Eliseo Medina

SECRETARIO-TESORERO INTERNACIONAL

Secretario-Tesorero Eliseo Medina
Eliseo Medina es descrito por Los Ángeles Times como "uno de los más exitosos organizadores laborales del país" y nombrado por la revista Poder como uno de los "50 principales y más influyentes líderes latinos". Actualmente dirige los esfuerzos del Sindicato Internacional de Empleados de Servicios (SEIU) para lograr una reforma integral de inmigración que reconstruya la economía de la nación, consiga protecciones laborales y civiles equitativas para que los trabajadores mejoren sus salarios y condiciones de trabajo y provea canales legales y una vía a la ciudadanía.

El Sacramento Bee lo llama líder "calladamente carismático que ayuda a que los trabajadores inmigrantes conquisten representación sindical y hace que se escuchen sus voces en la arena política". El tema de la reforma migratoria es un asunto muy personal para Medina. A los 10 años, llegó a los Estados Unidos procedente de México con su madre y hermanos para reunirse con su padre, trabajador agrícola inmigrante.

Trabajando para garantizar que la oportunidad de aprobar una reforma migratoria integral no se esfume, Medina dirigió el esfuerzo de unificar a los sindicatos de la federación Change to Win y de la AFL-CIO alrededor de un marco integral para la reforma. Como la principal voz en Washington que frecuentemente testifica ante el Congreso, Medina también ayudó a construir una coalición poderosa y diversa de socios comunitarios y nacionales que ha intensificado la exigencia de reforma y cultivado el capital necesario para hacer que los funcionarios electos rindan cuentas. Medina también ha ayudado a fortalecer los lazos entre la iglesia católica romana y el movimiento laboral para trabajar en preocupaciones comunes tales como los derechos de los trabajadores inmigrantes y el acceso a cuidados de salud.

Medina comenzó su carrera como activista sindical en 1965 cuando, como piscador de uvas de 19 años, participó en la histórica huelga de la Federación de Campesinos (los United Farm Workers) en Delano, California. En los siguientes 13 años, trabajó al lado de César Chávez y afinó sus habilidades de organizador sindical y estratega político, y eventualmente hizo carrera hasta llegar a ser vicepresidente nacional de la Federación de Campesinos.

Su interés en organización estratégica lo llevó a SEIU en 1986 en que ayudó a revitalizar un sindicato local de San Diego, elevando su membresía de 1,700 a 10,000 en cinco años. Medina fue un estratega clave de la huelga de los trabajadores de servicios a edificios del Local 1877 de SEIU en Los Ángeles, quienes en abril del 2000 conquistaron el mayor aumento de salarios en 15 años de historia de la campaña de Justicia para los Janitors de SEIU. También ayudó a que más de 100,000 trabajadores de cuidado en casa de California promovieran el mejor cuidado de calidad para las personas que ellos cuidan permanezcan viviendo independientemente en sus casas al garantizarles un financiamiento que mejore su calidad de vida.

Medina ha servido como Vicepresidente Ejecutivo Internacional de SEIU desde 1996 en que hizo historia al convertirse en el primer mexicano estadounidense electo a un alto cargo en SEIU que cuenta con 2.1 millones de afiliados. Su trabajo ha ayudado a que SEIU sea el sindicato de más rápido crecimiento de la costa oeste y el mayor sindicato de California. Desde 1996, más de 1 millón de trabajadores de todo el país se ha afiliado a SEIU, el sindicato más grande de trabajadores de cuidado de la salud y el sindicato con la mayor membresía de trabajadores inmigrantes.

Medina también lidera los esfuerzos de SEIU para ayudar a que se afilien a SEIU trabajadores de 17 estados del sur y suroeste de Estados Unidos, tales como Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida y Georgia; de manera que estos tengan la fuerza para mejorar sus trabajos y los servicios que proveen en sus comunidades.

En 2010, Medina fue elegido por unanimidad para servir como Secretario-Tesorero Internacional del sindicato de 2.1 millones de afiliados.

Medina vive en Washington, D.C. Es casado y tiene cuatro niños y una nieta.

Eliseo Medina

INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER

SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina

Eliseo Medina is described by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the most successful labor organizers in the country" and was named one of the "Top 50 Most Powerful Latino Leaders" in Poder Magazine. The International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Medina also leads the union's efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that rebuilds the nation's economy, secures equal labor- and civil-rights protections for workers to improve their wages and work conditions and provides legal channels and a path to citizenship. Medina's work to help grow Latino voting strength in the 2012 elections is widely recognized as a key factor in propelling the 2013 debate in Congress over commonsense immigration reform.

Called a "quietly charismatic" leader "who is helping immigrant workers win union representation and make their voice heard in the political arena" by the Sacramento Bee, the issue of immigration reform is very personal to Medina. When he was 10-years-old, he came to the United States from Mexico with his mother and siblings to join their father, who was an immigrant farm worker.

Working to ensure the opportunity to pass comprehensive immigration reform does not slip away, Medina led the effort to unite the unions of the Change to Win federation and AFL-CIO around a comprehensive framework for reform. Serving as a leading voice in Washington, frequently testifying before Congress, Medina has also helped to build a strong, diverse coalition of community and national partners that have intensified the call for reform and cultivated necessary political capitol to hold elected leaders accountable. Medina worked to strengthen ties between the Roman Catholic Church and the labor movement to work on common concerns such as immigrant worker rights and access to health care.

Medina's career as a labor activist began in 1965 when, as a 19-year-old grape-picker, he participated in the historic United Farm Workers' strike in Delano, Calif. Over the next 13 years, Medina worked alongside labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez and honed his skills as a union organizer and political strategist; eventually rising through the ranks to serve as the United Farm Workers' national vice president.

H
is interests in strategic organizing brought him to SEIU in 1986, where he helped revive a local union in San Diego--building its membership from 1,700 to over 10,000 in five years. He was a key strategist in the Los Angeles strike by SEIU Local 1877's building service workers, who in April 2000 won the largest wage increase in the 15-year history of SEIU's Justice for Janitors campaign. He also helped more than 100,000 home care workers in California advocate for the best quality care for the people they serve remain independent in their homes by securing funding to improve their quality of life. 

In 1996, Medina was elected to serve as international executive vice president of SEIU. He made history by becoming the first Mexican American elected to a top post at the 2.1 million-member SEIU. His work has helped make SEIU the fastest-growing union on the West Coast and the largest union in California. Since 1996, more than 1.2 million workers across the country have united with SEIU, the nation's largest union of healthcare workers and the union with the largest membership of immigrant workers. 

Medina has also headed SEIU's efforts to help workers in 17 states across the southern and southwestern United States--including Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia--unite in SEIU so they will have the strength to improve their jobs and the services they provide in their communities.

In 2010, Medina was unanimously elected to serve as International Secretary-Treasurer of the 2.1 million-member union.

In 2012, Medina led SEIU to help deliver the Latin vote. He was at the forefront of voter engagement in the Latino community. Along with Mi Familia Vota, an organization Medina founded in 1998, and other advocacy organizations, he galvanized the Latino vote through a multi-state bus tour called Todos a Votar, where he registered Latino voters on the ground and mobilized them to the polls. The successful tour managed to put a spotlight on the unprecedented number of registered Latino voters and the promise that he made: a turnout of 12 million Hispanic voters nationwide in November (http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/aug/04/organizations-united-bring-minorities-polls/#ixzz2Mtcb5sLa). 

The goal was reached. Medina had also promised that the Latino vote would send a clear mandate to the President and Congress: the time is now for commonsense immigration reform with a clear pathway to citizenship. As Medina predicted, the message was received. In beginning of 2013, both President Obama and Congress made immigration reform the top priority.  Medina was invited to be present at the president's speech in Las Vegas, NV where he announced his principles for a comprehensive immigration solution.

His words and efforts, both on the ground and behind the scenes, placed him at the forefront of the fight for immigration reform. He has met with President Obama and several leaders in Congress, and is on the leadership team of immigrant and civil rights, labor, business and faith organizations that are pushing for a fair legislation on immigration. 

Medina's work to mobilize the Latino vote and working families everywhere to win immigration reform has launched him into the national limelight, having been quoted and televised in over a hundred interviews in the last year and a half. 

Medina lives in Washington, D.C.. He is married and the proud father of four children and one grandchild.

» Eliseo Medina's online media kit


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