María Elena Durazo announced today that she will leave the LA County Federation of Labor, which she has led for more than eight years.
“I feel that the Los Angeles labor movement is very strong, very progressive, very proactive,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Altogether, we have accomplished a lot. And there is a passion I have always had for immigration and civil rights. So I have the opportunity to do this and completely focus on those issues.”
Durazo will take a new post as international vice-president for immigration, civil rights and diversity at UNITE HERE, whose Los Angeles-based Local 11 she led before joining the County Fed.
We all learn many important lessons from our parents. One lesson that I learned from my father was this: If you cut through a pipeline that’s carrying raw sewage you should be really, really sure that it’s not under pressure before you start. Unfortunately, this was something I discovered through actual observation when my father tried to fix our septic system and was sprayed down with a putrid stream of human waste as a reward for his efforts.
This is the type of home repair that I, now an Angeleno, never need to make on my own. Because I am currently a fancy city-dweller, I no longer have to take my trash to the dump, fix potholes in the road or do all of the other chores that are part of everyday country life but are magically taken care of when one lives in the city.
Not only do I get to avoid these day-to-day chores,
After growing up in L.A., I got used to hearing my hometown disparaged as superficial, anti-intellectual, not a “real” city, celebrity obsessed, etc. etc. It was shocking to me that Los Angeles could be so easily dismissed by people who hadn’t even visited here and seen how great a place it really is. Even deep thinkers from Northern California looked (and still look) down on our town from the ivory towers of San Francisco and Berkeley, as if Southern California doesn’t represent the majority of the people in our state and most of its social and political energy.
And we Angelenos, rather than defend our town, have often accepted the judgment of others – that L.A. isn’t a serious place, doesn’t produce important scholarship, and is well behind the intelligence curve.
Well, if you need a boost to your hometown ego, spend some time at the Hammer Museum’s new show Made in L.A.,