Maria Elena Durazo has served as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO since 2006. Through over 300 local unions, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor represents over 800,000 workers in every key industry, including transportation/goods movement; entertainment/media; services including janitorial and hospitality; education and construction; public sector and retail, to name a few.
Before leading the Federation, Maria Elena was elected as President and built the hotel workers union UNITE-HERE, Local 11, into one of the most active unions in Los Angeles County. Her hard work led her to become the first Latina elected to the Executive Board of HERE International Union in 1996 and eventually in 2004, she became Executive Vice President of UNITE-HERE International.
Maria Elena also served as Vice Chair to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee and as a National Co-Chair for Senator Barrack Obama’s Presidential Campaign.
Learn more abour Maria Elena here.
At any point in their lives, workers may need to take time off to care for either a new child or a sick family member. While we have state and federal laws to protect workers from losing their jobs or benefits when they take leave, the leave time is mostly unpaid. Unpaid leave hurts a family’s income and economic security – many of our working families, especially in this economy, live at the margin and can’t afford to take leave without pay.
No worker should have to make the difficult choice between a paycheck and being there for a loved one.
Ten years ago, labor unions and community organizations in California came together to ensure that our working families did not have to make this difficult choice. We successfully advocated for and passed the California Paid Family Leave (PFL) Act in 2002.
, a simple reform to make term limits work.
Under the current term limits law, legislators are allowed to serve 14 years – three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate.
The voters’ intent was to end the era of entrenched politicians and limit the influence of lobbyists. But the focus on terms instead of years created the unintended effect of legislators constantly campaigning for the next open seat in order to stay in government.
and Denny Zane
While Washington, D.C. has been stuck in what amounts to a partisan traffic jam on the 405 at rush hour, unresponsive and unwilling to rebuild our national economy and infrastructure, we took matters into our own hands in Los Angeles.
In November of 2008 business, labor and environmental organizations of Los Angeles County worked together to sponsor Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects throughout the county. When voters overwhelmingly approved Measure R, they may have been looking primarily for solutions to traffic congestion and air pollution, but they succeeded in approving nearly $40 billion over 30 years to create hundreds of thousands of jobs as well as an economic stimulus for Los Angeles.
In addition, Mayor Villaraigosa is working hard to convince the federal government to create a program of low-interest financing for Measure R's transit program to accelerate the implementation of those projects over 10 years, rather than 30 years.