Rebeca Armendariz

Class of 2016
Region 1

I am a mother, a Chicana, a 2nd generation activist and a wife. I was raised in a household that epitomized the dichotomy of the Chicano experience. My Mom, a hard working legal secretary, community organizer, and devout Catholic, was mentored by the liberation-theology-embracing priest- Father James McEntee. My father was a brilliant and funny modern day social bandit, self-educated on Marxist-Leninist theory while in the state penal system, who thoroughly enjoyed reading, committing crimes and doing heroin.
My Mom raised me on the picket line, carting me to meetings from a young age. My Dad lectured us on political theory, religion, psychology, prison gang dynamics, etc.
In order to help my Mom, I gave up my dream of going off to college and instead worked, attended Gavilan College, and continued to be a student/community activist. Some of my work was highlighted in the documentary “Beca de Gilas: Rebeca’s Story” by San Francisco film maker Pepe Urquijo.
I worked for local non-profit MACSA for six years. I then led the effort to organize MACSA to have Union representation. We won. I was then asked to work for SEIU and I accepted.
I stayed with SEIU Local 715/521 for ten years. Unfortunately, despite my demonstrated commitment, hard work and successful campaigns, I wasn’t promoted, so I left. I am now a Community/Political Organizer with SEIU-USWW. I am involved with grass roots, labor and electoral politics. I ran for Gilroy City Council in 2012, but I made some mistakes and didn’t win. I have learned from those mistakes and look forward to running again.

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