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Assemblywoman Luz Rivas Honors SEIU-USWW Political Organizers Veronica De Lara and Joana Reyes as Women of the Year

For immediate release:

Women of the Year 2024

ARLETA—Today, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley) honored Veronica De Lara, Senior Political Organizer, and Joana Reyes, Political Organizer for SEIU—United Service Workers West (SEIU-USWW), as Women of the Year.

"It is a privilege to formally recognize Veronica De Lara and Joana Reyes as Assembly District 43's Women of the Year. These distinguished women from the East San Fernando Valley have dedicated themselves to uplifting the vulnerable and underserved in their community. During my time in the California State Assembly, I have seen their personal and professional growth as young leaders and their strong commitment to advancing the working conditions for women and vulnerable workers. I look forward to their continued positive impact in our community for years to come," said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas.

Veronica De Lara and Assemblywoman Luz Rivas

"I am honored to have been selected as one of the following 2024 Woman of the Year for Assembly District 43. I am pleased to accept this honor as a champion for labor rights. As a strong leader for working families, I believe it's important that we uplift workers, improve working conditions, and fight for livable wages for all. I am a fierce advocate for women because, as a Latina and the eldest daughter of immigrant parents, I know the struggles of being a woman in a space dominated by men. I will continue to fight for gender equality and equal pay. I want to thank the women who paved the path for other women. Thank you, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas," said Veronica De Lara.

Veronica De Lara is a community leader born and raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley (SFV). She is the eldest daughter of immigrant parents and is proud of her Mexican and Guatemalan roots. She has over ten years of experience working in the public sector alongside community members at the grassroots level. Veronica is a Senior Political Organizer at SEIU-USWW, where she strongly advocates for working families. She has spearheaded SEIU-USWW's environmental justice campaign, which aims to prioritize airport workers' rights and fights for environmental protections at the intersection of the labor and environmental justice movements. Veronica is deeply involved in the community. She serves as a long-time member of the Cesar Chavez Commemorative Committee of the SFV, on the Board of Directors for Alcohol Justice and Pueblo y Salud, Inc., and previously served as the Vice President of the Arleta Neighborhood Council.

Joana Reyes and Assemblywoman Luz Rivas

"I am honored to have been selected as one of the 2024 Woman of the Year for Assembly District 43. I am pleased to accept this honor as a champion for immigrant rights and working families. As the daughter of immigrants, it is my duty to continue my work to safeguard the dignity of migrants and workers. I am a fierce advocate for women and have been strongly dedicated to improving the community I grew up in. I look forward to continuing my efforts in community engagement and thank Assemblywoman Luz Rivas for this special recognition" stated Joana Reyes.

Joana Reyes is a proud advocate born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and is the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants. Joana is a Political Organizer at SEIU-USWW, advocating for janitors, airport workers, security guards, and allied entertainment workers. She also champions federal, state, and regional immigrant rights policy. She was formerly the Policy Manager at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN-LA). She serves on the Board of New Directions for Youth, which provides direct services and programs to youth and their families throughout the San Fernando Valley. 

Assemblywoman Luz Rivas hosted a district reception honoring these two incredible individuals and presented Veronica and Joanna with resolutions to commemorate their advocacy and contributions to the San Fernando Valley.


Assemblywoman Luz Rivas proudly represents the 43rd Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles communities of Arleta, Lake View Terrace, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, Sun Valley, Sylmar, North Hollywood, Valley Glen, and the City of San Fernando.