For 20 years, Yvonne Walker has dedicated her life to serving the people of California through public service. Yvonne began working for the State of California at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1995 as a legal secretary. She soon became a union steward and led efforts to organize her coworkers at the DOJ. Before becoming president of Local 1000, Yvonne chaired our office and allied workers Bargaining team (Unit 4) and was later Vice President for bargaining statewide. In May of 2008, Yvonne Walker broke racial and gender barriers to become the first African-American woman president of SEIU Local 1000. Currently, President Walker is also a Vice President on SEIU International’s Executive Board.
Yvonne developed her leadership skills in the U.S. Marine Corps where she learned the importance of discipline, dedication and unity of purpose. As President of Local 1000, she has put those leadership qualities to use by empowering Local 1000’s membership to get involved in the fight for economic and social justice. Her efforts have given Local 1000 a stronger collective voice in its fight to defend working families from assaults on their pensions, wages and benefits, and health care.
Yvonne has not only led the battle for fair wages and benefits for state workers in California, her impact as a problem solver and innovative thinker has made her a highly sought after participant in conversations about how to move ideas into action all over the globe. She has participated on boards as varied as the SEIU International Futures Committee, which assembles the most innovative minds in the world to talk about their visions for the future and strategies to get there, and SEIU’s International Retirement Security Committee, which she chairs. This body has given presentations on retirement security across the country and has provided information to, and has collaborated with, numerous organizations fighting for retirement security. Yvonne also currently sits on California’s Secure Choice Retirement Investment Board.
Through it all, Yvonne has always been on the front lines fighting with and for low-wage workers in both the private and public sectors. Her leadership has won her awards from organizations like Coalition of Labor Women and has won her the trust of the 95,000 thousand members of Local 1000, whom she represents.
Yvonne grew up in a military family in Oceanside, California. Today she resides in Elk Grove, California.