I have been a bartender for 28 years (18 in this town alone). I am writing on behalf of the over 200 service people who work in bars, clubs and lounges in the Juneau area. I am writing to let you know how displeased we are with the proposed smoking ban in bars.
We, as employees in the service industry, have made our own independent decisions to work in this environment; no one forced us. Ms. Joan Cahill of the Juneau Clean Air Coalition is not speaking on our behalf. Never once has she asked us what we thought or if we even wanted her to speak for us. To tell your the truth, we don't.
I have taken it upon myself to go to each and every establishment that continues to allow smoking in their businesses and to ask the workers in those places if they wish for me to speak for them. They all agreed to allow me to do so, as they are very busy during this time of year with holiday parties (as I'm sure you can imagine).
We are the ones serving you the Christmas cheer, keeping the banquet tables full and just trying to make sure your company, office and family gatherings run smoothly. Some of us have served the community for as many as 30 years and we enjoy doing it. We have listened to you in both happy times and sad. We have been there for you and now we are asking you to be there for us. We need our jobs and, if this ban on smoking in bars passes, there will be a great majority of us out of work.
I have gathered over 200 signatures and listened to these service industry employees of Juneau; Ms. Cahill is not. She has said she is trying to help us. We don't need her kind of help. Please take the time to talk to us first. We will gladly tell you how we feel.
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