Daria C. Dawson is a senior legislative manager of governmental relations at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). As a key governmental relations staffer, she has built upon and maintained the Union’s relationship with House and Senate leadership and various caucuses of the United States Congress, including but not limited to the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the House Labor Caucus for advancement of the Union’s legislative agenda. In addition, Daria manages the Union’s federal legislative schema on raising wages, civil rights, and labor law proper. Daria projects the significance of her role in governmental relations at SEIU as she coordinates the Union’s federal legislative strategies with partners of other unions and allied progressive organizations.
She credits her varied experiences in labor and politics as a firm foundation for her continued navigation of pertinent and pressing issues so germane and significant to the American citizenry: Staff Representative for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees/American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), where she managed over 1,600 members in multiple units in grievances, arbitrations, and employee relations, while serving as Chief Negotiator in internal and external organizing within units, trainer of stewards and officers in representation (including grievances, disciplinary appeals, and arbitration), and Lead Manager of Union sponsored canvass program for the 2011 Issue 2/Senate Bill 5 for protection of collective bargaining; Political Action and Legislative Advocacy Coordinator, AFSCME GOTV for AFL-CIO during the 2010 Ohio Governor/U.S. Senate race, planning and executing the political action program in Cleveland; Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Congresswoman Laura Richardson, California, District 37; Legislative Counsel, Office of Congressman Edolphus Towns, New York, Congressional District 10; and Legislative Analyst/Floor Counsel, Florida State Minority (Democratic) Office.
Daria’s labor and political experiences cover intensive, active roles, where she has honed additional skills in the electoral process by her varied contributions to national and state campaigns. During the most recent Presidential campaign, Daria was Deputy Political Director of Obama for America, Virginia, serving on the core state leadership team charged with formulation and execution of the statewide political plan for President Obama’s re-election and as state-wide liaison to elected officials, Democratic Party stakeholders, candidates, allied groups, and labor leaders, among many other duties. In her role as State African American Outreach/GOTV-GOTC Caucus Director in 2007-2008, she represented the Hillary Clinton campaign at various sites in Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky, monitoring and documenting voter problems and irregularities while also supervising field organizers, interns, and precinct captains for election/caucus day.
A native Floridian, Daria earned a bachelor’s degree in history education at Florida A&M University in 2001 and the juris doctorate degree at University of Florida, Levin College of Law in 2004. She also attributes her internship with the New York Yankees’ Player Development and Scouting Department during law school as a significant experience that has also helped to shape her personal and professional perspective.