Ada Briceño interviewed by Jael Mueller, October 29, 2015, Garden Grove, California, Oral History #5799, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State Unviersity, Fullerton.
An oral history with Ada Briceño, current secretary-treasurer of UNITE HERE 11, and founder and board of director of Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD). This interview was conducted for the Women, Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage Oral History Project at California State University, Fullerton. The purpose of this interview was to gather her life history and details of union activism and political involvement in Orange County. Specifically, this interview covers Briceño’s early life and her parent’s life histories; how her father was an economist that worked with the Somoza government and was forced to flee the country with his family when the Sandinistas took over; she details how her parents emigrated from Honduras due to the Nicaragua Revolution, and their settlement in Miami followed by Los Angeles; how they made a new life for themselves; the challenges she and her family faced; how she came to understand economic and social injustices while in a union; describes how she was scouted by a union office to become a receptionist; recalls her early political and activist involvement; the differences between San Pedro and Orange County; briefly discusses her courtship and husband’s union involvement; explains how she got her start with UNITE HERE 681, her decision to run for top officer, and how she become the first Latina elected to the office of president; her role in the Labor Movement and the racism and intimidation she faced; how and why she helped found OCCORD; Her work with Measures L & M, and how she helped to redistrict Anaheim named the People’s Map; how and why under her leadership, UNITE HERE 681 merged with Los Angeles UNITE HERE 11; difficulties she has faced in her work; her work with Local 11 and raising the minimum wage in Los Angeles and LAX corridor; talks about the union recognition at Angel Stadium and Disney; the dynamics and demographics of her non-profit, OCCORD; how CCCORD aims to offer training and opportunities for Latina/os; recalls the options available to her growing up; how being a woman affected her work as a union leader; advice she would give a young Latina wanting to become active in their community; her home and work life; her thoughts on feminism; what she is most proud of in her work and what she believes her purpose is; recalls staging a work stoppage with the band Ozomatli in 1999; closes the interview with discussing her son.
Ada Briceno in her office at the UNITE HERE 11 headquarters.
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