Board and Staff

Jean Cohen






Jean Cohen
Executive Officer
[email protected]

Born and raised in downtown San Jose, Jean Cohen's professional career spans two decades working for local government, the labor movement, and the nonprofit sector to build social and economic justice through public policy and organizing. Jean worked for many years on housing, land use, and transportation policy for State Senator Jim Beall and San Jose City Councilman Raul Peralez.  She served on staff at Sacred Heart Community Service as the Director of Development and Communications, developing tools for economic self-sufficiency for the working poor and homeless of Santa Clara County.

During her tenure at SEIU-UHW, NUHW and as the Political Director of the Alameda Labor Council, Jean directed the organizing and legislative programs for over 120 affiliated labor unions in Alameda and Santa Clara Counties, engaging over 100,000 unionists through multiple election cycles. With a focus on affiliate and member mobilization, she has organized successful electoral field programs and contract campaigns utilizing direct action, strategic coalition building, and investments in leadership and policy development. 

From 2016 to 2020, Jean was the Political and Communications Director for UA Local Union 393. Under her leadership in 2021, the South Bay Labor Council distributed over 1,000 covid vaccines to union families, organized the VTA Solidarity Fund, and served as the regional campaign hub for the No Anti-Union Recall for Gavin Newsom.

Jean is currently the Vice Chair of the Santa Clara County Democratic Party. She is an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow and a graduate of Saint Mary’s College with an M.A. in 21st Century Leadership. The proud daughter of a union teacher and union musician, Jean is committed to building power for working people.


Krista De La Torre
Political Organizer
[email protected]

Krista De La Torre joins the South Bay Labor Council as a seasoned organizer with years of field experience working on local, state, and federal Democratic campaigns and community organizing initiatives. In her most recent role, Krista worked in tandem with the Santa Clara Public Health Department and the Community Health and Business Engagement Team (CHBET) as a Lead on a dynamic door-to-door COVID-19 community outreach campaign in East San Jose. Her team helped educate residents on available resources for people impacted by COVID-19 and signed up thousands of people to get vaccinated. 

Previously, Krista worked as a Field Coordinator for the California Democratic Party’s 2020 Coordinated Campaign where she helped elect Democrats up-and-down the ticket and expand the Democratic electorate in the Fresno area. 

Krista is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in International Relations. Her passion lies in mobilizing and amplifying the voices of working people. 


Carmelita (Lita) Gutierrez
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Carmelita Gutierrez joined South Bay Labor Council in the summer of 1997. She is charged with administrative office responsibilities. As a student at San Jose State University, Carmelita was an active organizer with MEChA, a Chicano/Latino student organization. As a member of MEChA she helped organize for educational rights on campus and worked with a coalition of other high school and college Chicano/Latino student organizations across California. Her experience allowed her to serve as a liaison from MECha to the African-Black Student Alliance and to the Asian, Pacific Islander Student Union in organizing educational rights issues statewide. “Lita” graduated from San Jose State University with a B.S. in Social Science.

Executive Board

Riko Mendez
SEIU Local 521

Maria Noel Fernandez
1ST Vice President
IAM & AW Local 93

Will Smith

2ND Vice President
IBEW Local 332

Troy Jones
Recording Secretary
UFCW Local 5

Dolores Morales

Enrique Fernandez

Enrique Arguello
Laborers Local 270

Sergio Arrañaga
Teamsters Local 350

David Bini
Building and Construction Trades Council

Jessica Breheny
AFT Local 6157

John Courtney
ATU Local 265

Johnny Gallegos

Teamsters Local 853

Samuel Kehinde


Malinda Markowitz


Jocelyn Merz

Eric Mussynski
UA Local 393

Patty Picard
CSEA Chapter 363

Nydia Smith
AFSCME Local 1587

Rick Solis
Carpenters Local 405

Dominic Torreano
SMW Local 104

Matt Tuttle

IAFF Local 230

Bill Wallace
IBEW Local 1245

Stanley Young
IFPTE Local 21

Tony Alexander

Doug Bloch
Teamsters Joint Council 7

Paul Fong
AFT Local 6157