April Sims (she/her) was elected President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO by its affiliated unions in October 2022 and was sworn in to begin her four-year term in January 2023. She is the first woman to be elected WSLC president and the first Black woman to be elected to the presidency of an AFL-CIO state federation. As President, Sims is the chief executive officer of the council supervising all of its activities and staff, promoting affiliation with the WSLC, representing the council at the national AFL-CIO, and performing any other duties as assigned by the WSLC Executive Board.
Sims previously served from 2019 to 2022 as WSLC Secretary Treasurer, the chief financial officer of the council. Prior to her election to that position, Sims was the WSLC’s Political and Strategic Campaign Director since November 2017, working to develop shared agendas with labor and community partners, to advance strategic organizing campaigns, and to recruit, train and elect political champions for working people. She first joined the WSLC in September 2015 as Field Mobilization Director, working with WSLC-affiliated unions and community partners to support and encourage the participation of individual members with many different political, legislative and community programs.
Sims joined the WSLC staff, after serving as the Legislative and Political Action Field Coordinator for the Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE), where she was responsible for member education, communication, and mobilization around legislative issues and political campaigns. She was a WFSE member, shop steward, elected union officer, and union staffer from 2002-15.
Sims firmly believes in the power of working people organizing together, and has dedicated her working life to affirming that power. For her, the importance of union membership is personal; it was her mother’s union position as a psychiatric security attendant at Western State Hospital that allowed her family to move off welfare and build a sense of financial security. A life-long resident of Tacoma, April lives with her family and 110-pound chocolate lab in the gritty city she’s proud to call home.