For more than 20 years, Yvonne Walker has dedicated her life to serving the people of California through public service. Yvonne began working for the State of California at the Department of Justice (DOJ) in 1995 as a legal secretary. She soon became a union steward and led efforts to organize her coworkers at the DOJ. Before becoming President of Local 1000, Yvonne chaired our Office and Allied Workers Bargaining Team (Unit 4) and later took on the role as Vice President for Bargaining. In May of 2008, she broke racial and gender barriers to become the first African-American woman president of SEIU Local 1000. Currently, President Walker is also a Vice President on SEIU International’s Executive Board.
“We cannot get stuck in a race to the bottom. Good Jobs improve our economy and strengthen the middle class.”
—Yvonne R. Walker
President, Local 1000
Yvonne developed her leadership skills in the U.S. Marine Corps where she learned the importance of discipline, dedication and unity of purpose. As President of Local 1000, she has put those leadership qualities to use by empowering Local 1000’s membership to get involved in the fight for economic and social justice. Her efforts have given Local 1000 a stronger collective voice in its fight to defend working families from assaults on their pensions, wages and benefits.
Rancho Cordova native Kevin Menager’s state career spans back more than 30 years, with early stops at the Office of State Architect and the California Department of Social Services. For 28 years, he’s worked at the Franchise Tax Board in Sacramento in the area of Information Technology. He’s currently an IT Specialist I.
Married, with three daughters ranging in age from 23 to 29, he’s active in his community and Parkside Community Church, supporting Black Lives Matter and LGBTIQ rights issues and brings his labor voice when he participates in the Poor People’s campaign. Raising a special needs child, he’s an advocate for fair and appropriate educational opportunities for his daughter and others.
A “card-carrying union member since day one,” Menager became an activist shortly thereafter when he “saw how easy it was to step up and become involved.” Working in District Labor Council 786, he was elected as a General Council Delegate to the California State Employee’s Association. He was a Unit 1 District Bargaining Unit Representative and part of our bargaining team in 2007-08.
Kevin Menager believes in “the nobility of labor and all the workers it represents” and looks forward to building a committed and engaged membership by reinforcing to his fellow members that “the union’s got their back.”
Born in Los Angeles, Anica Walls was raised in the agricultural landscape surrounding Ventura, California, where she lived in a community largely populated with immigrant farmworkers. An early memory of the labor issues and politics of the time was when, at the age of 5, she was told she couldn’t have grapes because “we can’t buy grapes right now,” in support of the famous boycott launched by Cesar Chavez.
She was influenced greatly by her father and her “tia,” who reinforced in her how important it is to be fair and just and to treat all others with humanity.
Her passion for the working class carried her through college at UC Santa Cruz, where she earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Latin American and Latino Studies and Community Studies.
Out of college, she worked as an organizer helping at-risk and poor residents get much-needed services in Mexico, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Sacramento, including Head Start and the Mission Neighborhood Center.
Her state career began in 2006, and she works in Sacramento as a Disability Evaluation Analyst III at the Department of Social Services. She’s been recognized for her work with an Excellence in Customer Service award in 2017.
In 2007, she became a Union Steward after witnessing repeated incidents of management harassing her fellow employees. As the Vice President for Organizing/Representation, she hopes to foster greater member engagement by making Local 1000 visible in our worksites, believing “we are all stronger together.”
Anica is married and the mother of two boys. She lives in Sacramento.
Tony Owens’ work as an Interface Coordinator in the Information Technology Department at CalPERS will serve him well as our new Vice President for Bargaining at Local 1000. His work involves bridging the gap between software developers and various divisions at CalPERS. “I see bargaining as doing much the same, bridging the gap between members and the state, seeking ways to reach a positive outcome.”
Previously, Owens worked at CDCR in the Division of Adult Parole Operations, where he helped keep California’s citizens safe by providing parolee data to the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System. He later worked as a Business Analyst at CalPERS, leading up to his current assignment.
Owens is the single father of a boy and a girl and has turned the challenges of raising his children into dedicated community service. He received valuable assistance from the Centers for Fathers for Families (CFF), a group dedicated to strengthening families through enrichment and empowerment. He now gives back to CFF’s “Daddy’s Here” program, advising fathers about raising a family in a divorce environment.
A 12-year state employee, Owens experienced first-hand the power of our union when, in 2007, he was laid off during a large-scale realignment at CDCR. He benefitted from the union’s negotiated process to mitigate the job losses and was able to transfer to CalPERS, where he’s been ever since. He’s been a Local 1000 steward for four years.
Tony Owens looks forward to raising the public profile of our members and the valuable services they provide, while at the same time building stronger relationships among our members and engaging and empowering them to effect real change.