Benita L. Benavides

Born in the Philippines and currently based in San Francisco Bay Area, Benita’s values are grounded in immigrant and labor empowerment, economic security, and inclusive community development. Raised in a country whose primary export is labor, and living in a city with a widening income gap, Benita works as a civil servant committed to equitable quality of life opportunities achieved through public policies in education, and jobs access.

First to staff San Francisco Unified School District’s Local Hiring Policy, Benita was responsible in outlining policy guidelines and procedures. She identified, initiated, and established organizational partnerships; drafted external communication, and engaged stakeholders to ensure participation increase of San Francisco residents in construction. She first encountered local hiring policies in her previous role as a community advocate at Chinese for Affirmative Action where she facilitated the employment of low-income, immigrant and limited-English proficiency workers during the height of the great recession. In Central Valley, CA and in Chicago, IL, Benita mobilized workers and faith-based organizations as a labor and community organizer.

Benita received a Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies from San Francisco State University and a Master’s of Public Administration from Baruch College. Outside her profession, she is engaged in organizing working-class Filipino immigrants, LGBTQ, and AP&I leaders in the labor movement. She also writes and performs for Community Theater.