Senate Candidate for 22nd District—Assemblymember Kevin de León— “Walks a Day in the Shoes” of Cafeteria Worker

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Terry Carter, Spokesperson
213-700-5617 | tcarter@seiu99.org
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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Los Angeles Unified School District classified employees, including cafeteria worker Blanca Ahmed, want to make sure California State Senate candidate Assemblyman Kevin de León 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 Blanca, helping her prepare food, wash dishes, and clean the kitchen at Belmont High School.

“At the beginning of the year, we had 20 people working here” explains Blanca. “Now we have only 10. But we are still trying to feed as many children as possible at four different schools. It’s very difficult with half the staff. We are running all over. The good thing is, we are like a family and work really well together.”

State legislators make decisions about public school funding. Blanca 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 am looking forward to working with the cafeteria staff at Belmont High School,” says De Leon. “It is important for elected officials to experience firsthand the work that our SEIU brothers and sisters do on a daily basis. Our education workers are an essential part of our educational system and our students’ academic experience. I am honored to spend a day in their shoes.”

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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