This June we are excited to honor our local workers building the labor movement in the North Bay, including the Superior Court Workers of SEIU 1021 and local community leader Gervacio Peña, Board President of the Graton Day Labor Center (El Centro Laboral de Graton). We are also excited to be bringing labor leader Maria Elena Durazo of UNITE HERE International and presenting our vision for the work ahead.
Please join us for an evening of celebration and camaraderie!
Our Keynote, Maria Elena Durazo:
Durazo got her start amongst farmworkers. As the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she spent summers in the Central Valley fields picking peaches, strawberries, and grapes. In 1985, she earned a law degree from the People's College of Law in Los Angeles, before beginning her involvement in the labor movement as an organizer for the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. In 1983, she joined the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) Local 11. In 1989 Durazo won the local presidency with 85% of the vote becoming one of the first Latinas to lead a major union. She was later elected to the executive board of HERE International Union in 1996, and in 2004 was elected Executive Vice President of UNITE-HERE International. On April 6, 2017, Durazo announced that she intends to run for the 24th district of the California State Senate in 2018, when the incumbent,
Capitol Weekly named Maria Elena the third most influential non-elected California official in its 2010 Top 100 List.
She was named Most Valuable Local Labor Leader by The Nation magazine in their 2014 Progressive Honor Roll.
Los Angeles Times’ featured stories reporter Joe Mozingo wrote that “Maria Elena Durazo is probably the single most influential individual in Los Angeles politics.”