WW – October 12th, 2022

Hi All,

For today’s Wednesday Win, I want to announce the hiring of our new Executive Director, Leslie Simon. Leslie has a long history in labor law and the labor movement. Leslie has worked as a staff attorney for the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee for Urban Affairs. She recruited and trained pro bono attorneys and law students for asylum cases at INS proceedings. She practiced family, landlord-tenant, public benefits, and consumer law at Community Legal Services in Compton. For Westside Legal Services, Leslie primarily worked in family, landlord-tenant, employment, immigration, and public benefits law. She practiced labor and employment law at Reich, Adell, Crost, and Cvitan, including arbitration and Federal and State Court representation.

From there, Leslie began to work with labor unions at the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), where she was the Business Representative (1995–1999), Director of Broadcast Organizing (1999-2002), and Director of Legislative and Public Affairs and Spanish Language Media (2002-May 2006). At the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), she developed and implemented the union’s organizing plan for Southern California, successfully organizing thousands of new members. She also supervised business representatives, organized staff, and negotiated the first contracts for newly organized units. Leslie also worked for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 871, where she was the Business Representative & Director managing the day-to-day business of the Union, supervising the staff, and overseeing a $1.8 million budget. She also served as the Assistant Director of Collective Bargaining and Research at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Local 721. There she assisted in supervising the Collective Bargaining and Research Departments and negotiated contracts. She was part of the Senior Management team at their Local.

  • Recently she was the Director of Legal Services at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. But Leslie missed working directly in the labor movement. We feel fortunate to be able to hire someone with such an extensive resume in labor. Her labor, law, organizing, and negotiation expertise can help us become a more effective and responsive union. Please join me in welcoming our new Executive Director, Leslie Simon. This win will pay off for our members long into the future.

In Unity,

A. James McKeever PhD

AFT 1521 Faculty Guild President