The Executive Officers of IFPTE Local 21 and our entire Local 21 family mourn the passing of Brother Laurence “Larry” Griffin. Brother Griffin proudly served the citizens of San Francisco for 25 years as a District Attorney Investigator, Child Support Services Investigator, and Contract Compliance Officer in the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement.
IFPTE Local 21 President Gus Vallejo remembered:
“Whenever there was a fight for justice, he was there. Brother Griffin lived the creed ‘getting into good trouble,’ and did just that many times, including to the point of going to jail. We will miss him.”
Brother Griffin came from a family who paved the way for justice and equality in the Bay Area. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Herman Griffin, who was the first African American labor representative for the retail clerks union in San Francisco. His parents were among the first interracial couples to marry in San Francisco shortly after the repeal of the City’s anti-miscegenation law in 1949.
He held a decades-long record of service to the IFPTE International, IFPTE Local 21, the larger labor movement, his community, and the Democratic Party. Brother Griffin was elected as IFPTE Western Area Vice President at the 59th Constitutional Convention in 2018 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Brother Griffin was a thirteen-year member of Local 21, serving in several leadership roles. Among his many leadership roles for Local 21 over many years, Brother Griffin served as President of the City and County of San Francisco At-Large Chapter, Local 21 Vice President for Membership, Local 21 Vice President for Political and Legislative Action, and Chair of the Strategy and Growth Committee. Brother Griffin also worked for Local 21 in the early 1990’s where he not only represented the members, but was also instrumental in organizing Local 21’s Oakland Chapters. He served in many other roles in the larger labor movement before coming to Local 21, including as a representative for SEIU Local 250.
Brother Griffin also served as President and a member of the Board of Directors of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Organization, a member of the San Francisco Fire Commission, a member of the SEIU executive board, a member of the San Francisco Jewish Relations Committee, District Coordinator at Project SAFE, a Board Member of the North of the Panhandle Neighborhood Association, and most recently served on the Rec and Parks Commission.
Brother Griffin was very active in the California and Bay Area Democratic Party, where he brought labor issues to the forefront. He was the first African American President of the California Young Democrats, and Brother Griffin worked on the campaigns of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, helping to bring them to City Hall which led to pro-worker policies for San Francisco.
City workers, including those represented by IFPTE, owe Brother Griffin a debt of gratitude. We thank him for his dedication and service to the labor movement. Larry’s immense contributions to the labor movement will live on for years to come.
Brother Larry Griffin protesting at the “Disrupt Inequality Rally” alongside IFPTE Local 21 and SEIU Local 1021 members in front of San Francisco City Hall. City workers rallied for a city where we can live and work here, and a city where corporations pay their fair share to fund public services. Shortly after this photo was taken, Brother Griffin and other protestors were arrested.