Prior to being elected Executive Vice President of SEIU in May 2016, Luisa Blue served on the SEIU International Executive Board from 2012- 2016. She has dedicated the last four decades of her life to organizing and advocating for workers’ rights through the union. As a union leader, she has been at the forefront of making racial and immigrant justice a priority for the union.
Luisa Blue is one of the highest-ranking Asian Pacific Islander (API) union leaders in the nation. She believes that everyone deserves access to a better future and that we must ensure that families are not torn apart because of a broken immigration system, that everyone deserves a fair wage, and that our justice system can no longer penalize people based on the color of their skin. From serving on various committees to rallying with members, Blue continues to lead the fight for workers’ rights, civil rights and economic justice.
Blue was recognized in 2015 at the national Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance convention, where she was awarded the Philip Vera Cruz Organizing Award, and was recognized by the Filipina Women’s Network as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipinas in the World because of her commitment to racial, immigrant and civil rights and her work at SEIU.
Blue began her career with SEIU as an organizer for the SEIU Healthcare Division organizing RNs and healthcare workers throughout the United States in 1990. Four years later, Blue was asked to help lead the SEIU Nurse Alliance in its historic “safe staffing” campaign, which led to California becoming the first and only state to legislate nurse-to-patient ratio standards for acute care hospitals in the country.
In 1977 when she worked as an RN at San Francisco General Hospital, Blue became a member of Local 400 and in 1982 was elected president of the Local after she helped organize a successful campaign that improved collective bargaining rights for county registered nurses. She was an outspoken advocate for compassionate care of patients with AIDS/HIV in the early 1980s, successfully campaigning for AIDS/HIV education for healthcare workers.
Since 2016 Blue served as a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International Executive Vice President. During this time, she worked on the SEIU Asian Pacific Islander Civic Engagement and Leadership Program. Responsible for developing the program internally in SEIU and with API Community allies nationally and joint SEIU projects in targeted areas in the US and Toronto, Canada; re-established and guided the work of the SEIU Asian Pacific Caucus officers and Board. She chaired the SEIU Environmental Justice Committee. Worked with SEIU Environmental staff and committee members on continuing the Union’s Environmental Justice program that included policy discussions (the Green New Deal and other issues; educational workshops for SEIU elected leaders and member leaders; expanding relationships with Environmental Justice organization and building coalitions in common goals. She chaired the SEIU Ethical Culture Committee. Worked with SEIU Ethic ombudsperson and Committee members and local union ethics liaisons on policies related to ethics; updating SEIU Ethics trainings and educational forums.