City Workers Awarded for Ideas, Innovation

It takes good ideas and hard work to keep Los Angeles running. From City Hall to LAX to the Port of LA, city workers are true heroes in our communities. But it’s all too rare for city workers to be recognized for the good they do.
That’s what made the 2012 Quality and Productivity Awards and Recognition Ceremony such an important event.  
Held on Dec. 13 and sponsored by LA’s 15-member Quality and Productivity Commission, this year’s awards ceremony honored city workers for initiating projects that have improved the responsiveness, efficiency and quality of services delivered to the public. QPC president Ron Galperin presented each award. City Council members and other city leaders attended the event.
‘Hitting the Green’
SEIU 721 members were responsible for driving and implementing many of the awarded projects, including “Hitting the Green.” The Golf Division of the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks stopped getting city funding on July 1, 2010. Since then, the Golf Division has been responsible for the costs, operations and maintenance of the city’s 14 public golf courses. SEIU 721 members figured out how to keep the courses running and make them completely self-sustaining. The cost of employees and benefits are covered by the revenue they produce. Not only that, just two years after losing all city funds, the Golf Division is now able to put one million dollars annually toward other city recreational activities
‘Waste Not, Want Not’
In the Bureau of Sanitation, SEIU 721 members and others were awarded for the “Waste Not, Want Not” program, which keeps trash out of the LA River and Ballona Creek. Because trash was getting into the water, the city was getting fined. SEIU 721 members’ ideas and efforts–putting special gratings over storm drains, engaging in grate cleaning and education on the issue–have drastically cut the fines. Over the next 15 to 20 years, these measures will save the city $12 million.
‘Specialized Teams’
SEIU 721 members in Animal Services received an award for the department’s “Specialized Teams.” They helped consolidate these teams, drawn from the Wildlife Program, Permits Division and Animal Rescue, into a streamlined, efficient operations unit trained to do it all.
“This award means a lot. I’ve been with the city for 13 years and, because of budget cuts, we have to do more with less. But we’ve always worked hard and done the best job we possibly can for the public. It’s so nice to get recognized for these things. It feels great.”

-Annette Ramirez
LA city Animal Control Officer
Other SEIU 721 members were awarded for creating better, cleaner recycled water, for improving trash collection at LAX airport, for generating over a million dollars each year in revenue by selling new recycling and waste capacity to commercial waste haulers, for cleaning up after hurricane winds ravaged northeast LA in November 2011, and many additional projects. 
The Quality and Productivity Awards and Recognition Ceremony highlighted how much pride city workers put into public service. Even in difficult economic times, city workers make the city a better place for everyone. 

Find out more about the QPC.

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