For more than 20 years, Arnulfo De La Cruz has worked in the labor movement to give voice to long-term care providers, hospital workers, janitors and public employees across multiple states including California, Texas, as well as Washington D.C.
Elected as one of the founding Executive Vice Presidents of SEIU 2015, Arnulfo proved time and time again that fighting for civil rights and social and economic justice in California is in his blood. It dates back to his grandmother Jessie De La Cruz, who was one of the first female leaders of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW). Arnulfo was born in Oxnard, California during a strike of lemon workers, when both of his parents were organizers for UFW.
A hallmark of Arnulfo’s career is his commitment to what SEIU 2015 members like to call “Democracy for All!” For too long, our Black, Brown and immigrant communities have historically been disenfranchised in our electoral process in this country. That’s why in 2009, Arnulfo launched and led Mi Familia Vota California, a national non-profit working to unite the Latino community and its allies to promote social and economic justice through increased civic participation. During his tenure at MFVCA, Arnulfo led efforts to expand the Latino and youth electorate through large scale citizenship, voter
registration, census education, and “GOTV” efforts (“get out the vote!”), resulting in thousands of newly registered and active citizens across California.
As Director of SEIU’s Immigrant Justice Campaign, Arnulfo directed the international union’s efforts to secure comprehensive immigration reform that respects the contributions of immigrants, rebuilds our nation’s economy, secures equal labor and civil rights protections for workers and provides a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented workers in our country.
It’s with this same passion that Arnulfo served as an Executive Vice President of Local 2015 from 2015 to January 2023, when he was sworn in as President of SEIU 2015. That same month, Arnulfo was also sworn in as a Vice President of SEIU International.
In all his years of leadership, his overpowering commitment to ensuring justice for all remained front and center. When the landmark 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision to protect the DACA program was announced, Arnulfo worked to elevate 2015 members’ voices with the press and on social media to highlight the significant impact the DACA decision had on thousands of care providers and other workers in California.
More recently, in 2022, Arnulfo again showed his commitment to full inclusion in elections and protecting voting rights. During that year’s general elections, he was instrumental in the union’s efforts to help members elect women of color up and down California, including L.A. Mayor Karen Bass, Assemblymember Liz Ortega, Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas, Senator Aisha Wahab and more—as well as Measure ULA, the groundbreaking homelessness and affordable housing measure in the city of Los Angeles. Arnulfo also helped lead the union in fighting off recalls of California Governor Gavin Newsom and L.A. District Attorney George Gascón.
Arnulfo is a graduate of Wheaton College and was awarded a highly competitive
Fulbright Scholarship to work and study Economics in Mexico. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.