In 2017, then newly elected Marion County Surveyor Debbie Jenkins inherited an office with extremely high turnover and tanking morale. Workers were leaving public service for higher wages only to find that the tradeoff was at the expense of unpredictable work hours, smaller benefit packages and no pension options. Surveyor Jenkins, like many other local and state office holders struggled to retain those looking for greener pastures. One employee shared "I don't really want to leave but I don't see a future here."

National Law Enforcement Week gives us an opportunity to recognize the sacrifices and contributions of America’s public safety professionals. We honor and respect the thousands of AFSCME public safety professionals who never quit on our communities, and we commit to fighting for them so they can do their jobs safely and effectively. 

Every year on April 22 — Earth Day — communities across the globe celebrate our environment and commit to making it healthy for future generations.

This Earth Day, I’m thinking about the 50,000 AFSCME members who work in green jobs, protecting and caring for our planet. Whether they’re leading nature walks in our county or state parks, making public buildings more energy efficient and resilient to climate disasters, or making sure our waterways are clean, AFSCME members are at the heart of healthy communities.