6. Robbie Hunter
Robbie Hunter has had a good year. Hunter, the president of the State Building and Construction Trades Council, was a key player in SB 1, the bill to raise fuel taxes to fix California’s deteriorating roads, highways and bridges. Hunter’s group is affiliated with 160 local unions representing hundreds of thousands of workers in 14 trades, and when projects such as those funded by SB 1 get built, those workers get jobs. Hunter emigrated to America as a teenager from Ireland – you can still catch his brogue when he gets excited – and entered the construction world as an ironworker. A photo in Hunter’s office shows him, around 1992, working on what would become the tallest building in California — the Liberty Tower. Hunter went on to become the president of Iron Workers Local 433 in 2002 before moving on to his current role in 2012. Unions must run in Hunter’s blood — his great-grandfather helped to organize a union in 1906.
Updated Aug. 29, 2o17