Republic Services garbage truck
A Republic Services garbage truck in Chula Vista. Image from video by Josh Flint/Chula Vista Garbage Trucks

It really bothers me that while Chula Vista residents deal with no trash service and dedicated essential workers picket in the rain and cold, our city representatives are checked out for the holidays.

As a public health crisis looms on the streets of Chula Vista, our elected representatives are sitting idle at a moment when their work could really be meaningful. Instead there is silence and inaction.

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The city of Chula Vista, represented by the mayor and council, have a contractual arrangement with Republic Services. They could, if they were so inclined, end this strike, have our trash picked up and respect the hard and dedicated work our sanitation workers do every day.

Over the last few days I’ve visited the picket line. I’ve met many of the men who come by every week and pick up our trash. They are a hard working group.

Luis Garcia was a particular standout among the group. He’s been with Republic Services for 40 years and he makes just above $50,000 a year. This is back-breaking work he does day after day.

They deserve to do better and the City Council, which proclaims to support working men and women, needs to get involved.

At the same time, residents and businesses need to have the trash picked up. This is a basic service local elected officials are responsible for ensuring.

I call on the Mayor and City Council to call a special meeting and formulate a strategy for ending this needless disruption.

Rudy Ramirez is a candidate for mayor of Chula Vista.