Blog entry Andrew Sheehy

A Government Town
with big hearts

Image of A Government Town

How do you measure the value of our local government workers?

As we continue to feel the pain of this deep recession and see many of our local employers either close up shop or leave town all together, it is important to recognize the importance of government employees and the crucial role that they play in our region.

The fact is, government is the #1 industry in the greater Sacramento region and while its employees provide crucial public services, their significance goes well beyond that. Whether employed by the US government, state, a county, a city, or a special district, these public servants infuse an incredible amount of money into our local economy, which has an obvious benefit to our local businesses and the community as a whole. The purchasing power of our local government workers is huge indeed, but their hearts may be even bigger.

In fact, while suffering budget cutbacks, furloughs, and intense public scrutiny, the philanthropic nature of public sector workers has remained strong.

Not only can you find them coaching youth sports teams or volunteering countless hours at local nonprofits, local government employees contribute significantly to the community by making donations through our local United Way, California State Employees Charitable Campaign or the Combined Federal Campaign. There are a variety of social concerns that have been exacerbated by the recession and some of these contributions ironically help fill the gap of the budget cutbacks that have been made by the federal government, state and local municipalities.

These contributions are directly helping local nonprofits like ours address some of our region’s toughest challenges. With that being said, I’ll share with you how I measure the value of our local government workers. It’s with the over 4.2 million they donated to the community through the United Way last year.

Andrew Sheehy is the senior vice president of resource development at United Way California Capital Region.

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