Governor Brown, Chancellor Birgeneau and AFL-CIO President Trumka attend the "Evening with the All Stars" Gala Celebration

September 22, 2011

Art Pulaski
Art Pulaski, Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, addresses the audience

The Labor Center hosted a glittering “Evening with the All-Stars” fundraiser, honoring some of the brightest labor stars in California and our nation on September 22 at the UC Berkeley Art Museum. The Labor Center is the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment’s leading community outreach and research program, and it honors a mix of civic leaders and workers each year.

California Governor Jerry Brown, UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau joined in the celebration of the spirit of working people. California State Controller John Chiang and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka were also in attendance, and both received All-Star awards that evening.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert A. Birgeneau introduces
California State Controller John Chiang

State Controller Chiang was honored for his actions in support of state workers during the Schwarzenegger administration. Chancellor Birgeneau, a stalwart supporter of the educational rights of undocumented students, joined Mr. Chiang in recognizing the honorees.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka received a lifetime achievement award, and gave a rousing speech on the need for new policies to address the unemployment crisis. Mr. Trumka then presented an award to two trade unionists from Wisconsin. The California Teachers Association, California School Employees Association, and California Federation of Teachers were recognized for their work in support of public education in the midst of draconian budget cuts.

Honorees Molly Noble, AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka and Matt Reiter

Michael Reich, Professor of Economics and IRLE’s faculty director, commented that the excitement and energy was palpable. “It is all too rare that working people are celebrated for their contributions to society, and so this event fills an important gap,” he said. “We are especially pleased that both Chancellor Birgeneau and the governor attended, as they are leading spokesmen not only for working people, but also for students who face many challenges simply to arrive at the door of the University of California.”