Labor Day

 Fast upon the heels of Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, the Labor Day holiday is upon us. The summer fled by, we tell ourselves at about this time: collapsing white-hot days at the beach – fewer than ever this year – intense green afternoons in the garden, block games and block parties and the long shadows of soft summer evenings

Labor Day has become a pivot in our seasonal calendar, marking the end of summer and the beginning of the school year.

The U.S. Department of Labor notes the following: “… [T]he first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on Sept. 5, 1883.” A year later, the first Monday in September was settled upon as the official holiday.

Parades and speeches marked those early celebrations. They were more public and political than our present end-of-the-season picnics with family and friends.

Then as now, most were probably glad for the day off. Now, as then, most were probably glad to have a job waiting for them on Tuesday.

The League of Women Voters has done it again – conducted a massive and thorough study that cannot help but benefit the community. Their three-year study of the City’s boards, committees and commissions revealed some strengths and some opportunities for restructuring. It also made some concrete proposals about restructuring and about recruitment of and orientation for new members.

The City’s Rules Committee, composed of all nine aldermen and the Mayor, is in the process of studying the report and will doubtless make recommendations about its proposals to City Council.

We hope they will pay close attention to the League’s recommendations, particularly to those about recruiting new board members in a timely fashion, so as to prevent vacancies, and orientation of new members, so they will be prepared to participate meaningfully in the life of the City.

We congratulate the League of Women Voters of Evanston for having conducted this study, which will benefit the City and the community. We also hope that community members will find the time to volunteer on one of these boards, committees and commissions that help keep the City running smoothly. They also provide a clear perception of the community and add a depth of thoughtfulness to City policy.

It’s a good time to, well, jump on board.