It’s an opportunity many working families in Los Angeles couldn’t pass up—a new beginning before their kids return to school.
“We expect about 10,000 people—we’ve got a lot of people here who are ready to get a fresh start,” said Laphonza Butler, president of the Los Angeles SEIU-ULTCW.
At the second annual Fresh Start for Working Families, thousands of people filled Ted Watkins Memorial Park in Los Angeles for a day of care for their kids—free backpacks, haircuts, health screenings and more.
“People are going through some really rough times… some are working more than one job just to make ends meet. So today we’re celebrating our friends, family, community, having a good time,” said Butler.
California Forward co-sponsored the event with a booth at the Health Fair and raffled off a free iPod.
“California Forward believes that if Californians can create the iPod and other innovative technology that change the way ordinary folks navigate the world, then we can tackle the dysfunctions of our state & local governments,” said Nii-Quartelai Quartey, a spokesperson for California Forward.
Several elected state and local leaders greeted the working families.
Speaker of the California Assembly John Perez says, “We have to invest in our students—so they’re ready for jobs in the 21st century.” It’s the only way, Perez believes, our economy will improve.
Right now, in LA County, African Americans face 19% unemployment while Latinos face 14%.
The festival was a much needed break for those hardest hit by the economy—even if it was just for one day.
“Education, health care and jobs are important—that’s what SEIU-ULTCW represents,” said Assembly member Isadore Hall. “Thank you to all the working families for the great work that you do.”
LA City Council President Eric Garcetti said, “It’s both an inspiring and motivating day to see all of these working families.”
Check out some video highlights below.