Historic Milestone: SEIU Elects April Verrett as First Black President at International Convention in Philadelphia

Groundbreaking Election at SEIU International Convention

In a historic moment, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) elected April Verrett as its first Black president during the organization’s international convention in Philadelphia. Verrett’s election marks a significant milestone for the 2 million-member strong union.

“April is a leader who is always guided by an uncompromising focus on worker empowerment and their rights,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a speech to SEIU members on Tuesday.

Verrett’s Journey to the SEIU Presidency

A native of Chicago, April Verrett was raised by her grandmother, who served as a union steward for SEIU Local 46. This early exposure to union activism laid the foundation for Verrett’s lifelong commitment to workers’ rights.

Prior to her election as president, Verrett held various leadership positions within the SEIU. She served as secretary-treasurer for the past two years, leading the union’s strategic planning process. Additionally, she was the president of SEIU Local 2015, California’s largest local union and the country’s largest long-term care union, representing over 400,000 long-term care providers.

A Champion for Worker Empowerment

Verrett’s tenure at SEIU Local 2015 was marked by her unwavering dedication to improving the lives of long-term care workers. She fought tirelessly on their behalf, advocating for better working conditions and fair compensation.

Beyond her work in California, Verrett has held influential roles within the SEIU’s national leadership. She served as executive vice president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, chaired the union’s National Home Care Council, co-chaired the National Organizing Committee, and served on the Finance Committee.

A New Era for SEIU

As the first Black president of the SEIU, Verrett’s election represents a significant milestone in the union’s history. Her leadership is expected to usher in a new era of worker empowerment and advocacy, building upon the foundation laid by her predecessor, Mary Kay Henry, the organization’s first woman president.

With Verrett at the helm, the SEIU is poised to continue its mission of fighting for the rights and well-being of workers across various industries, ensuring their voices are heard and their contributions are valued.