LA City Rec Director: "We're Park Proud. Are you?"

At a recent Los Angeles City Budget and Finance Committee hearing, dozens of AFSCME members and residents showed up to make their "park pride" clear as City budget officials deliberate on restoration of services for the next fiscal year.

Austin Dumas, President of AFSCME Local 901 and a Recreation Director, spoke at public comment and told the Committee that park employees and the public  who depend on these services see no reason for the continued shortfalls in recreational programming, ten years after the recession. He said it is time to restore adequate staffing to meet the public's need. Mayor Garcetti's proposed $9.2 billion budget, the biggest in City history, reflects a reduction of over $1 million in funding. 

Dumas wanted to know how park employees are supposed to deliver programming to residents with insufficient manpower. He also noted that restoration of staffing for upkeep of the parks is essential so that residents have access to well-lit, safe grounds, clean restrooms, grass on which to play sports, etc.  The Committee will continue to deliberate on budget concerns and funding priorities over the coming days. 

Joining the park directors were recreation instructors and part-time employees represented by AFSCME Local 741. In addition, a number of community members showed up to support the union demands to restore services.