Executive Director Jeff Mazur of AFSCME Council 72, a union which represents public workers across Missouri and Kansas, including employees of the County and City of St. Louis, today released the following statement:
“For nine days, the people of Ferguson have tried to make sense of the senseless: the killing of an unarmed teen, an inappropriate law enforcement response to peaceful demonstrations, and the criminalization of a search for answers by citizens and media. Public workers join the chorus of voices calling for justice for those who cannot now speak for themselves.
We ask for justice for Mike Brown and his family, but we also know that justice in one instance is not enough. AFSCME Council 72 calls on national, state and local leaders to deal comprehensively with the structural problems that have led to segregation, hopelessness and violence in communities like Ferguson.
Too often, our economy has been closed to participation by people who already face a history of hardship. With jobs, we give people dignity and a stake in the system. Sadly, we so often see leaders trying to deal with the effects of despair in impoverished communities, rather than rooting out its underlying cause. AFSCME urges Missouri’s leaders, and America’s, to focus on building a country that works for all its citizens, rather than silencing those who dare point out its flaws.”