Elizabeth “Liz” Shuler became the first woman ever elected Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO when she was voted into office by acclamation at the Federation’s 26th convention on September 16, 2009. Ms. Shuler also became the youngest officer ever elected, rising through the ranks from her first union position in Local 125 of the IBEW in Portland, Oregon.
Shuler lives with her husband David Herbst in Washington DC.
Liz Shuler is active with many women’s causes. She is a member of the boards of the Women’s Campaign Fund, a bipartisan fundraising organization that aims to boost the number of women holding public office, and Women’s Policy, Inc., the caucus organization for women members of Congress. For several years she volunteered with the International Women’s Democracy Center, an organization that sponsors mentoring programs encouraging women to run for office and "seek change in countries overseas".
She has been active with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, which brings emerging leaders under age 40 to the United States, a program to which "Liz has succeeded in building a stronger labor component."
Writing with Donna DeWitt
In December 2009 Liz Shuler of the AFL-CIO and Donna DeWitt, Chair of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, Co-chair of the SC Progressive Network and a member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, co-wrote an article for the The Sun News, "Young people need good jobs now".
2009 Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance hearing
On November 13, 2009, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance convened the first National Asian Pacific American Worker’s Rights Hearing, a historic gathering of over 200 APA trade unionists and community allies. The hearing was convened in the Samuel Gompers room of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington D.C. APAs nationwide spoke about challenges they faced in exercising their right to organize including employer intimidation, immigrant worker exploitation, health and safety violations, wage theft and union suppression – while also highlighting the strategies that individual workers and unions have developed in the fight for worker solidarity and economic justice
These worker testimonies, policy solutions, and additional research were presented in APALA's groundbreaking report, Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence, which was published in 2010.
Over 200 people from across the country attended this historic hearing.
The hearing was co-convened by APALA and the AFL-CIO, in partnership with over 20 national and local organizations, to provide the first national platform for APA workers focused on the right to organize and the rights of immigrant workers.
Hearing panelists included:
- Congresswoman Judy Chu
- AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler
- Special Assistant to the Secretary of Labor Mary Beth Maxwell
- APALA President John Delloro
- Jobs with Justice Executive Director Sarita Gupta
- UCLA Labor Center Director Kent Wong
- University of Maryland - Asian American Studies Department Director Larry Shinagawa
- United States Student Association President (at the time of the hearing) Gregory Cendana
Demos 10th anniversary honor
On Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, Demos, a national, non-partisan public policy organization, honored TARP Oversight Committee Chair Elizabeth Warren, PBS Host Tavis Smiley and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler at its 10th anniversary celebration in New York City.
Labor, the Left, and Progressives in the Obama Era
April 6, 2010 at the McShain Lounge in McCarthy Hall Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. a seminar "Labor, the Left, and Progressives in the Obama Era" was held.
- After the success of health care reform, what’s next on labor’s agenda? How can the labor movement grow and engage with a progressive movement that speaks to the Obama era? What is the role of younger workers, workers of color, and women? Is there a new “New Deal” on the horizon?
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, Christopher Hayes, Washington editor of the Nation, Gerry Hudson, executive vice-president of the SEIU, Michael Kazin, co-editor of Dissent, Harold Meyerson, columnist for the Washington Post, and Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO will speak.
The event was sponsored by Dissent magazine.
2011 YDS Winter Conference
On the weekend of March 18th-20th, 2011, the Young Democratic Socialists held their annual Winter outreach conference "Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession". Cornel West "will be the featured speaker on Saturday the 19th, and we will also host John Nichols, Bertha Lewis, Mark Engler, and Dan Cantor from the Working Families Party.
Other listed speakers included Komozi Woodard, Corey Walker, Fabricio Rodriguez, Christian Parenti, Stephanie Fairyington, Christine Kelly, Sheila Collins, Billy Wharton, Liz Shuler, Martin Weinstein, Michelle O'Brien, Skip Roberts, Joseph Schwartz.
Panels on race, the environment, organizing, and other topics will allow participants to learn from and communicate with fellow activists on some of the most important domestic and international issues. The event is perfect for both newcomers to Democratic Socialism/YDS, as well as activist veterans.
Add your name to the list here and you'll be notified when online registration goes live. Invite all your friends!
Location, Bayard Rustin High School 351 W 18th St New York, NY 10011.
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
In Oakland, California, hundreds of workers, youth, and activists rose to their feet to welcome Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis who opened the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s 3-day 11th biennial convention on July 22, 2011. Solis spoke of the employment crisis and the recovery of back wages for victims of wage theft, and was met with a standing ovation for her strong support for the DREAM Act. The convention’s lineup of speakers also included AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders, and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry.
In accordance with the theme, "Generations United: Our Jobs, Our Rights, Our Future!" the convention successfully outreached to 200 young leaders. Fiery testimonials were given by student activists and DREAMers Ju Hong and David Cho, as well as Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who all shared their experience as undocumented immigrants and highlighted immigration as a key issue in the APA labor movement.
APALA honored labor and community leaders during the sold-out gala dinner, and the grand ballroom was at-capacity with over twenty APA elected officials including Congressman Mike Honda, Mayor Jean Quan and State Controller John Chiang joining convention goers for a reception and dinner Saturday evening.
- APALA website, National APA Worker’s Rights Hearing
- Demos newsroom, May 10, 2010, Elizabeth Warren, TARP Oversight Chair, Among Honorees at Demos 10th Anniversary Celebration
- YDS website, Spring Conference, Their Crisis, Our Pain: The Democratic Socialist Response to the Great Recession, accessed Feb. 23, 2011
- 2011-convention.html, APALA 2011 Convention, July 28, 2011 Caroline Fan