April Sims was elected Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO by its affiliated unions in December 2018, beginning her four-year term on Jan. 5, 2019. She is the first woman of color and the first black person to be elected as a WSLC executive officer.
Prior to her election, Sims had served as 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 husband, two daughters, and 100-pound chocolate lab in the gritty city she’s proud to call home.