The Stand

WSLC’s Kasi Perreira appointed to state Women’s Commission

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OLYMPIA (Aug. 2, 2021) — The Washington State Women’s Commission has announced the appointment of Kasi Perreira of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO as a new member of this state commission working to dismantle structural barriers facing women in Washington. She joins the commission as the 3-year term ends for Jackie Boschok, President of Washington State Alliance for Retired Americans, who was one of its nine inaugural commissioners.

With the encouragement of Boschok and other labor women across the state, Perreira was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to the commission in July. She currently serves as the WSLC’s Director of Racial and Gender Justice, is a member of the Tlingit tribe, and has more than 15 years of experience in labor organizing and championing equity in her work with the United Food and Commercial Workers. She is also a member of local AFL-CIO Constituency Groups such as the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and Coalition of Labor Union Women, and serves on the Board of Puget Sound Sage.

“I am honored to join the incredible women of the commission and have committed to bring a perspective of everyday working women, families and those we hope to impact the most,” Perreira said. “Coming from the labor movement, I will not be alone. As a union member with UFCW 21 and OPEIU 8, I will be representing not only myself, my family and ancestors, but more than 500,000 working people whose unions, worker centers and constituency groups are affiliated with the Washington State Labor Council.”

Boschok, who has served on the commission since it was created in 2018 and helped establish its mission, by-laws and original committees during her term, praised Perreira’s appointment.

“It was an extreme honor to represent working women on the inaugural Women’s Commission,” Boschok said. “There is still so much more work to do and I’m counting on Kasi to strengthen the relationship between organized labor and the commission.”

Women of all major racial and ethnic groups experience a union wage advantage with Hispanic/Latinx women seeing the greatest difference at 47% higher weekly earnings than their non-union counterparts, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. African American (28%), White (32%) and Asian (9%) see a union difference in wages as well. In addition, in states where unions are strongest, we see a lower percentage of children living in poverty and women are more likely to have employer-sponsored health insurance. For example, women working in union jobs in Washington state have a 14 percent greater likelihood of health insurance, according to the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center.

Also appointed in July to serve on the Women’s Commission was Christina Kobdish, Director of Planning and Development at Unity Care NW, where she leads efforts identifying and working to meet community needs for vulnerable populations. Commissioner Dawn Rains, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy & Strategy Officer at Treehouse, an organization addressing academic and other essentials for children and youth in foster care, was appointed to a second term.

“We are excited and grateful to have these dedicated and accomplished women join us in the important work of improving the lives of women and girls in Washington state,” Regina Malveaux, Director of the Women’s Commission. “Their experience and perspectives in serving and empowering under-resourced populations will be invaluable in the work going forward of ensuring that every woman and girl in our state is healthy, safe, and empowered to achieve their full potential.”

The Women’s Commission, created by the Washington State Legislature in 2018, aims to improve the well-being of women by identifying and developing policies to remove systemic barriers and address critical issues that disproportionately impact women, including child care access and affordability, domestic and gender-based violence, equal pay, and intersectional inequities.

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