Your Take: Threat to Blacks in the Public Sector

Radical conservative politicians want to slash city, county and state jobs -- and undercut the economic security of African-American families, says this union official.

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Because so many black families have built careers in state and local government, what these corporate-backed politicians are also doing is undercutting the economic security of black families. Ask if this is their intention, and of course they will deny that it is. But even the best of intentions (and their intentions are far from the "best") can have unintended consequences. And there is no denying that the path they've chosen will have dire consequences for many black families.

That's one of the many reasons African Americans, whether public employees or not, whether union members or not, are standing with the workers who are fighting back. If 21 percent of black workers are public-sector employees, that means that one out of every five black workers is employed by a state or local government. Our financial well-being and the economic security of the neighborhoods we live in are at stake. It is up to all of us to fight for our future.

Lee Saunders is secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

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