LOS ANGELES – Today’s announcement by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Fix LA Coalition including L.A. city residents and L.A. city workers is a testament to the growing partnership between community, labor, and City Hall leaders determined to develop fair and equitable solutions that benefit everyone.
For over 3 years, the Fix LA coalition has mounted a multi-pronged effort devoted to engaging city leaders in reinvesting in City services, protecting and expanding middle-class jobs, enhancing public and child safety, and taxing residents and business owners fairly, based on the principle that everyone should pay their fair share. Efforts included a groundbreaking approach at the bargaining table, where for the first time ever community partners sat side-by-side with city workers to bargain a contract that ensured both city neighborhoods and city workers got a fair deal. The contract was ratified at the end of 2015, and it boasted the commitment to hire 5,000 new workers to help fill the void of jobs lost during the Great Recession. In addition, the community-labor alliance secured a commitment to help ensure these jobs were filled with local hires – benefiting our communities and creating a career path for local residents.
From its inception, city workers and community members recognized a shared stake in restoring key city services. Because public jobs have traditionally served as a gateway to the middle class for people of color, the service and job cuts during the recession hit disadvantaged communities the hardest, creating another barrier for the economic advancement of Angelenos. Nearly 80 percent of the L.A. City workforce are people of color, with African-Americans and Latinos comprising over 60 percent. We look forward to a continued partnership that rebuilds services and restores the good jobs that local working families need.
The creation of 5,000 new jobs is also key to addressing the staffing shortage in the City’s workforce, which will only worsen in the coming years. By 2018, 46 percent of the City’s workforce is eligible to retire. It is time to recruit, hire, and train a new generation of public servants that will lead in creating vibrant communities and prosperous neighborhoods with the vital services that keep our city safe, clean, and functioning. It’s time to Fix LA.