Vivian is Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy's (LAANE) Director of Special Projects and has been employed at LAANE since January 2003 after many years of working with the organization as an ally. She has a long history as a community organizer, beginning with her work in the Mississippi Freedom Summer project of 1965. Her experience includes organizing in low-income communities around welfare and housing rights, involving citizens in issues related to U.S. foreign policy, and reproductive rights campaigns. Vivian founded one of the first independent women’s liberation organizations in the 1970s. For ten years she served as executive director of the Ocean Park Community Center, one of the largest Southern California nonprofits serving homeless adults and families and battered women and their children. She directed the union/community-led Respect at LAX project (in which LAANE was a lead partner), aimed at raising wages for service workers at the airport. Vivian later directed Santa Monicans for Responsible Tourism, the LAANE project that worked to lift wages in the booming Santa Monica tourism industry. In addition to her role as deputy director she oversees LAANE’s development team and Century Blvd and Long Beach Hospitality Projects and works closely with LAANE’s interfaith partner, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Development (CLUE). Vivian attended UC Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in administration from Antioch University.
With his pressed jeans, vegan diet and runner’s frame, Jeff Farmer could be a high-tech entrepreneur. But his heart is with low-wage parking attendants, taxi drivers and truckers instead of corporate profits.
As the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ national organizing director, Farmer doesn’t mind that his union has a reputation for being the biggest and baddest kid on the block.