Yvonne Wheeler

President of the LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

On LAANE’s 30th Anniversary, I am proud to reflect on our long partnership and the many times we have stood, shoulder-to-shoulder, to fight for livable wages and a middle-class future for all workers.  

LAANE’s founders had a vision of a Los Angeles where the economy works for everyone, not just the wealthy or corporate interests, and 30 years later it’s safe to say that LAANE has become an essential force in shaping Los Angeles’s labor movement.  From helping to spearhead the nation’s first living wage campaign, to implementing the nation’s first community benefits agreements, and ultimately helping to raise standards in essential industries like hospitality, grocery, retail, construction and sanitation, LAANE has an unquestionable record of improving lives for LA’s working families. LAANE’s strategic research and coalition building has been integral in connecting the immigrant rights and environmental justice movement with the labor movement, and their work has helped to grow the LA labor movement.

Thirty years later, while the fight is never over, it is no accident that Los Angeles has become the epicenter of “Hot Labor Summer.” Together, through the decades, we have built a union town and broad solidarity movement that understands that “an injury to one is an injury to all,” and we look forward to working with LAANE over the next 30 years and building on the incredible foundation that has been established.