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Graciela Nuñez Pargas joins WSLC as Legislative Intern

OLYMPIA (Jan. 3, 2018) — Meet Graciela Nuñez Pargas, the Washington State Labor Council’s Legislative Intern for the 2018 session.

“I am so excited to join the Labor Council team in Olympia,” she said. “This year’s session will be critical for the development and passage of inclusive policies addressing health care and wage inequity in Washington state.”

Graciela grew up in the historic Little Havana neighborhood in Miami, where her family arrived to the United States from Venezuela when she was 7 years old. The experience of growing up alongside Cuban refugees and Latin American immigrants made her aware that the issues present in these communities were ignored by local and state government officials. Lacking any exposure to labor unions, and living in “right to work” (for less) state, Graciela remembers how her parents and friends fell victim to wage theft, workplace discrimination, and unpaid overtime.

After moving from Florida to Washington state, due to the increased nativist, anti-immigration policies and raids, she began to understand the immense racial divide in the United States, which are often systemic and institutional barriers to true shared prosperity.

Graciela has worked alongside the labor movement, as it intersects with community on issues of social change and justice, through immigration reform, public education, and affordable, accessible health care options. She believes that labor is central to fighting against the exploitation of workers, and serves as a catalyst for social change.

At the University of Washington – Seattle, Graciela coordinated an undocumented student support group, Purple Group, which focused on increasing retention and graduation rates of undocumented students. She conducted research on voting rights, criminal justice reform, immigration policy, and was selected to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Congressional Internship program, spending time researching healthcare policy for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.)

Graciela is a Political Science graduate from the University of Washington, got her first experience of Olympia politics by staffing the Racial Equity Team, chaired by Bernal Baca of AFT Washington, and supported by WSLC. Graciela brings a deep commitment to workers’ rights, grassroots action and has a fighting passion for civil and human rights.

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