Lola Smallwood-Cuevas

Office Seeking:  California State Senate District 28

General Election: November 8th, 2022

Provided Biography

Lola Smallwood-Cuevas is an educator, labor organizer, and community advocate running to represent California’s 28th Senate District. Raised by a single mother who worked as a home care worker, CNA and then registered nurse, Lola has lived experience of being from a working family who moved to California in search of better education, good union jobs, and a pathway to self-sufficiency.

After graduating from California State University at Hayward, Lola started her career in journalism. Lola’s first union membership was with the Newspaper Guild, where she documented the lives and societal interests of working families. Lola moved on to serve as a researcher and political and community organizer with SEIU Local 1877. As a wife and mother of two, Lola worked to change the tangible conditions of working families for both the SEIU membership and her South Los Angeles Community.

Lola saw the vast disparities in union membership and skilled labor opportunities in the Black community throughout her career as a labor organizer and decided to take action. She

co-founded the LA Black Worker Center, where she works to increase access to quality jobs, reduce employment discrimination, and improve industries that employ Black workers through action and unionization.Coing the term Black worker center, the LABWC went on to be a model for the emerging National Black Worker Center Network. Lola currently serves as a Project Director at the UCLA Labor Center, where she directs the Center for the Advancement of Racial Equity at Work project. She is nationally recognized by former President Barack Obama and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. She currently serves as the treasurer of the Los Angeles County Workforce Development Board, and holds various leadership positions within civic organizations.

Lola’s personal and professional goals have always been centered in making California work for vulnerable workers. Her leadership and professional experience have shaped her understanding of politics, public policy, and how to adapt systems change for the betterment of all Californians.

As the leading candidate for Senate District 28, Lola is committed to putting worker dignity, racial equity, safety, and justice first. Lola understands the needs of working communities during the pandemic, and will work toward equitable recovery and long-term solutions to the housing crisis, affordable and accessible healthcare and higher education, equitably funded school districts, protecting workers rights, particularly the right to collectively bargain, and a greenerand cleaner environment for vibrant communities.

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