As we near the end of summer, it’s time once again to celebrate Labor Day, a work- and school-free holiday full of picnics, barbeques and parades. I love Labor Day because it’s the one and only day in this country dedicated to honoring the myriad accomplishments and sacrifices of working people.
Labor Day came about in 1894, when Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday marking the social and economic achievements of American workers and the organizations that represent them. We have come a long way in this country over the past 122 years, but the need to honor working families’ contributions of to our society has not changed. Hard work still powers our country and the people who do it are as deserving as ever of recognition and a day off with their families.
This year, Labor Day’s impending arrival has made me think back on the great and important things that the City Council has done recently to make life better for hardworking Angelenos. Here are just a few of them:
- Voting to increase the minimum wage citywide to $15.00 an hour by 2020. Our action pushed Sacramento lawmakers to adopt a nearly identical policy statewide.
- Creating an Office of Wage standards to make sure employees are getting paid what they are owed.
- Creating a Jobs Committee, which I chair, that will spur job growth and spur economic development in underserved neighborhoods and all areas of the city.
- Passing budgets resulting in the hiring of more firefighters, park workers and police.
- Pledging to hire 5,000 new city employees into good jobs to provide critical neighborhood services.
- Continuing to provide fair wages and benefits to 40,000 city employees.
- Creating middle-class film and TV industry jobs by making it easier to film in Los Angeles.
- Passing my motion to study granting city workers four weeks of paid leave for bonding time after the birth of a child.
- Supporting the statewide push for fair treatment for farm workers.
The list goes on and on.
Working families are the backbone of our great city. I urge you to pause for a moment this weekend to think about what working people mean to you, your family and your community.
Please have a relaxing and satisfying Labor Day.
Very truly yours,
Councilmember Paul Krekorian, District 2