Respect. Welcome here.
This September marks the 125th anniversary of the Labor Day holiday, and long before it became synonymous with retail sales events and barbecues, it held great significance for the work force and unions who fought for income equality and better working conditions. The 12-hour workdays – often seven days a week – were a hallmark of the Industrial Revolution, which yielded just enough pay to get by and work conditions could be treacherous. The Workers’ Compensation Act wasn’t enacted until 1915, so those injured on the job before 1915 were responsible for their own medical bills and lost wages, setting in motion greater economic disparity between the haves and have nots.
Some people did grow wealth during the late 1800s such as owners and those who had already amassed wealth, but not true for the majority of the workforce and certainly not true for recent immigrants. My family immigrated to the United States from Western Europe and made their living as miners, highway construction workers and ranch hands. Not particularly safe, and certainly not well paying; economic security didn’t arrive until my generation on one side, and a parent’s generation on the other.
Whether good fortune, better opportunity, DNA pedigree or exceptional investing acumen, greed has gotten a stronghold in some circles and it has put us in an income equality pickle. Increasing that divide won’t paint a pretty picture of who we aspire to be as a nation and how we value one another.
Those with deeper pockets have a responsibility to provide greater contributions to the community at large, whether the pocket belongs to an individual or a corporation because that philosophy builds stronger communities and a stronger nation for all. Those in ownership and executive positions cannot presume that they are singularly, the most important (i.e. valuable) contributor to the company’s success. I’m very proud of the fact that at Colorado Public Television, while only a portion of us manage projects and staff, we are all part of the worker bee labor force. None of the programming, technical capacities, community events or strategic business plans can happen with one person alone.
Likewise, we cannot make content decisions on just what we hear from the loudest voices or from our better-heeled donors. Every single viewer is important to us, and when you contact us, your feedback is read and considered – sometimes by many. We respect every one of our viewers and members equally, and we recognize the value that each of you bring toward helping us to be better and stronger, together.
President & General Manager