Sept. 26, 2017
Contacts: John Patrick, Rick Levy
or Ed Sills, (512) 477-6195
Rick Levy Is Next Texas AFL-CIO President
Montserrat Garibay Chosen Secretary-Treasurer
Rick Levy, a former General Counsel of the Texas AFL-CIO who became Secretary-Treasurer two years ago, has been named the next President of the Texas AFL-CIO. Levy will succeed John Patrick, who is retiring.
Levy was chosen unanimously today by the Texas AFL-CIO Executive Board to serve the remainder of Patrick’s term, which runs until July 2019.
Following its vote to elevate Levy, the board selected Montserrat Garibay, a Vice President at Education Austin, as Secretary-Treasurer.
Levy and Garibay will take office on Monday, Oct. 9.
A highly respected advocate for working people across Texas, Levy has been involved in every aspect of the operations of the state labor federation for nearly three decades. He is known for encouraging non-traditional alliances among progressive organizations, for civil rights advocacy and for his advocacy for working families at the Texas Legislature.
“Rick Levy makes everyone around him better,” said Patrick, who previously announced he is leaving the state labor federation to address chronic back problems. “I am confident today’s Executive Board action brightens working people’s prospects in Texas for many years to come.”
Levy said, “John Patrick is a hero to me and to working people in Texas. In a little more than two years as Texas AFL-CIO President, John has overseen major changes in our operations, expanding our ability to represent our membership and, more importantly, reach out to working people who do not have union benefits. Like several presidents before him, John has excelled at helping our organization make a difference in national and state environments that are difficult for labor unions.”
“I’m going to try very hard not to screw it up,” Levy said. “And I’m going to try even harder to help build a broader, progressive labor movement that has the power to change Texas. We have a different vision of what Texas can be, and I look forward to working to make that vision a reality. I can’t wait to get to work.”
Garibay, known for her tireless advocacy for workers in Austin, is the first Hispanic, the first immigrant and the second woman to hold one of the top offices at the state labor federation.
“Montserrat Garibay brings generational change and a new perspective to the state labor federation,” Levy said. “What the Austin area already knows about Montse’s amazing organizing talent is going to become apparent at the statewide level as she takes this new role. I am so excited she has agreed to use her mighty skills and energy to help build power for working people through the state labor federation.”
Garibay said, “I am grateful to the Board for allowing me to serve in this important capacity. I take this opportunity with open arms and will work in collaboration with working people across the state to make our union strong.”
Rick Levy, 60, was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO in 2015. Levy began working for the state labor federation in 1990, first as Legal Director and later as General Counsel. Levy represented working people in a broad array of matters, including legislative, political and legal campaigns to protect and advance workplace rights. As Secretary-Treasurer, Levy focused on helping build a broader, bolder and more inclusive labor movement, emphasizing and elevating the principle of solidarity at the core of his effort. Levy is a member of the Texas State Employees Union (CWA 6186) and Ironworkers Local 482.
Montserrat Garibay, 38, served as Vice President for Certified Employees with Education Austin. An activist on education and immigration issues, Garibay came to the U.S. from Mexico City as an undocumented immigrant and became a citizen 20 years later. She has been instrumental in promoting opportunities for all students, including those from immigrant families. She promoted passage of the Texas version of the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. A bilingual pre-kindergarten teacher for eight years, Garibay has strongly supported early childhood education. Among her other roles: former President of LULAC Council 4859, Texas AFT “Super Advocate” in 2011 and member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International. Garibay is a UT-Austin graduate.
The Texas AFL-CIO is a state labor federation consisting of 237,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas.