APALA builds AAPI solidarity, strength

At Seattle convention, Washington’s own Ligaya Domingo elected to serve as APALA President


SEATTLE (Aug. 9, 2023) — The 17th Biennial Convention of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO in Seattle adjourned Sunday after four incredible days of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers joining together to build a stronger APALA and a stronger labor movement.

APALA delegates from around the country heard from multiple distinguished labor leaders and elected officials, including National Education Association President Becky Pringle, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), and April Sims, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO (pictured at right).

“Many more working people are finding their home in our movement,” Sims said. “It’s a movement based on collective action, unwavering solidarity, and radical acts of love. Through our work together, and over this convention, we can ensure that working people seeking justice can always find a home within organized labor.”

In addition to convention business, APALA delegates joined labor actions in Seattle. Many showed their solidarity at an informational picket in support of UNITE HERE Local 8 members at Embassy Suites hotel on Aug. 4.

“It was an honor to serve as the National President of APALA,” said outgoing APALA President Steven Moy of IBEW Local 3 in New York. “I would like to thank the extraordinary labor leaders from around the country whom I had the honor to serve with on the National Executive Board. I would also like to thank my fellow National Officers and the credit to my success as president is owed to them. Lastly, I thank all who attended and supported such a fantastic convention and hope to see everyone again at our 18th Biennial Convention in 2025.”

At the convention, elections were held for APALA’s 10 At-Large Vice President positions and the five officer positions were seated by acclamation for 2023-25 terms.

Washington’s own Ligaya Domingo of SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, who also serves as a Vice President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, was elected APALA’s new President.

“We have to lead into the future with thoughtfulness, humanity, love, but also an understanding that we must build power for the working class,” Domingo said. “We must be strategic, diligent, consistent and collective.”

She added:

“Over the next two years, we will build stronger more robust chapters across the country through which we will help to organize the unorganized, support workers going on strike and taking a stand for the dignity and respect that they deserve, register and engage AAPI voters who will elect champions of AAPI workers and communities. We will strengthen and grow our individual and collective leadership, and we will fundraise so that we have the resources we need to do all of this.”

Other 2023-2025 National Officers are 1st Vice President Steven Moy (IBEW, New York), 2nd Vice President Emily Reyes (AFT, Los Angeles), Secretary Mikayla Vu (UAW, Massachusetts) and Treasurer Seung Lee (UFT-AFT, New York).

The 10 at-large Vice Presidents elected include two other Washington state labor leaders: Levin Kim, President of UAW 4121, the union of Academic Student Employees and Postdocs at the University of Washington; and former WSLC Director of Racial and Gender Justice Kasi Marita Perreira (AFT, New Jersey).

The remaining at-large Vice Presidents are Angie Nguyen (UDW/AFSCME, Orange County), Mary Lindie Entoma (UNITE HERE, Los Angeles), Tevita Uhatafe (TWU, Texas), Trang Pham (UDW/AFSCME, San Diego), Annawa Naing (UFT-AFT, New York), Tarn Goelling (IBEW, DC), Marlan Maralit (AAUP/AFT, DC), and Jillian Matundan (AFSCME, DC).

Also serving on the APALA National Board are Eunice How (UNITE HERE), Jason Chan (IAM), and the Seattle chapter appointees: Ligaya Domingo, Tracy Lai, and Gabby Ibanez-Dacruz. At the convention, Lai received the Philip Vera Cruz Lifetime Achievement Award and Chan was awarded the Art Takei Leadership Award. Seattle chapter staff lead organizer Amy Leong and fellow Paul Ryan Villanueva were recognized for playing key roles in the convention’s success.

Founded in 1992, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO, is the first and only national organization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers. Backed with strong support of the AFL-CIO, APALA has more than 20 chapters and pre-chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.

Sign up or renew your annual APALA membership today! General membership costs $35. Student and retiree memberships are $15. Lifetime Warrior membership is $1,000.  Membership can be purchased online or checks may be sent to: APALA, P.O. Box 84269, Seattle, WA, 98124. You can become a “Lifetime Warrior” here or simply donate to APALA here to support APALA and ensure we can continue to build AAPI worker power.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to APALA organizer Amy Leong via email at

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