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Union Forum: Possible Panelists

Union Forum: Possible Panelists

Cliff Smith, Roofers Union Local 36—Cliff Smith is the business manager of the Roofers & Waterproofers Union, Local 36. He served two elected terms as board member on the South Central Neighborhood Council. A long-time activist, Cliff is the founder of the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police. For 10 years, he was the editor of Amiri Baraka's newspaper "Unity & Struggle."


Victor Narro, UCLA Labor Center, Project Director—Victor Narro has been involved with immigrant rights and labor issues for many years. At the UCLA Labor Center, he provides research and capacity support for policy and organizing campaigns that focus on impact issues affecting low-wage workers and immigrant communities. Victor is also a professor for the Labor and Workplace Studies Program at UCLA; a lecturer for the Chicano/a Studies Department; a lecturer for the UCLA School of Urban Planning; and a adjunct faculty at UCLA Law School, where he teaches a class entitled, Community Lawyering and Low Wage Worker Organizing.


Victor Narro

Kent Wong, UCLA Labor Center, Director—Kent Wong is the director of the UCLA Labor Center, where he teaches courses in labor studies and Asian American studies. He previously served as staff attorney for the Service Employees International Union. He was the founding president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and of the United Association for Labor Education and is currently vice president of the California Federation of Teachers.


Arlene Inoye, UTLA, Secretary—Arlene Inouye was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended Clover Avenue Elementary, Webster Junior High, and University High School. Her grandparents emigrated from Japan to Boyle Heights, and her family was incarcerated during World War II. Three generations of her family have attended LAUSD schools.


Alex Caputo-Pearl, UTLA, Presideent—Alex taught for 22 years in the Compton and Los Angeles school districts, most of those at Crenshaw High School, before being elected UTLA president in 2014. He has been honored with LA Academic English Mastery Program, UCLA Social Justice, and UTLA Bilingual Education Committee awards for his classroom teaching.

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Wade Kyle, UTLA—Wade Kyle is a special education teacher working in Inglewood. For the past several years, he was an educator living in Nagoya, Japan where he teaches English. Before moving to Japan, Wade had a long career teaching in the Los Angeles area where he was active in UTLA.


Roxana Tynan, LAANE, Executive Director—Roxana joined LAANE in 2001 and served as Deputy Director for six years until assuming the position of Executive Director in February 2012. Roxana has been instrumental in the expansion of LAANE’s work and impact over the past decade. She has also played a leading role in developing LAANE’s community organizing department, mentoring dozens of young organizers and creating one of the region’s most effective organizing and advocacy programs.


Rusty Hicks, LA Fed--Rusty Hicks is the President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. He is one of the youngest—and the first post-9/11 war veteran—to lead one of the nation’s largest labor federations. Raised by a single mother in Fort Worth, Texas, Rusty saw first-hand the challenges of attaining the American Dream. Her hard work inspired him to a life of service. He is a Lieutenant in the United States Navy Reserve and a veteran of the War in Afghanistan. Rusty is a member of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild – America Federation of Teachers Local 1521. He resides in Pasadena with his wife, Sandra Sanchez, and their dog Charlie.

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