Rena is a member and Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 663
Rena is originally from California and is Chinese American by way of Mexico. Her father was a restaurant worker and mother a domestic worker. They performed hard, low waged work and their jobs had no union representation. Rena's family had no health insurance, retirement savings, or anything else. She attended UCLA on scholarship when the Justice for Janitors strike took place in Los Angeles in 2000. That fight by low wage workers (so much like her parents) to be visible and for a dignified living wage inspired Rena to join the labor movement. Against all odds, those workers dared to fight and hope—and they WON. It was Rena’s first glimpse of what is possible when workers organize to build power. After graduating in 2001, Rena became an organizer and have worked in Labor ever since. She started with AFSCME in San Francisco, and helped to rebuild a Local over two years and prepared members for a contract fight. Rena joined SEIU in 2004 after moving to Minnesota and was part of the Property Services Division, organizing thousands of subcontracted food, laundry, and janitorial workers like those that first inspired her. Now with UFCW Local 663, Rena’s goal is to build power for workers to set standards in our union’s core industries. By activating our members, organizing non-union workers and partnering with: other unions, faith groups and community organizations we can improve the lives of all workers across our society.