Alexandra Catsoulis, Urban and Public Affairs ’19
Since February of this year, I’ve had the opportunity to intern with the California Labor Federation (CFL). The organization is made up of over 1,200 unions and represents over 2.1 million union workers across California. Every person in my office, along with our affiliates, have dedicated their lives to the labor movement and to fight for all working Americans to have a living wage, benefits, and worker protections at every job. I’ve never seen a group of people collectively organize and fight for a movement as hard and as long as the people involved in labor.
So far I’ve lobbied with Tesla workers in Sacramento against worker abuse and racism, as Elon Musk and his cronies continue to union bust and fire workers who try to organize. I’ve lobbied with the silence breakers and victims of the #MeToo movement, including Time’s Person of the Year Juana Melara, pushing for the passage of our sponsored bill AB3080, which will end forced arbitration agreements in the workplace. I’ve helped facilitate trainings and communication toolkits in response to the SCOTUS Janus decision, which has been detrimental to the labor movement, forcing every state to move to the “right to work.” I’m a consistent contributor to our labor edge blog and have been the CLF’s field journalist at rallies, protests, and actions.
Last week I attended our Biennial Convention in Orange County in which we endorsed the politicians, legislation, and resolutions that support workers across California. I was also able to meet Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist, labor leader, feminist, and founder of the United Farm Workers, who is still very much involved in the labor movement at age 88! It has truly been such an honor working as the political communications intern for the California Labor Federation. The California labor movement is the most progressive force in this country when it comes to fighting for the rights of minorities, immigrants, women, and ALL working class people across the nation. My internship has proven that millennials and young adults should all be involved in the labor movement because I’ve learned that it is the last true fighting force against capitalist elites and greedy corporations.