"The growing diversity of the workforce and union membership will only strengthen in the coming years, and we need to start investing in leaders that reflect our members and the diverse communities we come from. Luisa is an important asset to SEIU especially as we continue to serve one of the largest immigrant populations in the country," said APALA National Executive Board Member, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East Secretary-Treasurer, and SEIU API Caucus Chair Maria Castaneda.
Blue joined the union in 1977 when she worked as a registered nurse (RN) at San Francisco General Hospital, and throughout her career has led campaigns that have greatly improved the collective bargaining rights for county registered nurses. She also went to become a founding member of SEIU Nursing Alliance in an effort to unite nurses on a national level and previously served as the Chief Elected Officer of the SEIU Local 521 representing public service workers from the Silicon Valley, down the Monterey-Santa Cruz Coast and into California’s Central Valley.
"Luisa has been championing issues that APALA has focused on such as immigration reform, criminal justice reform and the Fight for $15 and a union. Her historic election as Executive Vice President will only strengthen the connections unions need to bridge their commitment to advocating for the rights of all working people and fighting for social, economic and racial justice," said Kim Geron, APALA National's 2nd Vice President and California Faculty Association Vice President.
"Luisa has dedicated her life to helping workers have a voice at work and build a better future for their families. She has been a trailblazer for the AAPI community and continues that tradition as she becomes the first-ever SEIU Executive Vice President of AAPI decent. We are so energized to have her serve in this role as we continue to partner with APALA and the broader AAPI community to further advance our fight for economic, immigrant, racial and environmental justice for all," said newly re-elected SEIU President Mary Kay Henry.
"APALA is extremely proud of Luisa for this historic election," said APALA National President Johanna Puno Hester. "Her leadership within APALA has been instrumental in ensuring better working conditions for AAPI families, and I am incredibly excited to continue our work together in this new capacity."
Luisa Blue said, "It is an honor to have been elected as SEIU's first ever AAPI Executive Vice President. I have always believed in the power of unions to represent the needs of working people, and having now been a part of this movement for over four decades, I don't see that ending anytime soon. Everyone deserves a voice at the workplace as well as the right to earn fair, livable wages, and I will not stop until we see to it that that happens."
Luisa Blue currently serves as a APALA National Executive Board Member and was sworn in today as one of the seven SEIU Executive Vice Presidents for 2016-2020 term.