The day after the California primaries I happened upon Jackie Lacey. When I say, "happened upon," I mean it. I walked into a building where I had other business to attend to and saw the open door to the press conference. There was Chief Deputy District Attorney Lacey, fresh off her primary election victory, heading into the runoff election against Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson.
Lacey was articulate at the press conference
and kind during our brief meeting. But this post is not about Lacey or
her candidacy. Rather it is about something she said in the press
conference. Lacey pointed out that what separates blue-collar workers
and the second-in-command at the largest local prosecutorial agency in
the nation is one generation. I have heard other people, in other
places, make similar comments. Many of us have, I'm sure, have heard
analogous stories. What those comments essentially boil down to is this:
My parents (or grandparents) did not have the opportunities that I did
-- I received an education, I achieved a certain position in my career.
The implication being that catapulting up the socioeconomic ladder is
possible here (and for our purposes today, "here" is Los Angeles).
But will these stories become fewer and further between? Is this narrative, in other words, soon to be a historical account?
We -- voters, citizens, Americans -- are told the story of the
American Dream, which gives us hope, that if we obtain an education and
work hard, we can have a better life than our parents and/or
grandparents. But because of the problems currently facing our city (and
indeed our state and our country), current and future generations may
no longer be able to realistically think they can "do better."
Finish reading this article on KCET.org.