The following is a letter sent by Lauralee Asch, a 29-year (retired) City employee and former labor leader, to Santa Monica City Council in the wake of reports that a large number of public employees stand to lose their jobs.
Dear Mayor McKeown, Mayor Pro Tempore O’Day & Council Members,
As a 43-year resident, 29 year (retired) City employee and former labor leader I am asking for you to be very deliberate and creative in choosing solutions to the predicted budget shortfall.
Obviously the long term threat to our City’s budget by the covid virus is more extensive and will certainly last longer than the affects of the 1994 earthquake or the 2008 “recession” did.
That being said, we are a community that values all people with varied needs. We are a community that cares about the disenfranchised, youth, seniors & the environment.
I urge you to listen to a wide variety of suggestions of how to get through this time, in a fiscally responsible, but humane way.
We have over two thousand employees who have worked hard to serve this community by generating income, providing programs, sweeping streets, caring for children while their parents work, and protecting our public safety, to name a few.
“We have over two thousand employees who have worked hard to serve this community by generating income, providing programs, sweeping streets, caring for children while their parents work, and protecting our public safety, to name a few.”Lauralee Asch
ALL of our City employees should be treated like valued family members.
The long-term values of our Community should not be disregarded under the guise of this crisis.
THIS is a time to creatively reassign employees where they can be most useful and still put bread on their tables.
Can we start by asking ALL of our other “family members” from the City Manager down to take temporary pay cuts and/or furlough days in order to keep as many employees working as is possible?
There are many other creative solutions which should be considered. Are you open to listening?
This is an unprecedented time in our world’s history. We all understand that there is going to be a lot of pain and loss, but shouldn’t we all try to share the burden?
Isn’t that who WE are?
Please ask yourself… Does the City of Santa Monica, and all we stand for as a trailblazing city, want to be a part of the destruction caused by this virus or a part of the solution?
P.S. Fellow Santa Monicans, the leaders of this City work for YOU.
Let them know what YOU think is important!