Los Angeles Central Labor Council
Los Angeles CLC
2130 W. James M. Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
Representing over 350 unions and over 800,000 workers.
María Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary –Treasurer, UNITE-HERE
Maria Elena Durazo was elected to serve as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO on May 15, 2006. In 2010, she was re-elected to her second term with overwhelming delegate support, affirming her track record of energetic leadership and innovative growth in Los Angeles County’s labor movement.
In 2010, Maria Elena was elected as Vice President of the national AFL-CIO Executive Council where she serves as the only leader of a local labor movement in the country. She is also the Chair of the National AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee.
In 2013, Maria Elena was elected Vice Chair for the Democratic National Committee, DNC. She served as a National Co-Chair for President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Maria Elena has also served as Vice Chair to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee.
Before leading the L.A. County Federation, Maria Elena was president of UNITE-HERE, Local 11. She became first Latina elected to the Executive Board of HERE International Union in 1996. In 2003, Maria Elena became National Director of the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride, a national mobilization campaign initiated by HERE International to address the nation’s immigration laws. In 2004, she became Executive Vice President of UNITE-HERE International.
Maria Elena has served on several commissions including the Los Angeles City Commission on Airports where she was appointed by Mayor Bradley, followed by her appointment to the Parks and Recreation Committee by Mayor Richard Riordan. She was also appointed to the California State Coastal Commission by former Speaker of the California State Assembly, Herb Wesson.
Maria Elena is the Chair of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s appointee to the Los Angeles Economy and Jobs Committee, Board of Directors for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the California League of Conservation Voters.
Capitol Weekly named Maria Elena the third most influential non-elected California official in its 2010 Top 100 List. Maria Elena is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga and earned a law degree from the People’s College of Law in 1985.
Maria Elena Durazo, UNITE-HERE
Executive Secretary to Maria Elena Durazo
Glen Arnodo, UNITE-HERE
Economic Development Director
Gerry Vaughan, SEIU
The LA CLC is more conscious and desirous of environmental health than many other labor councils. The labor council is “convinced all men, women and children have a fundamental human right to a good job, health care, quality education and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods.” The CLC website features calls to action, educational opportunities, and in depth analyses linking climate and the economy.
The LA CLC encouraged its members to attend the 2008 “Adapting to Change” Conference, hosted by the California Labor Federation’s Workforce & Economic Development (WED) program, Building Workforce Partnerships. This conference included the CA Apollo Alliance, the CA Labor Federation, and the UCLA Labor Center amongst others. “Adapting to Change,” featured prominent leaders of the environmental movement who the CLC promised would “challenge our thinking about climate change policy, the transition to a green economy, and growing economic insecurity.” Van Jones of Green for All; Larry Mishel, Economic Policy Institute; Barbara Byrd, Oregon AFL-CIO were speakers, to name a few.
The LA CLC also joins with environmental allies to educate the local community. On April 25th, members of the LA CLC attended the Labor, Social and Environmental Justice Fair at CSU Dominguez Hills. The fair, sponsored by CSUDH, is predicated on the school’s desire “to deepen connections among campuses, labor unions, workers’ centers, community organizations, and people: students, faculty, union folk and community members. It is a space for transmitting information about organizing campaigns and work issues, jobs and internships, and discussions about broader issues.”
Environment has also been on the labor council’s legislative agenda. In 2009, the LA CLC endorsed Measure B, otherwise known as the Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles Plan. The plan pushed for increased solar power requisites. The labor council declared, “We cannot afford to wait any longer to develop cleaner, renewable energy sources and now we have an opportunity to do something about it, all while creating good green jobs with Measure B. That’s why working families have joined environmental, community and public health organizations like the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter and Coalition for Clean Air to support it.”
The CLC site also addresses the nuanced effects of insidious legislation. One featured article, “How the Sequestration Would Effect California,” explains the dangers of sequestration for the environment. Amongst other social needs, the article warns that Sequestration will take away protections for clean air and clean water. To be exact, “California would lose about $12.4 million in environmental funding.”
Additionally, the LA CLC posted an article about Governor Schwarzenegger’s surprise veto of all funding for the University of California’s Miguel Contreras Labor Program. The article ended with an attached sign-on letter to the Governor stating that the program “provided valuable and highly respected research” on issues such as climate change legislation and asked that he resume funding the program.