During the April 1st City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Valentino said that grocery workers, gas station workers, and other low-wage workers were “putting their lives on the line” by working during the pandemic, but also that those workers “want” to “(put) themselves out there” and to be known as “hero(es).”
Valentino, who isn’t living paycheck-to-paycheck and reporting to a low-wage job where he must interact with the public during a deadly pandemic, made his bizarre and insensitive comments during the Mayor and Council Reports segment of the meeting.
Here is Valentino’s statement in full.
“My compliments to everybody out there, especially those that are almost forced to put their…I say, forced to put their lives on the line for this.
When you see, I don’t care if it’s the grocery store or the hospital or the gas station or where it is, they WANT to be…they WANT to be that hero, they WANT to be involved, they WANT to be putting themselves out there.
So, that’s critically important for us.”
At a time when millions low-wage workers are not only risking their lives, but literally dying from coronavirus, it’s appalling that the Mayor would push the narrative that those workers actually WANT to risk death for less than a living wage. It appears that the Mayor is unable to even acknowledge that many, if not most, Genevans are working on the front lines of the coronavirus not because they want to, but because they have to.