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LELO is a 33 year-old racial and economic justice workers rights 501c3 non-profit organization.


      Legacy of Equality, Leadership and Organizing




P.O. Box 28489
Seattle, WA 98118

(206) 860-1400
(206) 860-1414 Fax





“As workers and as people from ethnic minority communities this is what we all have to do: Visualize something better and work – educate, organize and mobilize - towards that… You have to take charge one way or another. If you don’t stand up for something you’ll lay down for anything.”  - Eileen Nelson, former LELO Board Member, African American parent and grandparent, grocery clerk, union activist

LELO was founded 33 years ago by Latino farm workers, Black construction workers and Asian and Pacific Islander cannery workers who realized that their conditions and struggles as workers were tied together. LELO founders such as Tyree Scott, Silme Domingo, Gene Viernes and Milton Jefferson have left the organization with a LEGACY of bringing working people together across lines that traditionally divide us. From fighting for the racial integration of Seattle’s building and construction trades unions, to the preservation of public childcare programs for poor women and children, LELO has always struggled for EQUALITY for all people. As an organization led by “ordinary” workers, we develop the LEADERSHIP of those most marginalized in our society: people of color, working class women, LGBTQ workers and recent immigrants. Our primary social change strategy is local ORGANIZING, with a heavy emphasis on political education and networks of solidarity with workers across the globe.

LELO leads the following projects designed to transform our values and political analysis into practice and tangibly improve the conditions faced by workers and their communities:

The Family Wage Jobs Organizing Project fights to open up living wage union jobs in the building and construction trades to young people of color, low-income women and recent immigrants. Just last month the project won a significant organizing victory when the Seattle Housing Authority agreed to a community hiring plan that will prioritize low-income residents of public housing and surrounding communities for jobs on their Rainier Vista and High Point job sites.

The Tyree Scott International Worker to Worker Project creates opportunities for ordinary workers from different countries to communicate with each other - in their own languages - and share information about the global economy and its effects on their lives. The project’s 2005 theme is “Educate Against Privatization.” From Bush’s Social Security Scheme to the selling off of public land through the Hope VI housing redevelopments, the privatization of public resources is taking a toll on working people. The one-year education campaign will seek to inspire local actions against privatization and link local workers with members of the more than 20 grassroots workers’ organizations around the world who participate in our Worker-to-Worker network.

LELO’s Relicensing Project outreaches to and organizes low-income workers who have lost their driver’s licenses because they can’t afford to pay traffic tickets and helps them challenge public policy that unfairly impacts low-income communities. The Relicensing Project won a significant legislative victory in Olympia last month when it got a bill passed that grants amnesty to more than 200,000 low-income drivers with suspended licenses, and sets up a statewide system to provide low-income drivers with hardship hearings and payment plans for their tickets.


LELO strives to empower low-income workers of color, recent immigrants and women workers to assert their rights, improve their working conditions and gain a voice in their workplaces, trade unions and communities... in the U.S. and across the globe. 


  • People of color, women and ordinary workers should always speak for themselves.

  • We strive to win racial, economic, and social justice and oppose all forms of exploitation and domination related to our race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, culture, or ability.

  • The people's struggles both home and abroad are interrelated - often with a common enemy and common vision for economic and social justice.  We commit to support our commons struggles with concrete action and acts of solidarity.

  • The human rights of the poorest and most exploited must always be placed at the center of our work and our passion for change.


  • Recognize we all have a voice and an ear.

  • "Step Back" so others can "Step Up".

  • Be humble - honor all knowledge levels.

  • Refrain from all degrading and disrespectful language and behavior.

  • Don't personalize - argue issues not people; without blame, shame, attack or discount.

  • Treat with respect those with whom you both agree and disagree.



Organizer                                                              Ricardo Ortega               ricardo@lelo.org

Organizer                                                            Nemesio Domingo            nemesio@lelo.org

BOARD MEMBERS                                                                                                                                    

Nemesio Domingo (chair-person)

Todd Hawkins (emeritus)

Garry Owens (secretary treasurer)

Marline Pedregosa

Sylvia Sabon

Frederick Simmons

Michael Woo (Emeritus Board Member)