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THREE LEADERS IN LABOR, RACIAL, AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE ELECTED TO TOP POSITIONS AT CALIFORNIA’S LARGEST UNION
By Sentinel News Service
Published December 8, 2022

SEIU 2015 Board Elects Arnulfo De La Cruz as President, Carmen Roberts as Executive Vice President, and Blanca Carias as First Vice President of the Union 

Arnulfo De La Cruz, SEIU President (cred: https://www.seiu2015.org)

Today, members of SEIU Local 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union and California’s largest labor union representing nearly 450,000 long-term care workers, announced the appointment of Arnulfo De La Cruz as President of the Union, Carmen Roberts as Executive Vice President, and Blanca Carias as First Vice President of Home Care. 

Earlier this year, current SEIU 2015 President April Verrett was unanimously elected by the international union’s Executive Board to serve as SEIU International’s Secretary-Treasurer. De La Cruz will succeed Verrett as President of SEIU Local 2015 after serving as Executive Vice President of the Union for seven years. Carmen Roberts will step into the role vacated by De La Cruz after serving as First Vice President of the Union since the position was created in 2021. Blanca Carias will assume the First Vice President of Home Care position previously filled by Roberts. This new slate of leadership will be sworn into their new positions in January 2023, as they join existing Executive Vice Presidents Kim Evon and Dereck Smith, and First Vice President of Nursing Home Industry Christina Lockyer-White. 

In their new roles, De La Cruz, Roberts, and Carias will continue to advance SEIU 2015’s mission to create a more equitable California that appropriately recognizes the critical role caregivers serve in our communities by providing long-term care to the state’s most vulnerable residents, including seniors and people with disabilities. They each bring with them unique backgrounds and perspectives that are emblematic of the diversity of the union as a whole. 

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“These leaders bring so much authenticity, compassion and commitment to justice. There are no people better suited to lead this union. It was heartening to see our local’s leaders—170 of them in 8 different languages—unanimously elect our union’s first Latino President, our first rank-and-file member to serve as an Executive Vice President, and the first non-English monolingual officer of this union. I can’t say enough about how refreshing that was at this moment. Arnulfo, Carmen, and Blanca’s past work has had an unparalleled positive impact on the lives of our members and they will only continue to make progress,” said April Verrett,outgoing President of SEIU Local 2015. “Our Local is a diverse coalition of mostly women, immigrants, and people of color who care for our most vulnerable and make critical contributions to our community. We are so grateful for the work that all our members do and the energy and experiences they bring to this fight.” 

“It is the honor of my life to be elected President of SEIU Local 2015, and I know I have tremendous shoes to fill. Our members work tirelessly to ensure that vulnerable Californias receive the care they deserve, and I’m excited to continue to represent them in my new role,” said Arnulfo De La Cruz, President-elect of SEIU Local 2015. “The legacy of our Union is one of bringing people together. I know well that the foundation and power of this union have been built by women, people of color and immigrants. I believe our Union is an example of what happens when we all work together to fight for what we believe in. We must continue to lead through this example as we fight to improve standards for care workers and those they care for, and advance equity for all of California.” 

Carmen Roberts and Blanca Carias complement Arnulfo’s leadership by bringing their experiences as frontline In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers to these roles. Their backgrounds in the field allow them to understand and relate to SEIU 2015 members, and therefore be better advocates.   

“Like many others, I developed my caregiver’s heart through tragedy. I know from experience just how deeply meaningful it is to be a long-term care provider, and that it takes a special kind of kindness, patience, and skill to ensure our most vulnerable get the care they deserve. I’m inspired by our members, who bring this passion to the table each and every day,” said Carmen Roberts, Executive Vice President-elect of SEIU Local 2015. “I’ve been working with SEIU 2015 to ensure that our caregivers —most of them women of color—have the resources to better their lives and have a voice in their industry. I look forward to continuing to advocate for our members in my new role.” 

“I’m excited to work alongside all the other union’s leaders in California, learn more about the issues, and work together to find solutions,” said Blanca Carias, First Vice President-elect of Home care. “In this role, I have the opportunity to unite more people, regardless of race, language, etc. Together we can win, and that’s what I’m looking forward to.” 

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