As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, albeit in a different way than in years past, and as the holiday season begins, I would like to express my gratitude for each and every one of you, our hardworking staff at CDCR and CCHCS, for your tireless work and commitment to our department and to the people we serve.
This has been a year like no other for the entire world, and certainly for CDCR. COVID-19 has impacted not only our operations, but also our everyday lives. So many of you are raising children and ensuring their education continues, taking care of elderly or ill family members, or stepping up to serve in the National Guard. I hear every day about staff giving back through community service at work and at home, and your generosity in these challenging times is truly inspiring. Many of you are also adjusting to telework, and all are taking on entirely new tasks and projects, and remaining flexible as we respond to the ever-changing nature of this pandemic.
Governor Gavin Newsom shared a message of appreciation to all state workers, thanking them for their service to California. I’d like to echo his sentiments and add this: I am humbled, honored, and deeply grateful to lead this Department that I have called my home for more than 30 years. Every person in this Department plays a vital role in public safety, rehabilitation, and making California a better place. For those of you on the frontlines in the institutions, your efforts are deeply appreciated by myself and the entire leadership team.
Also, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the colleagues we have lost this year, and to everyone who has suffered pain and loss due to this disease. They leave a hole in our hearts that will be hard to fill this holiday season, and I want you to know, we are with you. This year, when giving thanks, and especially in light of everything that is going on around us, please know that the simplest act of kindness can make an enormous difference to those around you.
While many cannot be among loved ones in the same way as years past, I hope your holiday is peaceful and fulfilling. Thank you so much for everything you do.
With gratitude and respect,