Kimberly Alvarenga (she/her/ella) is the Director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition (CDWC), which advances the rights and dignity of immigrant women workers through legislative advocacy, grassroots organizing, and leadership development. Founded in 2006, CDWC is the leading voice for the more than 300,000 domestic workers in California. Over two million private households in California rely on the labor and services of domestic workers, such as housecleaners, nannies, and in-home attendants to seniors and people with disabilities. This workforce is comprised primarily of immigrant women of color, and many are the primary breadwinners for their families. For decades, CDWC has led campaigns to correct the history of domestic workers’ exclusion from basic labor protections, resulting in victories to extend overtime protections to personal attendants in California and an ordinance to provide paid sick leave for domestic workers in San Francisco.
Kimberly became Director of CDWC in 2017 and is a longtime champion of worker rights, with over twenty years of experience growing the economic and political power of underrepresented communities. She is the daughter of an immigrant domestic worker and grew up witnessing how hard her mother worked to create a better life for her family. Kimberly’s mother did not have an opportunity to be part of a domestic workers’ movement and Kimberly is motivated to ensure that other women have that opportunity. In previous roles, she served as Director of Economic Justice & Human Rights at the Women of Color Resource Center, District Director for California Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, and Political Director for Service Employees International Union Local 1021 in Northern California.
The COVID-19 pandemic was an especially difficult time for domestic workers. Despite the challenges, CDWC led numerous local and state victories to improve the health and wellbeing of their community. “Now is a good time to take a sabbatical so that I can be fully present in the work and ready to help lead our organization into the next phase of vision,” Kimberly says.
By investing in herself, Kimberly hopes to model the importance of staying grounded to your core values. As Kimberly says, “that is how we will grow a movement that is rooted in love, joy, and dignity.”