Municipal Government, National

Being a Public Servant is ‘Reward in and of Itself’

January 2, 2016 
By Clyde Weiss
Reprinted: afscme.org

Stanislaus, CA – The work that goes on inside the Juvenile Division of Superior Court in the County of Stanislaus, California, is emotionally draining. But Monica Delgado, who works there as a clerk, “comes in with a joyful disposition” every day, says her co-worker, Teresa Johnson.

That’s partly why Johnson nominated Delgado for AFSCME’s Never Quit Award – and why Delgado is one of the latest recipients of the honor, meant to recognize “members who demonstrate true dedication to their work” and who “never quit on doing the best job they can.”

“Teamwork is in her DNA,” says Johnson, and so is Delgado’s dedication to her fellow union members in Local 10 (Council 57).

A good example of Delgado’s commitment to making her community better, Johnson recalled, was when her colleague organized an Earth Day celebration in 2015.

“She was the one that got the booth put together. She had the idea of giving out poppy seeds to plant,” Johnson said. “People really liked that.”

Delgado said she got the idea after her union decided to set up a booth during the “Love Modesto” day celebration the city holds each April. The poppy is both the state flower and also drought tolerant, she explained. “We are currently in a drought in California” and the poppy is “bright and cheerful and takes us throughout the spring and summer without having to use so much water,” she said.

Bright and cheerful also describes Delgado, despite the challenges of her job.

Each day children come into the court system “for the saddest of reasons,” she said. “It can be physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, neglect – this is what I hear day in and day out, five days a week, all day long. The testimony you hear can be very draining on you.”

Delgado said her sunny attitude is important to the kids she tries to help every day.

“It makes a difference in their lives” she said. “When I do my job I’m keeping that in mind. I’m a servant. I’m here to serve the public. My job is to get it done timely and to the best of my ability. What I do in the back end really affects the families and their lives.”

January 1, 2017

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