Community Empowerment – Erika Almiron Niz, Executive Director, Juntos
Presented by Evette Jones, PFT
Union Empowerment – Delaware-Chester Counties CLUW Chapter
Presented by Bethann Perkowski, AFSCME Local 2186, Philly CLUW
Community Empowerment – Gwen Snyder, Exec Director,
Philadelphia Jobs with Justice
Presented by Danielle Newsome, Philly CLUW
Lois Miller Appreciation Award – Heather Boyd, President, Delco NOW (National Organization for Women)
Presented by Laura Wentz, President, Philly CLUW
Rising Star – Ethelind Baylor, Vice President, AFSCME DC47
Presented by Michelle Jamison, AFSCME DC47, Philly CLUW
Union Woman of the Year – Cathy Brady
Presented by Kathy Black, Treasurer, Philly CLUW
Raffle Drawings followed by group photo of honorees and presenters
ERIKA ALMIRON NIZ, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, JUNTOS
Erika Almiron Niz is the Executive Director of Juntos, a Latino immigrant community-led human rights organization based in Philadelphia dedicated to fighting for the rights of our community on issues like education, immigration, and workers rights.
She has been working on social justice issues for almost two decades including immigration, education reform, youth organizing, women’s health, gentrification and poverty.
Born in South Philadelphia to immigrant parents from Paraguay, she spent most of her youth in Philadelphia or New York. After college she worked to build organizations like the Media Mobilizing Project, the Philadelphia Student Union and the Mexico/US Border Program of the American Friends Service Committee.
Since 2011 Erika has been working on local and national immigrant rights issues. She worked on developing campaigns and coalitions to create Sanctuary City policies, to shut down the Berks Detention Center, and she has worked both with the Not1More campaign and the Mijente national network to end deportations, and the criminalization of immigrants and Black and Brown folks. Earlier this year she was named a Woman of the Year by the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Organization for Women.
In her spare time, Erika is a freelance photographer; her pictures have been published and exhibited over the last several years in Philadelphia and beyond. She has documented prison conditions in South America, mountain top removal in West Virginia, homelessness in Harlem, and most recently she received the prestigious Leeway Foundation Award to document agricultural reform, land distribution and the landless movements in Brazil and Paraguay.
DELAWARE/CHESTER COUNTIES CLUW CHAPTER
After several months of aggressive organizing, the Delaware/Chester Counties CLUW Chapter received its charter at the National CLUW Executive Board meeting in November, 2016. They currently represent members or retirees from many labor unions, including SEIU, USW, CWA, PFT, APSCUF, and UAW; and many associate members, including elected officials in Upper Darby Township and Sierra Club.
Since receiving their charter they have co-hosted two trainings on How and Why to Run for Elections Board with Philly CLUW, Philadelphia NOW & Delco NOW. Most recently, they adopted an anti-Islamophobia Resolution which “calls for an end of ethnic and religious profiling, mass surveillance, and “sting” operations in Muslim communities…” The resolution was previously passed by Philadelphia CLUW and was originally promulgated by the leaders of US Labor Against the War.
Although quite young, the Chapter members look forward to continuing to grow the chapter, perform outreach to our communities, and plan, promote and engage in activities and campaigns that protect and advance the rights of working women.
GWEN SNYDER, DIRECTOR, PHILADELPHIA JOBS WITH JUSTICE
Gwen Snyder is the exiting executive director of Philadelphia Jobs with Justice, a coalition of community, labor, student, and faith organizations. She is a national organizer with US Tax March and a committee person in Philadelphia's 27th Democratic Ward.
In her eight years at Jobs with Justice, she has worked on and organized direct action campaigns around issues including public education, paid sick leave, workers' right to unionization, and domestic worker organizing. In 2017, she organized the Philadelphia Tax March and co-coordinated nearly 150 sister marches around the country.
Snyder graduated from Swarthmore College with high honors and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Fels School of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and a Certificate of Labor Studies from Penn State.
LOIS MILLER APPRECIATION
HEATHER BOYD, PRESIDENT, DELCO NOW
Heather Boyd is a Founding Member and President of the Delaware County Chapter of the National Organization for Women, on the Board of SEPA NOW PAC and PA NOW Education Fund, and also a Founding Member of the Delaware-Chester Counties CLUW Chapter. Heather was an Adjunct Professor of History and Art History for nine years at Delco Community College. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Art History from James Madison University in Virginia, and is ABD in the History of American Civilization Doctoral Program at the University of Delaware. Heather was elected to the Upper Darby School Board in 2015. She is currently the Chief of Staff for Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky of the 161st Legislative District in Harrisburg.Heather has been a Committeewoman for the Upper Darby Democrats since 2012. Heather and her husband Sean McIntosh are proud parents of two boys, Cole (10) and Graeme (6). She is a feminist and advocate for women’s reproductive rights, workers’ rights and public education funding.
ETHELIND BAYLOR, VICE PRESIDENT, AFSCME DC47
Ethelind Baylor is a Philadelphia native. Her family taught her positive preparation through faith, education, and service to others. Baylor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Chestnut Hill College and a Master of Science degree in Organizational and Strategic Leadership from Neumann University. While raising a young family she got a lot of support from her husband, who held a position as a union officer.
For 16 years, Ethelind worked for the City of Philadelphia and was always an active Union member. Ms. Baylor began the Good and Welfare Committee for DC 33 Local 159, receiving an award from AFSCME International in recognition of her work. As a graduate of AFSCME Faces and Voices training, she helped to transform the public conversation about DC 33 public workers during a tremendous battle for a contract under Mayor Michael Nutter.
Ethelind was trained under the direction of President Pete Matthews and other DC33 leaders to work on student debt, politics, training and professional development, and workplace safety. AFSCME International trained Ethelind to become an Eastern Region Steward Trainer.
In August 2013, Ethelind became a member of DC 47, where she eventually became the Next Wave Chair (AFSCME’s young leadership program). Under the leadership of President Fred Wright and then VP Vanessa Fields, Baylor was provided mentorship and support for her ideas about training young leaders and bridging the gap between labor and community. She was elected Recording Secretary of the Next Up Young Worker program at the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO and later was appointed by President Patrick Eiding as Interim Chair.
In September 2016, Ethelind was elected Vice President of AFSCME District Council 47. She serves as Legislative Director and Community Outreach Coordinator for District Council 47. She is the Chair of the Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality (PEOPLE) Committee. She serves on the board at the Philadelphia Adult Literacy Alliance, Jobs with Justice, and is a trustee for the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO. She is a member of CLUW, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Women’s
Leadership Initiative-United Way, the CBTU, and several other groups.
As a rising star, Ethelind believes the time is now to advance more women in labor unions, boards, and in the political landscape of this City.
UNION WOMAN OF THE YEAR
CATHY BRADY, FORMER VP, SEIU HEALTHCARE PA
Cathy Brady spent more than 40 years as a member, activist and leader in the labor movement, beginning in 1976 when she joined the IAM Local 1776. Her activism began when she joined 30,000 other Eastern Airline employees on the picket line when they were forced off their jobs after a hostile takeover by Frank Lorenzo. After a two-year strike, the members were able to shut down Lorenzo and make sure that he would never again be involved in the airline industry.
She then joined OCAW Local 8-234 and worked as a crude still operator at the BP refinery in Philadelphia. She created the union newsletter, TheCrude News, and served as a shop steward and Health and Safety Committee representative for the Union. After six years, she again found herself on the picket line when a new owner bought the BP refinery and demanded drastic changes to the contract. Cathy later joined the team at SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, where she further developed her skills and commitment to the labor movement for over 20 years. Eventually she was elected Vice President and led the Long Term Care Division of the Union. Recently, Cathy stepped down from her office at SEIU Healthcare PA to accept a position with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, where she is pursuing new ways to serve workers.
Cathy is the President of the Friends of Elmwood Park, where she was the Lead Organizer of the effort to build “The Labor Monument: Philadelphia’s Tribute to the American Worker.” Through collaboration with the City of Philadelphia, the Association of the Arts and many labor organizations, she successfully brought this unique art project to this working class neighborhood park.
For many years, Cathy was a member of the Board of Philaposh (Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health), eventually serving as Executive Vice President. She has also been a long time Philadelphia CLUW Board member.
MESSAGES FROM MOM AND DAD
We thank all who brought books for this project. Years ago, Janet Ryder involved us in this coalition of sorority and faith-based women’s groups dedicated to maintaining and improving the bonds between incarcerated parents and their children. Volunteers film parents in local prisons speaking personal messages and reading the books; the books and videotapes are then sent to the kids. We are proud to continue our association with MfM and its director, Willie Black, a former CLUW honoree.
MESSAGE FROM PHILLY CLUW’S PRESIDENT LAURA WENTZ
In the past year, Philly CLUW took action on many campaigns with unions and women’s groups. We lobbied against preemption by the state of Philly’s earned sick leave law and for additional paid family leave. We supported continued funding of Planned Parenthood and protection of women’s reproductive rights. We joined actions in support of equal pay, Black Lives Matter, the Fight for $15 and a Union, and fair public school funding. We continued support for US Labor Against the War, Women Against Abuse, and many other organizations working for the progressive change we all want.
Our biggest project, in collaboration with the Philadelphia and Delco NOW Chapters, and our new Delaware-Chester Counties CLUW Chapter, was to provide five workshops on “How to Run for Elections Board,” the critical poll workers in each precinct who are elected by neighbors every four years. The workshops were a huge success; we plan to expand the project to train people to run for committee person slots next year, to help increase political engagement at the community level, especially among women and young people. (The handbook is available on our website, phillycluw.org.)
CLUW has joined with many of the new activist groups forming since the Presidential election working on progressive issues - health care, immigration, tax policy, military spending, and many more. The highlight of this work so far was the historic Women’s Marches January 21. CLUW members participated in Washington DC and around the country, including a large Philly contingent. We plan to bring our feminist union perspective and activist experience to work with these new activists, as together we confront the many daunting challenges ahead.
Please visit our website (www.phillycluw.org), Like our Facebook page (Philly CLUW) and follow us on Twitter (@PhillyCluw) to keep up with our many campaigns, actions and events. Thanks so much for your membership, your support tonight and throughout the year, and for joining us as we celebrate the achievements of tonight’s amazing activist honorees.
Philly CLUW thanks our generous sponsors for your support of CLUW and for your help in making tonight a success.
Mother Jones Level -- $600
AFSCME District Council 47
AFSCME District Council 88
IUPAT District Council 21
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 3
Dolores Huertal Level -- $400
CWA Local 13000
Gloria Johnson Level -- $200
AFSCME Local 2187
Elecator Constructors Local 5
Plumbers Union Local 690
SEIU Healthcare PA
UNITE HERE Local 274
Willig, Williams & Davidson
Alice Hoffman Level -- $150
Anonymous union member
Boilermakers Local #13
Elizabeth & Stu Bass
Sylvia & Norman Lieberman
Gail Lopez-Henriquez, Freedman & Lorry Thomas Paine Cronin & Sandra Dunn
Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO
Delaware County CLC
Joanne Phillips for Delaware County Controller
IFPTE Local 3
Fred & Nancy Wentz
Philly CLUW thanks the following people for their contributions to the success of our event
Lynne Fox, Business Manager and Joanne Gainey, Philadelphia Joint Board, Workers United, for the venue, flowers and event assistance
Edgar Branch for setup and event assistance
Joe Russella, bartender extraordinaire
Philly CLUW’s Executive Board, Officers and Trustees
Planning Committee members Kathy Black, Nicole Fuller, Sylvia Lieberman, Danielle Newsome, Bethann Perkowski, Vicki Redmond, Barbara Russella, Laura Wentz
Thelma Clements, Pat Eiding and all staff, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO
Evette Jones and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers for printing our program
The Gold Standard, caterer, ROC member
Patricia Banks and Girls Auto Clinic
Thanks to the many individuals and businesses who donated items for our raffle baskets