I was humbled and honored to spend this Labor Day marching with our teachers in Wilmington, celebrating an amazing year of progress and partnership.
From the landmark agreement with UTLA, to the implementation of the $15 an hour minimum wage for all LAUSD employees, to the historic vote for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage in Los Angeles, and the critical progress on family and sick leave and the critical compromise at our
at our ports, we have made remarkable progress since we marched a year ago.
But we have a long way to go. I
n LAUSD, we still struggle to ensure that every member of the LAUSD family has a voice and that conditions for learning, teaching and working in LAUSD are the best in the nation. We must make sure that every member of our LAUSD family has access to health care.
And as policy makers, we must make sure that we understand how our reach can affect conditions for working families who work for companies who contract with LAUSD.
I know that to some the struggles of working families might not seem to be the business of a Board of Education charged with raising public school achievement outcomes. But in a district in which 80% of children live in poverty, working families and poor families ARE our LAUSD family.
Your Mom may not work closing shifts each night at McDonald's, but someone's Mom works that shift every night.
It may not be your Dad who is double shifting at chicken slaughterhouse in 1920's like conditions. But someone's Dad is working in those conditions every day.
It may not be your sister who earns $10 dollars an hour providing hospice care through each night for someone who is alone in their hour of greatest need.
It is certainly someone's sister.
It may not be your brother who drives the truck on 18 hour unregulated shifts for Walmart. But it someone's brother.
It may not be your uncle or your cousin in the fields.
It may not be your Tía cleaning the toilets in these luxury hotels and high rises. But it is someone's family.
If it was your father, mother, sister or brother
I am sure you would want them to be able to stay home for a day when they were sick.
I am sure you would want them to have rights in the workplace. I am sure you would want them to have health care.
As we start our work week after this Labor Day I ask us to keep dreaming of a city and a country where "these" families and "those" families become OUR family. But until that day comes, let us pause and thank those who organized for the changes we do have and the progress we have made.
Let us commit to keep marching, keep organizing, keep fighting for the "Our Family and Our Community" spirit that all of our families across our community deserve.