First Latina to Direct Major Statewide California Union

SACRAMENTO – SEIU California, which is composed of SEIU locals representing over 700,000 workers, including caregivers, janitors, security officers, nurses, other healthcare workers, social workers, other public service workers, school workers, faculty, and others, today announced a transition in leadership.

Jon Youngdahl has left the organization in order to provide national leadership and maximize the effect of the 2016 election for working people. This is a critical time for working families to fight back against right-wing organizations that are attempting to undercut their voice and political strength and having Jon be a part of that is going to make a big difference.

Youngdahl departs after three and a half years, during which SEIU California played a leading role in significant political and legislative victories. In partnership with our locals, Jon supported the execution of numerous winning strategies to grow the union and improve the standards of CA workers and SEIU CA members.

Alma Hernandez, currently the organization’s Political Director, will step into the role of Executive Director. Hernandez has served the past five years as the organization’s Political Director, where she has played a key role in leading labor’s political work in the state.

She will be the first Latina to lead a statewide labor political organization of this magnitude, and she represents a new generation of talented, young California-born leaders.

“Jon Youngdahl provided his considerable leadership skills and energy to the Council, and we are incredibly grateful for that. His transition to national work will strengthen those efforts in what is a critical time for our nation,” said Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU California. “We are incredibly excited about Alma Hernandez and her leadership. She has keen political talent and a deep knowledge of our state and the issues SEIU members face. We are very confident that our successes will continue to grow.”

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