My name is Roseangela Raxon. I am a Guatemalan immigrant living in Northern Kentucky for 17 years. I am a member of the CIWC and serve on the board of directors. For me, this life is about showing passion and care for my family and finding opportunities for my family and community.
I have worked for 16 years in the janitorial industry. I was a long-time SEIU Local 1 member before taking a new management role at work where I can’t be in the union. My whole family is in the union, my husband and my daughter. To me worker organizing and community organizing are the same things. What is the strength of the union if we can not make changes in the community for everyone? That is my view. I am active with my church and that is a spiritual thing. But there are other needs, beyond the job and beyond the church. And that’s where being organized, as a working person, can make a difference.
I can tell you one story about a union member very close to my heart. My brother was facing deportation after a traffic accident. The day he was locked up the CIWC board, led by Francisco Castillo from the UFCW called for the whole organization to show up at the jail and demand my brothers release. Union members came, church leaders came and we all banged on the Sheriff’s door together. No one came out to speak with us. Together with others we ran to make signs and gathered outside the ICE office. It didn’t happen right away, but my brother was released and now is on a pathway to citizenship. To me, this is worker organizing, this is giving back. This is what it means to work for justice. And I learned it here, at CIWC where I now serve in leadership.