Laura Nakamura is seeking to take her leadership skills to public office

NewsJanuary 25, 2022

Laura Nakamura, a cardiac sonographer at Children’s Hospital Oakland since 2005, has been an NUHW steward since 2019.

“Being a steward has given me lots of opportunities to learn about what’s important to people,” Laura said. And as an elected member of the contract bargaining team, she’s learned to advocate for her co-workers to make sure “everyone has what they need to live in the community where they serve, where they work.”

But her activism extends beyond the hospital.

Democracy from the ground up is the basis of the grassroots organization Concord Communities Alliance, which Laura Nakamura co-founded to work for just and equitable conditions for Concord residents.

Laura’s activism in her hometown of Concord began when she started commuting by bicycle. She began attending Concord City Council members, where she advocated for safer bicycle infrastructure, and then expanded her activism to other issues. In 2017 she co-founded Concord Communities Alliance, a grassroots organization that advocates for just and equitable conditions for city residents, and began tackling issues like development protecting tenants and local businesses from displacement due to high rents.

Now she’s taking her activism a step further.

Laura is running for District 5 seat on the Concord City Council in the November 2022 election. If she wins, she hopes to “change the status quo in Concord” by revitalizing and stabilizing the different communities that call the city home.

Her candidacy has also reinforced her conviction that NUHW members need to be politically engaged.

“We know that management is political and corporations are political,” Laura said. “Unions and union members have to be political too so we can advocate for our needs.”

She urges her fellow Children’s Hospital workers to make monthly contributions to the union’s Committee on Political Education (C.O.P.E.), the fund that the union uses to support federal issues and candidates.

And she stressed the need for members to take action in political campaigns.

“It’s important to raise your hand and volunteer. Bodies are needed to help with the ground game wherever people live,” she said. “Our political organizers at NUHW do a good job of letting people know where campaigns are. People have to figure out where they could sign up for volunteer shifts.”

“You don’t have to devote your whole life to it,” Laura said. “You just have to be willing to help out your community.”