Regarding "Trading the Blame" (News, Feb. 10), a larger issue looms right before our eyes about the positive work we hope to expect from labor organizations and their members.
First, if they can work together on negotiating pension-fund divestment or investment in corporations in objectionable countries, why can't all of these unions collaborate together to get us more democracy and jobs right here in California and help the United States to get rid of minority rule in our legislature and in the U.S. Senate?
Second, if they can work together, why can't they scale up investment right here at home in our communities to grow green- and clean-tech energy businesses and energy-efficiency businesses to create more jobs? Since the Steelworkers Union merged with Trumka in Europe, why can't they invest in those businesses right here at home? (In this regard, see also the new "Cleveland Model" as well.)
Not only is union money going to despicable foreign countries, but it is also going right through Wall Street, which caused our economic disaster and destroyed our local jobs. Shouldn't labor collaborate and invest in community banks that invest locally right here at home, and gain a return on investment that truly creates a seven-fold multiplier effect in our communities for money spent locally?
And finally, why can't union money be leveraged to attract government and stimulus dollars? That would rebuild our local infrastructure and put money back into our schools and cities for basic services and education, wouldn't it?
I'd like to see investigation into these possibilities and ongoing efforts toward these ends.
And don't forget to donate
As chair of the board of directors of the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, I want to reaffirm that we are committed to continuing and furthering our 28-year history as the North Bay's premier concert venue. Entertainment programs are a big part of our mission to enrich, educate and entertain. For three decades, your nonprofit center has hosted some of the biggest names in show business, as well as some of the world's finest performing artists in music, dance, theater, comedy and speaker events.
With the center's programming team now under the leadership of Anita Wiglesworth, an eight-year booking veteran at the center, the organization's commitment remains steadfast to present outstanding arts, family, education, and entertainment programs. Recently our programming team confirmed three exciting new bookings: Pat Benatar, Indigo Girls and Barenaked Ladies.
It's important to note that these concerts and all others are made possible only through community donations. Revenue from ticket sales provides only half of the center's operating needs. Members, donors and sponsors provide the rest. In short, the viability of the center lies in the hands of the community it serves—as it has for the last 28 years.
We intend to continue as the North Bay's premier performing arts presenter for the next 28 years and beyond, and we need the support of everyone in our community to do so. The more you give in support of the arts, the more we can provide.
Joan Moyer Schwing
Board Chair, Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation
Editor's Note: When we spoke to former Wells Fargo Center for the Arts entertainment director Rick Bartalini for our Feb. 3 news story on the shakeup, he indicated that the bookings of Pat Benatar, the Indigo Girls and Barenaked Ladies were initiated and negotiated by him in advance of his departure.