Orange County Government proudly participated in the national initiative, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, and hosted the children of dozens of employees at a number of offices and locations across the County.
Following the morning activities held at various offices, including Corrections, Environmental Protection, Fire and Rescue, and Customer Service 311, participants gathered in the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) chambers for a special mock BCC meeting hosted by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.
“How wonderful to see so many bright young faces exploring the different jobs here at the County,” Mayor Jacobs said during her welcome remarks. “What I want you take away from today is because of the hardworking, conscientious people working here in Orange County – your parents –we have things like parks, fire rescue, water coming out of the faucet, schools and playgrounds to enjoy.”
Mayor Jacobs hosted a special mock, 30-minute BCC hearing to provide the children a firsthand look at how government impacts society. Six “kid” commissioners sat in the District chairs in the BCC chambers and discussed the possibility of a new hospital replacing a small shopping area. Children lined up to give public comment in support of and against the development from the speaker’s podium, coached by planning department employees. Despite hearing complaints about noise, lights and traffic, the “commission” voted unanimously to approve the zoning change.
This is the first time a mock hearing has been added to the tradition of hosting the children of employees from Orange County Government. Human Resources Director Ricardo Daye said the interactive experience would likely be a featured event in the future.
“The whole day was a wonderful experience for the kids, extremely valuable and successful,” Daye said. “The Mayor’s presence at the BCC meeting meant a lot and they loved seeing how Orange TV televises the hearing to the public.”
Orange County employee Ivon Rodriguez, a 26-year veteran of the corrections department, has brought one of her nine grandchildren every year for the last five years to the event. Granddaughter Maya Garcia, 12, served as District 3 Commissioner.
“We started this morning with CPR training, karate instruction, a tour of fire trucks. Now, she gets to be a commissioner,” Rodriguez said. “This is a great day.”
The national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work program, in its 22nd year, demonstrates the value of education and provides a glimpse of the future in a hands-on environment. This year’s national theme was #MPOWR – Knowledge + Choice = Strength.
A collection of photos from the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day event is available for use by the media and are located on Flickr.