Johanna Puno Hester, APALA National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930, stated: “We are proud to back two more candidates for DNC Vice Chairs who are committed to elevating and engaging people of color, young people and working families in the party. At a time of divisive rhetoric, policies and leadership coming from the right, our party needs dynamic leaders who will prioritize building a pipeline of progressive, diverse leaders at the local, state, and national levels.”
UNITE HERE General Vice President Maria Elena Durazo said: “APALA has been a central force in bridging labor and the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander community, so it’s an honor to receive APALA’s endorsement for my campaign for DNC Vice Chair. When we bring more working people and diverse voices to the table around issues of health care, fair wages and safe jobs, and immigration, we know we’ll have the power and base to win.”
Assembly Member Michael Blake added: “I am honored to receive APALA’s endorsement for DNC Vice Chair. If elected as Vice Chair, I hope to cultivate a new generation of leaders who not only win their elections but also pass progressive policies beneficial for all communities throughout the country. The much needed change in the party leadership can be the difference to more meaningful engagement of community leaders and organizers on the ground.”
APALA Executive Director Gregory A. Cendana commented: “This week’s elections will be very exciting to see where the direction of the party is indeed headed. With more organizers of color -- and those who will champion issues most important to us -- at the helm of the DNC, we have hopes they will create a path forward that re-inspires communities of color and engages new allies in the years to come. We are in an important time for building, and Keith, Grace, Maria Elena and Michael are the type of leaders the party needs.”
APALA also previously endorsed Keith Ellison for DNC Chair and Congresswoman Grace Meng for DNC Vice Chair.