14. Dave Low
It’s been a difficult year for schools and their unions, and when school employees get into the picture, the attention shifts to their leader, Dave Low. He’s the executive director of the California School Employees Association, and represents the hundreds of thousands of school workers who don’t run their own classrooms. CSEA is the largest union of classified employees in the nation. He’s been with CSEA for 37 years and worked his way up through an array of union functions, including contract bargaining, arbitration, and serving as a union steward to executive management and strategy. Low moved to the top job in 2011 and is the fifth executive director in CSEA’s history. Low advocates against public pension cuts, serving as the chairman of Californians for Retirement Security, which represents more than 1.6 million public employees in California. Low’s name, long known in the labor movement, will get an even higher profile if California’s public-pension crisis accelerates, as many have predicted.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018