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UDW President Editha Adams steps down

Celebrating nearly two decades of service to UDW members and the Californians in our care

Editha Adams, who served our union in elected leadership positions for over 18 years, has stepped down as President of UDW as of December 31, 2023 to join UDW’s staff and work to strengthen and grow our union full-time.

Editha, who joined UDW in 2006 and quickly rose through the ranks to be elected the San Diego Chapter Chair, cares for her now-adult daughter Ellis through the IHSS program.

“My first involvement with UDW was when the San Diego Public Authority dropped 2,000 home care workers from their medical and dental insurance,” Editha recalls. “My face was so swollen from a dental infection due to not having dental coverage. I walked into the UDW office, met with one of the organizers, and immediately volunteered to do phone-banking. I got over 50 members out to that BOS rally, and we won our rights back!”

Editha has been a mainstay of our union ever since, participating in and leading UDW members to historic and extraordinary victories like paid sick leave, IHSS timesheet and paycheck reform, a $15 statewide minimum wage, and overtime pay for IHSS providers for the first time in history.

“My family members were involved in unions in the 1970s and 80s in Los Angeles,” she says. “But I was the first woman in my family to take a role in leadership. My family was surprised, but with the support of UDW staff and my fellow UDW members I quickly learned how to be the leader I am today.”

Her presidency hasn’t just been about big victories, it’s also about the small and meaningful things, too: like the food pantry she helped setup in the old UDW office on 5th Ave., and saving money for San Diego members by getting resources from SDG&E to help with gas and electric bills.

Editha’s new role at UDW will allow her to continue in that spirit by promoting the local UDW councils, which she helped to create, and working to expand the many union resources that help UDW members thrive. She’ll also be focused on our union’s partnerships and coalitions with organizations like the Pilipino Workers Center, Hand in Hand, Caring Across Generations, and the California Alliance for Retired Americans.

“I’m going to miss sitting on the executive board and attending our quarterly meetings, and hanging out with my UDW family at conventions, collecting and exchanging pins,” she admits. “But I’m so excited for this next chapter, and happy that I’ll be able to pursue my love of organizing and supporting UDW members.”

When asked if she has any advice for the future leaders of our union, Editha said:

“Be honest, be confident, and be yourself. Listen to each other and give everyone the opportunity to speak for themselves. It will take time and patience, but it’s so worth it. And always seek help from others when you need it.”

Thank you, Editha, for your nearly 20 years of service to our union. Here’s to 20 more!