Valarie Long is an International Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union. She leads SEIU’s unionwide member engagement work through Together We Rise and oversees the BOLD Center. Prior to that, Long led the Property Services Division, representing more than 386,000 service workers throughout North America. She also oversees SEIU’s innovation work.
Long brings more than 30 years of organizing and leadership development experience to her role. From organizing her own worksite to being one of the pioneers of the model of organizing citywide master agreements to win better wages, benefits, working conditions, and full-time hours for a largely Latino, immigrant, and subcontracted workforce as part of the Justice for Janitors campaign, she understands better than most the power that working people have when they stand together to win.
Long has contributed to the union's joining the national effort to address pay inequality, family and medical leave, and workplace violence against women. Her first job as an organizer with SEIU was in what was called the "clerical division." She helped office workers find their voice and unite in SEIU through District 925's organizing effort at the University of Cincinnati.
She was one of 100 women arrested for demonstrating on Capitol Hill in September 2013 to help keep families together and win common-sense immigration reform. Long has built global worker solidarity and power for workers around the globe in her capacity as a steering committee member and executive board member of Union Network International. UNI is a global union federation that represents more than 1 million workers in 125 unions across 70 countries and holds global organizing agreements with several multinational companies.
Today, Long leads SEIU’s efforts to strengthen our union through member engagement, leadership development, and innovation. Under her leadership, SEIU has not just survived the organized corporate and right-wing attacks on unions; we have thrived. By connecting more members to their local unions and to each other, and by equipping more leaders with organizing tools and training, Together We Rise – under Valarie Long’s leadership – is creating a stronger, more dynamic foundation for our union and our broader movement.
Long grew up in a pro-union household in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio. Her father and grandfather worked at the steel mill and were active union members. Her mother worked at the Ford Motor Co. plant and was a UAW member. Her grandmother was an LPN. Long's first organizing experience – as a single mother – was organizing her worksite during a campaign led by the Communications Workers of America. Following this experience, she found her way to SEIU in 1986 and was hired as an organizer at the University of Cincinnati.
Long enjoys spending her free time with her grandchildren and in her garden in Laurel, Md.