The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

July 2, 2009
Car wash fundraisers to raise cash for suffering state workers?
State worker Pepper Lewis floated a trial balloon this week after the governor imposed a third furlough day each month on thousands of state workers.

With everybody hurting, especially couples where husband and wife are both employed by the state, she wondered what people might do to address their own personal budget gap.

How about a car wash run by state workers for state workers, held at gas stations where state workers buy a lot of gas statewide? Lewis suggested in an email to SEIU bosses.

Here are excerpts from Lewis' email:

We need money for our mortgages, cable bills, groceries, makeup, student loans, pet food, clothing, etc., and my husband and I both work for the State of California and we are both stewards.

I love physically active, hard work and would enjoy making $100-$200 on a furlough Friday, washing cars at a gas station sympathetic to my situation. Many state workers buy gas, we frequent these businesses, and I can find several business owners who would love to have responsible, mature, ethical, educated, team players washing cars and keeping the money for our expenses.

 I am tired of doing without my paycheck since February. We have lost a total of $500 per month, now the bleeding heart liberals and the conservative "no new taxes" folks cannot agree to compromise and sign our contract.

 Instead of us picketing, eating ice cream, crying, panicking, we need to do what President Obama said, we need to do what we did before the 'government' came along and gave us everything: we need to be entrepreneurs and make our own money providing a service people need. Dog walking, house cleaning, tutoring, baby sitting, lawn mowing, hair braiding, pan handling, performing street theatre, something.

Anyone want to join me? It'll be nice and hot. The cold water from the hoses will feel refreshing.

Let's hear your ideas on how to make up your own budget gap. Maybe you've already taken a part-time job and or cut spending. What's next for you?

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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