Center on Policy Initiatives
Bernadette is a native San Diegan and grew up in the labor movement, shouting her first bad word on a UNITE HERE Local 30 picket line at the Hotel Del Coronado at age 5, “Hotel Del Cheap as Hell!” Dedicated to the betterment of her community, she went on to complete CPI’s Students for Economic Justice Fellowship Program in 2014 while pursuing her undergraduate studies. Bernadette graduated with a bachelor’s in Political Science from Sonoma State University where she served all four years in the Associated Student Body, lobbying both at the state and local level on issues faced by students following the Great Recession.
In her current role as Political Organizer for the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters Local #230, she advocates for apprenticeship and training opportunities that create pathways to middle class careers. Since joining her union, she has doubled the women membership in her local by focusing not only on recruitment, but also retention of women in the trade. Bernadette implemented Sisters in Solidarity and an active Political Education Committee dedicated to electing pro-worker allies to local office.
Bernadette was a founding member of San Diego Coalition of Labor Union Women and served as the club’s President in the 2017-2018 term. During her tenure, she focused on educational and leadership development programs that supported women to take on positions of power in their local union. Bernadette has also overseen $4.9 billion worth of projects in her role as Chair of the Construction Sub-Committee for the San Diego Unified Bond Oversight Committee, advocating for equitable and just development throughout the city of San Diego.