APALA is family. And the strength of a family lies in a unified vision of who we are and what we stand for. We are the voice for Asian American Pacific Islander union members. Our goal is a just and fair society where workers rights, civil rights, social justice rights, immigrant rights are protected and practiced by all. We will do this by organizing and building and strategizing together. Welcome to Seattle!
National President of APALA
April Sims, Washington State Labor Council President, addressed delegates and guests. April is the first woman to be elected President of the WSLC and first Black woman ever elected to the presidency of an AFL-CIO state federation. Along with Secretary Treasurer Cherika Carter, they are the first leadership team of Black women ever to lead an AFL-CIO state federation. Her remarks were energizing and empowering and remind us what we at APALA stand for- working with all workers in the fight for racial and economic justice. April reminded us that we are creating a movement built on unwavering solidarity and radical acts of love where working people seeking justice can find a home in the labor movement.
Opening Plenary Session
Our opening plenary session “Growing a Strong APALA,” uplifting the organizing our chapters are doing to build APALA, develop AAPI leaders, and strengthen the labor movement. The panel was moderated by Ligaya Domingo, APALA 1st Vice President and Seattle chapter member, we heard from inspiring AAPI leaders Kat General, Wei Chen, Eunice How and Qing Wei.
Delegates and guests attended two sessions of workshops today which ranged from learning about AAPI labor history to strategizing about political organizing in our APALA chapters and unions to prepare for the upcoming 2024’s presidential elections. Other workshops highlighted global issues facing Asian and AAPI workers and organizing campaigns to improve working conditions.
March with UNITE HERE Local 8 Hospitality Workers
Before delegates and guests headed over to Seattle’s International District, our second plenary session focused on Seattle’s rich AAPI and labor history and provided the context for today’s action. Speakers included Tracy Lai, Moon-Ho Jung, Kent Wong, Richard Gurtiza and Liza Cruz.
Convention delegates and guests marched from Embassy Suites in Pioneer Square to the Hing Hay Park in the historic International District to support Embassy Suite hotel workers demanding a fair contract. Seattle’s tourism and visitor economy is booming and workers need a raise to keep up with the rising cost of living in Seattle. This fight comes alongside hotel workers asking elected leaders in Seattle to support the Living Hotels ordinance. You can learn more about the Living Hotels ordinance at greenhotelsforseattle.org.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our sponsors for their unwavering support and commitment to APALA’s mission and to making this convention possible!