No. 36: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

36. Alma Hernandez

SEIU California is a potent political force, with 700,000 members that range from home care workers to college professors to state workers. The executive director of SEIU California is Alma Hernandez, whose parents emigrated from Mexico and who grew up in the Central Valley. Hernandez, who earlier served as the group’s political director, has run campaigns and built coalitions – the very core of political action. A UC Berkeley graduate with  degrees in political science and rhetoric, Hernandez spent five years as a legislative staffer and is on the board of the nonprofit California Budget and Policy Center, which examines government policies to improve the plight of low- and middle-income Californians. Tough at the bargaining table, one lawmaker said Hernandez learned “the art of negotiation with her mother as they set up shop on the weekends in the Central Valley’s swap meets.”

Updated Aug. 25, 2021

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