AFT Mourns Loss of Labor Leader John Delloro

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AFT member and well-known labor and immigrant rights leader John Delloro died unexpectedly on June 5, after suffering a heart attack. He was 39.

Delloro was president of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and had been executive director of the Dolores Huerta Labor Institute in Los Angeles since 2006. Under his leadership, the program strengthened labor studies on all nine campuses of the Los Angeles Community College District, where Delloro was a member of the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild. With his infectious enthusiasm and organizing dedication, he introduced thousands of community college students to unions and mentored up-and-coming leaders. Since 2007, he also taught Asian American studies at the University of California-Los Angeles.

In 2009, Delloro was elected to serve as president of APALA. Prior to his election, he served as president of the Los Angeles chapter of APALA and was an organizer for HERE, AFSCME and SEIU. During his tenure at APALA, the AFL-CIO convened the first National Asian Pacific American Workers' Rights Hearing in Washington D.C., in November 2009. Following the hearing, Delloro was a principal author of "Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence," a report from the hearing. Also that year, he received the Unsung Hero Award from Asian Pacific Americans for Progress.

"Delloro's passion for serving working people and advancing civil rights spanned nearly two decades," says AFT president Randi Weingarten. "His many exceptional contributions—as an organizer, advocate, activist, teacher, mentor and leader—are especially remarkable in light of his young age. We are hopeful that his incredible accomplishments will live on and that his legacy will inspire other young leaders to follow in his footsteps."

"John Delloro touched the lives of many," says Kent Wong, a member of University Council-AFT at UCLA and APALA's founding president. "He will be remembered for his compassion, his generosity of spirit and for his visionary leadership."

John Delloro is survived by his wife, Susan Suh, a sociologist and community activist, and their two young children, Mina and Malcolm. [Barbara McKenna, AFL-CIO, APALA]

June 8, 2010