“Here’s why I’m pissed off. The majority of workers in this county do not make $15 an hour. You tell me… how can you raise a family on less than $15 an hour?… I challenge each and every one of you to get pissed off every day, to fight the good fight and organize those non-union workers.” Watch video of Luisa’s acceptance speech
If we are the union, she is our guide. As the Chief Elected Officer of Local 521, Luisa uses her over three decades of experience in the labor movement to strengthen our union. She encourages members to become leaders and to take action on the issues that impact us at work and in our communities.
Luisa began in the labor movement as a member of SEIU Local 400 in San Francisco while she was a nurse at San Francisco General Hospital. During the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic in the early 1980s, she was an advocate for the compassionate care of patients with the disease. She then transitioned from union member to organizer for the SEIU Nurse Alliance in its historic “Safe Staffing” campaign, which led to California becoming the first state to legislate nurse-to-patient ratio standards in acute care hospitals. The rest is living history worthy of recognition.
Luisa was awarded the Philip Vera Cruz Award at the APALA Biennial Convention on August 15, 2015. APALA stands for Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, which is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific American union members.
Mary Kay Henry, International President of SEIU, presented the award.
See Mary Kay’s introduction of Luisa
“I never thought becoming a union member would lead me to where I am now. The union helped me afford to raise my kids and support my family. But it also gave me a voice and brought me to my union brothers and sisters so we could fight together to improve our work sites and our communities. I fully believe that if you are willing to step up to fight for the union, then together, we can win a better future for all. You just need to take that step.” – Luisa Blue, Chief Elected Officer, SEIU Local 521