Assembly Candidate for 50th District Ricardo Lara “Walks a Day in the Shoes” of Lynwood Lunch Lady

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Terry Carter, Spokesperson
213-700-5617 | tcarter@seiu99.org
Blanca Gallegos, Communications Director
213.387.8393 x219 | bgallegos@seiu99.org
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lynwood Unified School District employees, including Satellite Kitchen Operator Jackie Brown, want to make sure California State Assembly candidate Ricardo Lara understands the importance of their contribution to good public schools. The best way was to let him roll up his sleeves and see firsthand, working a shift with Jackie, helping her run the kitchen at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

“We used to have five people in this kitchen,” explains Jackie. “Now there are only two of us due to education funding cuts. We’re feeding 600 children every day. The District was also forced to eliminate the Warehouse Supervisor position, which means we no longer have someone tracking the freshness of the food inventory. I want to make sure that Mr. Lara and others up in Sacramento understand the importance of the meals we’re serving. Some kids don’t eat at home. The lunch they’re getting here may be the only balanced meal they get for that day.”

State legislators make decisions about public school funding. Jackie and other District food service staff are asking legislative candidates to use their campaign platforms to advocate for better education funding, including funding for good school food that children need to be successful—and the good jobs necessary to provide that food. The Governor’s recent budget proposal cuts nearly $2.5 billion more from our schools, which could school districts to make further cuts.

“I’m looking forward to spending the day at Rosa Parks Elementary School and getting a chance to see the people at work who make certain that our kids have a clean safe campus, healthy meals, transportation to and from school and have the support in the classroom they need to succeed,” says Mr. Lara. “I want to go to Sacramento to make certain that the critical services that these and other workers provide are not only funded but recognized.”

This is part of a series of “Walk a Day in My Shoes” events inviting all the leading legislative candidates to learn firsthand the impact of budget cuts on student services and school employees. Candidates must part participate in a “Walk a Day in My Shoes” event to be considered for endorsement by workers represented by SEIU.

SEIU Local 99 is a union of more than 43,000 dedicated education workers who guide our children from preschool and kindergarten, through grade school, high school, and at community colleges. We are teachers, paraeducators, custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, first responders, and others working in schools, colleges, and administrative offices throughout Southern California. We are part of SEIU International, the fastest-growing union in North America with 2.1 million members.

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