Labor Day Greetings
Happy Labor Day!
I hope that you and your loved ones will enjoy a fabulous, wonderful, safe and relaxing holiday. For most of us, today is a day off for some rest and fun – but it’s also a day when we’re invited to consider the historic accomplishments and ongoing efforts of working men and women and their families.
Good jobs, of course, benefit employers and employees, but they also benefit many more – the workers’ families and communities, the businesses they frequent and the charities they support: in fact, our nation as a whole. Protecting and creating good jobs in today’s struggling economy is an urgent priority. Los Angeles and this nation are both far better off when more people have jobs that are safe, secure and fairly compensated.
In these tough times, there’s been some modestly positive news. The private sector has now had eight consecutive months of job growth, which is a healthy streak not seen in this country for a long time, though we certainly want far more private sector jobs. The public sector unfortunately has been harder hit. Too many public sector jobs across the U.S., from teachers to firefighters to janitors, have been lost or jeopardized because of city and state budgetary troubles.
In the City of Los Angeles, we have made the tough but necessary budget decisions to eliminate thousands of jobs. City workers have suffered job loss, reduced hours, enforced (non-paid) furloughs, and/or lessened opportunity for advancement. City employees have shared with me the worries they have for themselves, their families and friends, but mostly what I hear about is their concern about our city services and community quality of life, due to service cutbacks that have happened or are threatened.
Of course, a great number of our city employees live in this city and are our neighbors, but all consider themselves to be a part of the city family. I am so impressed by the tremendous dedication, pride and civic patriotism that emanates from our work force. At this time of municipal crisis, city employees have come forth time and again, willing to make many sacrifices while also eager to share ideas for the best solutions. In fact, I hear from you in the community every week about particular city workers who went above and beyond the call of duty to work overtime to solve a problem or deliver a service.
That’s why I invite everyone to feel some appreciation - or maybe even say hi and thanks - the next time you see a city worker doing a job and doing it well. It may be a librarian helping someone find a book or check out a video, or a police officer responding to a call, or a firefighter walking by you back to her truck, or a rec center director cleaning up after a game in the park. Maybe it will be someone fixing a street, or a departmental official showing up to an evening community meeting after a long day’s work. There’s much this city can do better, but there’s cause for genuine gratitude and pride because so many city workers have an incredible devotion to our city, and face tough uncertainties with unflagging loyalty and commitment.
Again, I wish everyone the best of Labor Day holidays. I hope that anyone in need of employment finds the good job he or she wants, now and in years to come, and that you all enjoy the hard-earned rewards that come from jobs well done.
All the best,
Los Angeles City Councilmember, 5th District