Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Tia Orr

31. Tia Orr

Tia Orr is the first African American – and only the second Latina – to serve as executive director of SEIU California, the 700,000-member labor organization with 17 local unions and representatives in each of California’s 58 counties. The group represents health care workers, school and university employees, government employees, janitors and social workers, among others. Orr has been with SEIU California for 16 years, mostly as government relations director, but last year, she was named acting executive director following the departure of Alma Hernandez, who was accused of tax and embezzlement charges and faces trial In Sacramento. Before joining SEIU, Orr worked in the Legislature for the late Mervyn M. Dymally, longtime Chair of the Legislative Black Caucus. She is the mother of three, and earlier in her life she worked as a caregiver and a security officer.

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