Contra Costa Holiday Party Wrap-Up

Thank you for celebrating with us at the 2018 Contra Costa County Holiday Party!

Over 200 members attended the celebration, one of the best turnouts in chapter history! This year, the party doubled as our official contract celebration due to huge gains made by the 9-union Healthcare Coalition. 


In addition to Local 21 members and their guests, we welcomed representatives from the 9-Union Bargaining Team; Supervisors John Gioia, Karen Mitchoff, and Diane Burgis; Local 21 President Gus Vallejo and Executive Director Debra Grabelle; and Local 21 staff members from our Martinez and San Francisco offices.


Supervisors Gioia and Mitchoff spoke about the importance of unions working together and  highlighted the history of unions in Contra Costa County.


Sue Guest and Gabe Lemus delivered an incredible “State of the Union” address reviewing our achievements in 2018, including how we wielded our power all the way to the bargaining table.

Local 21 Executive Director Debra Grabelle gave an inspired keynote speech highlighting how the Union can play a role in the state and national debate over healthcare access for all.


14 Local 21 members received awards for their Outstanding Union Activism.


This year's awardees included Amrita Kaur (EHSD), Marc Miyashiro (Health Services, IT), Joy Belleza (Health Services, CCRMC), John Hurlbut (Assessor), Nancy Benavides (Health Services, Public Health), Cristina Co-Fernandez (Health Services, Finance), Scott Hutchinson (Sheriff), Tom Susic (Public Works), Wanda Larangiera (Public Works), Lisa Santini (Health Services, IT) Doug Gorman (Risk Management), Ayore Riaunda (Health Services, Finance), Laura Cremin (Public Works), and Ziba Rahimzadeh (Health Services, Behavioral Health).


Local 21 also awarded the eight Coalition Unions with Solidarity Awards to recognize their work in the healthcare and bargaining coalition, which is just the beginning of a more networked and powerful labor movement in Contra Costa County.

In turn, AFSCME bargaining partners Larry Hendel and Stacie Hinton presented Contra Costa Lead Rep. Sean Stalbaum with a surprise “MVP” award on behalf of the Union Coalition.


All in all, it was a lovely night full of delicious food, great raffle prices, and merriment.

We have a lot to celebrate after an amazingly successful year!  From our ongoing Gold Card campaign fighting “Right-to-Work” (for less) to reaching a record 93% membership - critical organizing that led directly into our successful healthcare and contract campaign - we could not have done it without you!

We wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year and look forward to continuing our Union Strength in 2019 and beyond!

Special thanks to the Holiday Party Planning Committee: Durae Sheppard, Darneesha Polee, and Sue Guest.