Labor Day in Exposition Park
OW Photo by Valerie Goodloe | 9/10/2015, midnight
An estimated 2,000 people turned out Labor Day in Exposition Park to enjoy the music of the “Godfather” of funk George Clinton, (above left) Grammy-nominated jazz percussionist and singer Sheila E., The Wailers, and the James Andrews New Orleans All Star Band featuring Deacon John, Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentelli, Rockin Doopsie and Stephanie Jordan during the fourth annual Working Californians Nightshift concert. Working Californians is a not-for-profit research and advocacy organization comprised of labor groups, community leaders and policy makers. The concert follows the release of the latest unemployment figure of 5.1 percent nationwide. According to Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, the August figure represents 66 consecutive months of private sector job growth. While the rate for the nation is significantly lower, African Americans continue to face higher unemployment—country wide the rate for Blacks is 9.5 percent; down from the 12 percent Black workers experienced a year ago. In Los Angeles County, African Americans continue to face what the Los Angeles Black Worker Center says is a Black job crisis. According Sherri Bell, a community organizer with the center, the number of unemployed and under employed Black workers (those making $12 or less and/or working part time) is 50 percent of eligible workers. Bell said the center is working with the city of Los Angeles to amend the recently established labor standards enforcement division so that it includes local enforcement of anti-descrimination laws. Amending the standards will give the advocacy group the ability to investigate claims of discrimination, to mediate, adjudicate and educate people about the systemic discrimination that Black workers face. The group expects to testify Oct. 13 at 2:30 p.m. before the council’s Entertainment and Facility Committee about establishing local enforcement./OW Photo by Valerie Goodloe.