As I watched the parade of trash trucks circling City Hall and calling attention to the abuses of Wall Street at the expense of Angelenos, my reaction couldn’t have been more different from that of Councilmember Parks (Read Parks' statements here). He said he felt embarrassment. Not me. I felt PRIDE.
As a woman of color who has spent 42 years as a City worker, an elected union leader and currently serves as Chair of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, I found Tuesday’s actions to be reminiscent of the brave Memphis sanitation workers in AFSCME, who in 1968 took action along side Dr. Martin Luther King and brought about change in the fight for social and economic justice.
On Tuesday, City workers (including our sanitation drivers) and community leaders raised awareness of the big banks that are gouging the City of Los Angeles to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every year. As a result, bankers are getting richer, while our communities suffer from cuts in services and good middle-class jobs are lost. The drivers of those trucks brought much needed attention to an appalling inequality that our City is funding and I hope they keep making noise until we are truly heard and action is taken.
Sometimes you have to make some noise to call attention to an injustice. If some horns honking brought attention to what Wall Street is doing to our City and cities across the country, then it’s well worth it.