San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee on June 25 nominated International Longshore and Warehouse Union International Secretary-Treasurer William E. Adams, to a spot on the city’s five-member port commission.
Adams, a native of Kansas City, Missouri, has lived in San Francisco since 2003 and has held his current position with the ILWU since the same year. Prior to moving to California, he spent 24 years as a longshoreman in Tacoma, Washington.
He went to work at the Port of Tacoma in 1978 as a casual longshore worker, then became a “B registrant” in Local 23 in 1980, and a full member in 1986. After working 20 years as a longshoreman, he became a marine clerk.
As International Secretary-Treasurer, Adams is responsible for the organization’s finances. He oversees the union’s political action work and has represented the union internationally, including during visits with ILWU members in South Africa, Australia, Spain, Cuba, Vietnam and China.
“The port will greatly benefit from Willie’s experience as a longshoreman, and an advocate for workers and fiscal responsibility,” said Lee said in a statement announcing the nomination. “I’m proud to nominate him to the Port Commission and I am truly grateful for his willingness to serve.”
Adams, who has also executive produced several documentaries, has been a member of San Francisco’s film commission since 2009.