As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech and the March on Washington, there is one bit of information that many forget. The actual name for that historic event was the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”  The theme for the 25th anniversary commemoration was “March for Jobs, Peace and Freedom.”

It is a unique heritage in the United States that when we hold up our highest ideals and the goals for which we strive, we inevitably include employment.  There is very little in our lives that empowers us with true freedom more than the ability to earn an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. It doesn’t matter your race or creed, the act of providing a livelihood for yourself and your family by the sweat of your brow or the exercise of your intelligence is something that binds us together.  

The goal of building a community that values and encourages job creation is a basic principle of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and our members. Work creates value and that value enhances quality of life for the employee and their family, their employer and the public. We all benefit from safe streets and public services funded by tax dollars paid by employees and employers alike. It all starts with a job, which is why the L.A. Area Chamber promotes policies that will create more jobs and more economic opportunities for Angelenos of all races and all socioeconomic strata.

When we talk about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, inherent in those words is the opportunity to have a job that sustains life, liberty and happiness. So when the Chamber champions economic development, workforce development, education reform, streamlined regulations, safer streets, modernization of our ports and airports and keeping film and television production in Los Angeles, we are fighting for the American Dream. When we advocate for greater commerce and more economic opportunities, we are working to make part of Dr. King’s dream a reality.