Board and Staff

Jean Cohen









Jean Cohen
Executive Officer
[email protected]

Born and raised in downtown San Jose, Jean Cohen's professional career spans three 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 and served as the 1st Vice President of the South Bay Labor Council.

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 an Executive Board Member for Team San Jose and she also serves on the NOVAworks Workforce Board.

Jean is currently an Executive Board Member for both Team San Jose and Working Partnerships USA,  and she also serves on the NOVAworks Workforce Board. In 2023, Jean was elected for a third term as 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.

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.

Antonio Kobe Lopez
Political Organizer
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Born and raised in Eastside San Jose, Antonio Kobe Lopez takes great pride in the multicultural heritage of his neighborhood and the larger Bay Area. He brings experience with nonprofits like the Viet-America Youth Association and José Valdés Math Foundation as well as a bachelor’s in Economics and Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley to his work. With the South Bay Labor Council, Kobe works to ensure that the interests of working people are heard and respected so that San Jose and the wider South Bay will continue to be home to a strong and prosperous community of diverse identities and traditions.

Ron Lind
Special Projects Consultant 
[email protected]

For press inquiries, please email [email protected].

Executive Board

Riko Mendez
SEIU Local 521

Maria Noel Fernandez
1ST Vice President
IAM & AW Local 1101

Will Smith

2ND Vice President
IBEW Local 332

Troy Jones
Recording Secretary
UFCW Local 5

Dolores Morales

Enrique Fernandez

Enrique Arguello
Laborers Local 270

David Bini
Building and Construction Trades Council

John Courtney
ATU Local 265

Kathy Jasper
AFT Local 6157

Samuel Kehinde

Danny Mangan
Sprinkler Fitters Local 483

Malinda Markowitz

Eric Mussynski
UA Local 393

Patty Picard
CSEA Chapter 350

Bob Prola

Robert Sandoval
Teamsters Local 350

Nydia Smith
AFSCME Local 1587

Dominic Torreano
SMW Local 104

John Tucker
AFSCME District Council 57

Matt Tuttle

IAFF Local 230

Bill Wallace
IBEW Local 1245

Stanley Young
IFPTE Local 21

Lyseria Kursave
Ex-Officio Member
Pride at Work

Tony Alexander

Paul Fong
AFT Local 6157