by the signing organizations. CBAs are typically used in large, subsidized, multi-use development projects in urban areas.

A good CBA can improve a project by ensuring a strong slate of community benefits for the surrounding neighborhood, building credibility and public support for a project, and aligning the interests of developers, public entities, and community stakeholders.

Julian has published and spoken extensively on CBAs, and assisted public entities and community-based organizations in negotiation and implementation of the following CBAs:

local hiring policies

Blueprints
Worker installing solar panels
Row of colorful houses

In tough economic times, there is widespread interest in policies to target job opportunities to local, low-income neighborhoods or at-risk individuals. Local hiring policies can be adopted for specific development projects; for all projects of a certain public agency or in a certain redevelopment area; or for public works expenditures of a jurisdiction or agency. Policies can be tailored to apply to heavy construction jobs, permanent jobs, or both. Construction jobs policies are particularly important, as a career in the high-road sector of the construction industry is one of the few reliable middle-class career paths for individuals without college degrees.

Local hiring policies raise a host of complex legal and practical issues. For over twenty years, Julian Gross has advised nonprofit and governmental clients in efforts to work through these issues and establish strong local hiring policies. These efforts include:

  • Economic Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Policy (City of New Rochelle, NY, 2016). First source hiring, local contracting, and nondiscrimination policy applicable to City-supported projects and downtown redevelopment activities.
  • Treasure Island redevelopment (San Francisco, CA, 2014–2016). Represented Treasure Island Homeless Development Initiative in advocacy regarding local and disadvantaged hiring policies for construction and operation of Treasure Island redevelopment project.
  • AC Transit, Bus Rapid Transit project (Oakland, CA, 2014): Construction Careers Policy (targeted hiring) and Project Labor Agreement for $100 million, federally-funded transit upgrade project. Targeted hire requirements work within legal limitations for USDOT-funded projects, and implement requirements of U.S. Executive Order 11246 (goals for hiring women and minorities). Project Labor Agreement implements targeted hiring requirements.
  • First Source Hiring Policy, Wyandanch Rising Project (Babylon, NY, 2013). Construction hiring policy applicable to private development in downtown revitalization effort in Town of Babylon, NY. Policy provides a pipeline from tailored training programs to contractors on the project.
  • Represented City of Oakland in policy development and negotiation of Jobs Policies, Project Labor Agreement, and Cooperation Agreement for the $500 million redevelopment of the Oakland Army Base
  • Represented organization in developing and advocating for local hiring policy covering construction jobs in City of San Francisco’s public works projects (2010).
  • Staff for San Francisco Local Hiring Stakeholders’ Process, established by City of San Francisco and local foundations (2010).
  • Retained by City of Seattle to provide advice regarding development and implementation of green jobs local hiring, contracting, and training programs (2010).
  • Represented organization regarding development, enactment, and implementation of local hiring policy for construction jobs on public works projects operated by the City of Los Angeles (2010).
  • Represented organization regarding development, enactment, and implementation of local hiring policy for construction jobs on projects operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (2010).
  • Represented multiple organizations in advocating for statutory or administrative local hiring requirements or authority on federally-funded construction projects; included discussion w/ U.S. Department of Transportation counsel and staffs regarding D.O.T. regulations regarding local hiring on D.O.T.-funded projects.
  • Represented nonprofit organization regarding development, enactment, and implementation of local hiring policy for construction jobs on projects operated by the Port of Los Angeles (2009–10).
  • Represented multiple parties in negotiation and implementation of local hiring requirements for permanent jobs in Hunters’ Point / Shipyard redevelopment project in San Francisco, California (2008)
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating construction employment local hiring requirements included in the climate change bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives (2008).
  • Represented organizational clients regarding development and enactment of local hiring policy for construction and permanent jobs in City of Richmond, California (2007).
  • Represented organizational client regarding development, enactment, and implementation of local hiring policy for construction jobs adopted by Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (2007).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating local hiring policy for permanent jobs in Ballpark Village redevelopment project in San Diego (2006).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating with Los Angeles World Airports authority a local hiring policy for permanent jobs for LAX modernization, including negotiation with the Federal Aviation Administration regarding permissibility of local hiring under federal revenue diversion regulations (2004).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating local hiring policy for permanent jobs in Marlton Square redevelopment project in Los Angeles, CA (2002).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating local hiring policy for permanent jobs in Hollywood & Vine redevelopment project in Los Angeles, CA (2002).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating with developer and Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency a local hiring policy for permanent jobs on the Staples Center / L.A. Live redevelopment project in downtown Los Angeles (2000).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiating local hiring policy for permanent jobs in NoHo Commons redevelopment project in Los Angeles, CA (2002).
  • Retained by City and Redevelopment Agency of East Palo Alto, California, to advise policy regarding local hiring and contracting policy governing construction and permanent employment in subsidized development projects (1998).
  • Represented multiple organizations in advocacy for local hiring requirements for construction jobs on the Alameda Corridor Transit Project in Los Angeles Region; involved negotiation with the U.S. Dept. of Transportation regarding permissibility of local hiring under D.O.T. regulations (1997).
  • Represented multiple organizations in negotiation regarding compliance with U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Section 3 local hiring requirements on HUD-funded construction projects in Long Beach, California (1997).
  • Represented multiple organizations in developing and advocating for local hiring and contracting policy governing construction and permanent employment in subsidized development projects in East Palo Alto (1994–96).

public entities

Julian Gross has been retained by the following public entities to assist in community economic development initiatives by negotiating, drafting, or providing policy guidance on the following policies, contracts, and initiatives:

  • Port of Oakland, Oakland Army Base (2014–2016). Assisting Port of Oakland in negotiation of community benefits packages for initial portion of Port’s redevelopment of former Oakland Army Base.
  • City of New Rochelle, NY, (2016). Assisted City in development of Economic Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Policy, which includes first source hiring, local contracting, and nondiscrimination requirements applicable to City-supported projects and downtown redevelopment activities.
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), 2015. Assisted EBMUD in negotiation of a pilot Project Labor Agreement, including local hiring and local contracting provisions (Agreement passed by District’s Board of Directors but not finalized)
  • AC Transit, Bus Rapid Transit project (Oakland, CA, 2014): Construction Careers Policy (targeted hiring) and Project Labor Agreement for $100 million, federally-funded transit upgrade project. Targeted hire requirements work within legal limitations for USDOT-funded projects, and implement requirements of U.S. Executive Order 11246 (goals for hiring women and minorities). Project Labor Agreement implements targeted hiring requirements.
  • City of Oakland, Oakland Army Base Project (2012–current)
  • Port of Oakland, Oakland Army Base Project and revision of Nondiscrimination and Small Local Business Utilization Policy (2014–current)
  • East Bay Municipal Utility District, Project Labor Agreement for Chabot Dam Seismic Retrofit Project (2015)
  • Suffolk County, NY, Department of Labor, Licensing & Consumer Affairs, (2014). Policy guidance regarding local hiring and community benefits initiatives.
  • Town of Babylon, NY, First Source Hiring Policy, Wyandanch Rising Project (2013). Construction hiring policy applicable to private development in downtown revitalization effort in Town of Babylon, NY. Policy provides a pipeline from tailored training programs to contractors on the project.
  • City of San Pablo, CA (2013–2014). Consideration of local hiring and project labor agreement ordinances.
  • Clean Energy Works Oregon (2011). Assistance with development of contractor pool for high-road initiative for green energy program.
  • City of Seattle, Community Power Works (2010). Assistance with negotiation and development of Community High Road Agreement for residential retrofit programs (including local hire, targeted contracting, high-road training, and quality control requirements.)

publications

speaking engagements (2010–2012 only)

(since 2010 only)

  • “Community Benefits for Health,” presentation at San Mateo County Health System’s Get Healthy San Mateo (May 2016)
  • “Leveraging Equity for Economic Growth,” presentation at PolicyLink’s Equity Institute (October 2015)
  • City Attorney’s Conference, League of California Cities (May 2014)
  • American Public Transportation Association Legal Affairs Seminar (February 2014)
  • Partnership for Working Families conference (February 2014)
  • McGill University, School of Urban Planning, Lecture Series (September 2013)
  • Transportation Equity Network / Gamaliel webinar, “Jobs for America” (September 2013)
  • Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs/Transportation Equity Network webinar re U.S. Executive Order 11246 (April 2013)
  • Lectures in Planning Series, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University (October 2012)
  • “Best Practices in Developing and Implementing Targeted Hiring Policies,” National Employment Law Project webinar (February 2012)
  • Presenter, Bay Area Contract Compliance Officers Association conference (January 2012)
  • Guest Lecturer, U.C. Hastings School of Law, Community Economic Development Course, San Francisco, CA (September 2011)
  • Presenter, Lincoln Institute Land Policy Conference, Boston, MA (May 2011)
  • Keynote speaker, Workshop on Community Benefits Agreements, Alliance for Community-University Research, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (February 2011)
  • Guest lecturer, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, School of Urban Planning, course on Community Benefits Agreements (February 2011)
  • Keynote speaker, Public Dialogue on Community Benefits Agreements, DTES, Vancouver, Canada (February 2011)
  • Presenter, Green for All Communities of Practice (January 2011)
  • Guest lecturer, Sustainable Rebuilding course, U.C. Berkeley Planning Department (October 2010)
  • Presenter, Shaking the Foundations conference, Stanford Law School (October 2010)
  • Presenter, BetterBuildings Community Workshop, Chicago, IL, (September 2010)
  • Guest lecturer, Community Economic Development course, U.C. Hastings School of Law (September 2010)
  • Presenter, Green for All national webinar on contracting and hiring agreement (October 2010)
  • Presenter, forum on community benefits agreements, Legal Aid Society of San Francisco’s public interest issues series, San Francisco (July 2010)
  • Presenter, U.C. Berkeley School of Law Symposium on federal procurement
  • Presenter, New York City Bar Association meeting on Community Benefits Agreements (May 2010)
  • Presenter, American Bar Association Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Conference (May 2010)

teaching

  • University of California, Goldman School of Public Policy, 2016 Guest Lecturer: course on “Tackling Inequality through Equitable Development: Perspectives on Race, Place and Class in the San Francisco Bay Area”
  • New York University, Wagner School of Public Service, 2015 Guest Lecturer: multi-disciplinary course: Race, Ethnicity & Class in American Cities
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2014 Instructor, “Contract Drafting and Negotiation,” two-credit course. PACE evals: Global Index 4.52 out of 5; 19 out of 19 respondents “would recommend the course.”
  • McGill University, School of Urban Planning, 2013 Instructor, “Negotiation of Community Benefits: Power Dynamics and Practical Approaches,” two-credit course. Course evals: 100% of respondents rated overall course quality as 5 out of 5.
  • Yale University, School of Law, 2013 Guest Lecturer: Community Economic Development Clinic course
  • Stanford Law School, 2013 Guest Lecturer: Community Law Clinic
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2008–2014 Guest Lecturer and 2009 Practitioner in Residence, Civil Justice Clinic, Community Economic Development course: annual guest lectures, supervision of clinical students during 2009 school year; ongoing consultation on clinic’s primary representation engagement in 2010–2013
  • University of California at Berkeley, College of Environmental Design Guest lecturer: Sustainable Rebuilding course