Durazo, Maria Elena

American trade union official; Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; AFL-CIO; Candidate for California State Assembly, 24th District


Multimedia

5981.1_T01_online.mp3

Transcript

Metadata

Field Value
ID 170
Title An oral history with Maria Elena Durazo
Date 2017-07-12
WPA ID WPA_110
OH ID OH 5981.1
Citation Maria Elena Durazo interviewed by Analia Cabral, July 12, 2017, Los Angeles, California, Oral History #5981.1, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2019-07-30 23:13:48 UTC
Location Los Angeles, CA
Language English
Subjects Family → Parents
Family → Childhood Experiences
Work → Migrant Workers
Gender and Sexuality → Gender Roles
Labor Organizing → Unions → UNITE HERE!
Labor Organizing → Unions → UNITE HERE! → Local 11
Family → Siblings
Family → Role Models
Historic Periods → 1960s
Citizenship → Immigration Rights Movement
Activism → Student Activism
Chicano/a Movement
Labor Organizing
Activism → Labor Unions
Work → Labor Unions
Labor Organizing → Unions
Work → Hotel Industry
African American → Electeds / Appointed Officials → Barack Obama
Labor Organizing → Unions → AFL-CIO

Abstract

An oral history with Maria Elena Durazo. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton, and the Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Durazo’s union activism and political career in Los Angeles. Specifically, this interview discusses Durazo’s childhood and family background, one of eleven children, the daughter of farmworkers; how she worked in the fields as a child; the early role modeling of her social activist brother in the 1960s; early bouts of activism while attending St. Mary’s College; how the girls and boys were treated differently in her family; how Durazo started in organizing with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, fighting for amnesty; how la migra was always a challenge for workers, but motivated her work toward worker’s rights; working in organizing and going to law school at night; participating in strikes against ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]; her fight to have HERE’s [Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees] union meetings translated into Spanish; organizing nonunion workers into UNITE HERE, and leading a massive, protracted labor campaign against the New Otani Hotel in Los Angeles; how she was elected to the national executive board for UNITE HERE, transitioning from the local to national level; what it was like being the first Latina to represent a major union in Los Angeles; serving on the national AFL-CIO immigration committee, as well as the AFL-CIO Labor Federation; transitioning back to UNITE HERE as a national officer in order to work further on immigration issues; serving as national director of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, in order to change the social perception of immigrants; and finally, discusses becoming national co-chair of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign committee.

Images

Field Value
File Name 5981.2_P05_online.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 193389
Description> Maria Elena Durazo, 2017.
Field Value
File Name 5981.1_P02.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 1157863
Description> Maria Elena Durazo during her interview, 2017.

Multimedia

5981.2_T02_online.mp3

Transcript

Metadata

Field Value
ID 171
Title An oral history with Maria Elena Durazo
Date 2017-07-27
WPA ID WPA_111
OH ID OH 5981.2
Citation Maria Elena Durazo interviewed by Analia Cabral, July 27, 2017, Los Angeles, California, Oral History #5981.2, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2019-07-30 23:26:00 UTC
Location Los Angeles, CA
Language English
Subjects Politics → conventions
African American → Electeds / Appointed Officials → Barack Obama
Elected Officials → California State Legislature → California State Senate
Elections → Campaigning
Family → Parenting
Sexism → Sexism in Politics
Leadership
Family → Children
Family → Affects of Political Involvement on Family
Ideology → Feminism
Family → Parents
Labor Organizing
Activism → Advice on getting involved
Labor Organizing → Unions → AFL-CIO
Labor Organizing → Unions → UNITE HERE!

Abstract

An oral history with Maria Elena Durazo. This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project for California State University, Fullerton, and the Center for Oral and Public History. The purpose of this interview was to gather information regarding Durazo’s union activism and political career in Los Angeles. Specifically, this interview discusses Durazo’s role as national co-chair of the Obama for President Campaign Committee, including her personal endorsement of Obama, separate from the union; her role as chair of the UCLA Labor Center Advisory Committee and continual fights with Governor Schwarzenegger for funding; Durazo’s campaign for California State Senate in the 24th District; comments how there are no Latinas serving in the California State Senate currently; advice she gives to both women and men in organizing and balancing family; how she has been treated as a woman, both in organizing and running for office; describes her leadership style as a matter of respect for others; discusses challenges of being an organizer, particularly forging connections; how her family responded to her organizing work and run for state senate; why she considers herself an organizer rather than an activist; why she considers herself a feminist; how politics were demonstrated by her parents; what unique contributions women bring to politics and organizing; why organizing is so important to her; and finally, what advice she would give to a women interested in organizing work.

Images

Field Value
File Name 5981.2_P05.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 630609
Description> Maria Elena Durazo with interviewer, Analia Cabral, 2017.
Field Value
File Name 5981.2_P06.JPG
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 1075264
Description> Maria Elena Durazo (center) with Analia Cabral (right) and Abby Waldrop (left) after interview, 2017.