Chicago – June 2nd, 2020
The death of George Floyd and the response of this nation has left many of us outraged and disappointed.
I am personally frustrated with the White House’s lukewarm response to George Floyd’s murder and protests after repeated failures combating the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. I am dismayed at the growing disregard for lives and welfare of the poor, minorities and the vulnerable populations of the US and am wary of the future if this trend continues.
I am shocked at the lack of restraint showed by some protesters who gave into violence fueled by agitators spouting rhetoric to incite chaos hoping to advance their own agenda. While civil outrage is understandable, those who riot are wasting vital resources in the midst of Covid-19 pandemic, devastating ongoing efforts to fight the virus. Our members, all essential workers battle fatigued and overwhelmed, are now caught in the cross-fire and when these tensions settle, will be stuck with the clean up.
Above all, I am most deeply grieved by the disrespect and mistreatment shown to our law enforcement officers who serve with diligence and honor. Our Brothers and Sisters in blue who honor their oaths and perform their duty with respect and humanity should be revered in our community.
All that said, I am deeply proud and honored to serve you, our Brothers and Sisters of all colors and occupations, who carry on through this tragic time in our history. Our professionals throughout Illinois maintain focus and discipline despite ever increasing strain and risk. We thank you and urge you to find time for yourselves. Whether spending time with family, practicing meditation or engaging in exercise, self-care is key.
While we are keeping our heads and wits, we must also keep very good records of the hours and conditions worked to help us, your union, best advocate for you in the coming months. Beyond acknowledging and thanking you for your service and continued professionalism, we are working hard to broker more resources, better benefits, Hazard Pay and time off.
As optimists, we hold to the belief that the dust will ultimately settle. As realists, we must remain prepared for numerous hard fights in the months to come.
Together we must…
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay united.
On behalf of myself and the Local 700 Executive Board, we remain fraternally yours,
Ramon D. Williams
*For assistance coping with stress please visit the City of Chicago Resources Page. or utilize the list below:
- Connect to a NAMI Chicago Helpline mental health counselor by calling 311 or directly at 833-626-4244
- Connect to Bright Star Community Outreach‘s trauma counseling helpline at 833-TURN-123
- Connect to free teletherapy services at Chicago Department of Public Health Mental Health Centers by calling 312-747-1020.
- For after hours support, contact Crisis Text Line which serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HOME to: 741741 to access a trained crisis counselor.
- Tips on Managing Anxiety about COVID-19 (English, Spanish, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Arabic)
- Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
- Guidance for Parents in Talking to Children about COVID-19 (English, Spanish, Polish, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog, Arabic)