Black history is inseparable from the history of the labor movement and the history of SEIU Local 721. From the beginning, the fight for worker rights in the United States has been led, shaped and won by Black activists – from household names, to influential labor, civic and religious leaders, to millions of every day people determined to secure their rights. This Black History Month, we’ll be spotlighting some of those who have made SEIU Local 721 the leader in the fight for economic and racial justice that it is today.
City of Los Angeles Wastewater Collection Worker II Simboa Wright has been a member of SEIU 721 for more than 20 years and in 2022, he was elected to serve as our Vice President.
It’s a role he was seemingly born to take on.
From his birth in MLK Jr. Hospital, to childhood years in the LA County foster system, to teenage years as a member of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, SEIU members have been a constant presence in his life. At every step of the way, SEIU members were there to support and shape his journey – setting him up for a life of success.
If Simboa’s story with SEIU ended when he reached adulthood, that alone would be a testament to the millions of lives that are changed and improved through the work of SEIU members.
Of course, he didn’t stop there. Simboa joined LA Sanitation in his early twenties and has spent the two decades since fighting for our community and our union.
As a steward and executive board member, Simboa has led the charge for safety and fairness at our worksites and contracts that honor the work that we do. When the time comes to stand up to injustice, Simboa is always at the front of the line, ready to confront the powerful on behalf of everyday people.
Through his role with our union, Simboa has championed groundbreaking changes in California to uplift our community, including the $15 minimum wage, the Targeted Local Hire program and 1,000 Strong, a labor-led project that helps Black workers find jobs with public works, and other programs designed to help underserved groups access good jobs and higher education.
He’s also a board member of the LA Conservation Corps, where he first got involved with civil service as a teenager.
Beyond his many accomplishments, Simboa is a positive, accessible and selfless leader, who’s always willing to do whatever it takes in service of SEIU 721 members.