Mayor Edwin M. Lee today nominated William (Willie) E. Adams, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) International Secretary-Treasurer and current San Francisco Film Commissioner, to the Port Commission.
“The San Francisco Port is a vital engine in our City’s economic health, and now with the exciting transformation along our iconic waterfront, the Port will greatly benefit from Willie’s experience as a longshoreman, and an advocate for workers and fiscal responsibility,” said Mayor Lee. “As we redevelop our Port’s infrastructure and properties, while protecting our pristine Bay and honor our historic maritime past, I’m proud to nominate him to the Port Commission and I am truly grateful for his willingness to serve.”
A native of Kansas City, Missouri and a longshoreman for 24 years in Tacoma, Washington, Willie Adams moved to San Francisco in 2003 and ILWU members elected Adams to serve as their International Secretary-Treasurer..Adams is responsible for the organization’s finances, he oversees the union’s political action work, and he represents the union internationally, including visits with ILWU workers in South Africa, Australia, Spain, Cuba, Vietnam and China.
Adams has been a passionate cultural advocate and has been recognized for his acclaimed cultural contributions. He produced the “Celebrations of Black History and Labor” programs in Tacoma, which featured leading cultural and political figures including Danny Glover, Paul Robeson, Jr., Yolanda King (Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter), hip hop icon Chuck D, and Betty Shabazz (daughter of Malcolm X). Adams serves on the Board of TransAfrica, where he works closely with Board Chairman Danny Glover and Board member Harry Belafonte.
Adams is also executive producer of several documentary films, including Hughes’ Dream Harlem about the life of African American writer Langston Hughes and The Black Composers, which tells the story of African American film score composers. Adams is currently involved with a full-length dramatic film exploring the life of labor leader Harry Bridges.
In 2009, Willie Adams was appointed by then Mayor Gavin Newsom as a commissioner on the San Francisco Film Commission.