On this Labor Day I want to begin by thanking all the hard-working families of Sonoma County. Your dedication not only to improving the lives of your families but also to strengthening our community is the backbone of what makes living in Sonoma County so rewarding.
As some of you may know, I was born in Sonoma County and grew up in Sebastopol, my family's home for six generations. I was raised by a single mom who worked at the Barlow Apple Cannery and was a member of the Teamsters Union. I know firsthand how hard it is to raise a family here. We experienced many hardships, and the struggle to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table was a very real part of my growing up. It is one of the core reasons why education became such a critical issue for me and why I see our community college as a place to provide real career advancement for Sonoma County’s working families, just as it helped my family.
In my senior year of high school, I was able to finish my Emergency Medical Training through the Junior College, and by my last semester, I was working full-time at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Thanks to the vocational training that was offered at the Junior College, I was able to help my mother with the bills, and life in Sonoma County became a bit easier.
My story is not unique, and unfortunately it has become all too common in our community. That is why I have continued to stand up for our working families and will remain an advocate for more career and technical education at the Junior College.
If it were not for the pioneers of our nation’s labor movement, we would have never seen the nation’s first major expansion of health care coverage, nor be able to enjoy our weekends, or an eight-hour workday, or an economy free of the scourge of child labor – among so many other contributions to the common good.
I want to thank those who sacrificed so much for the rights we enjoy today and acknowledge those who fight today for worker rights and make it possible for working families to thrive here in Sonoma County.
So, happy Labor Day, everyone!
I would have preferred to end my comments here, but unfortunately on this Labor Day, working families and some of those who support them are under attack. And I am not just talking about the national level, but right here in our own backyard. Last week, anti-labor groups in Sonoma County launched a multi-pronged attack on the Santa Rosa Junior College trustees who voted in favor of negotiating a Project Labor Agreement back in June. The details about the PLA are given below, and I hope you will read the article.
As you might imagine, serving as a Junior College trustee and being able to move the college forward in response to the changing needs of our student body is immensely gratifying. So you will not be surprised to learn that I would like the opportunity to continue the work I am engaged in and redouble my efforts.
I will consequently be running for re-election in 2018, and this newsletter is my announcement. I’m throwing my hat in the ring. We’ll be having a Re-Election Kickoff Party – Fired Up to Re-Elect Jordan Burns! – on my birthday, Saturday, December 2, 2017.
And YOU are cordially invited! Stay tuned for details.