FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Terry Carter, Spokesperson
213-700-5617 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, March 01, 2010
Los Angeles Unified School District classified employees, including Lincoln High School cafeteria worker Maria Luna, want to make sure State Attorney General candidate Rocky Delgadillo 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 Maria preparing food, washing dishes, and sweeping and mopping the lunchrooms.
“It’s hard work and we really rush to get as many children fed as possible,” says Maria. “But I’m grateful for the work and the benefits. I’m a single mom and my youngest has cerebral palsy. We were so relieved to get health benefits a few years ago.”
25 years ago, there were 28 employees in the kitchen at Lincoln High and food was cooked from scratch. Today, over years and years of budget cuts, there are only 12 mostly part-time workers and the food is primarily pre-packaged and reheated. Maria and her co-workers want Delgadillo to experience what it’s like trying to prepare and present food that the students will enjoy. Currently, there’s only enough staff and time to serve about half the school.
Maria and other District school service staff are asking candidates for State Attorney General to use their campaign platforms to advocate for more investment in education, to help keep children from entering our juvenile justice system. Specifically, Maria hopes the candidate will recognize the importance of good school food that children need to be successful—and the good jobs necessary to provide that food. Massive state budget cuts have forced the Los Angeles Unified School District to eliminate nearly 200 food service positions in the last two years. The Governor’s recent budget proposal cuts nearly $2.5 billion more from our schools, which could force further District cuts.
“It was an honor to work beside Maria,” says Delgadillo. “Maria’s fears of losing her health benefits in upcoming negotiations served as a stark reminder that we must keep fighting for health care for all working families.”
This is part of a series of “Walk a Day in My Shoes” events inviting candidates to learn firsthand the impact of budget cuts on student services and classified 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.