Labor groups back Soria in bid against Costa

In a charged battle for a north Valley Congressional seat, it appears that organized labor is looking for a change.

The California Labor Federation, a coalition of unions across the Golden State, announced it would back Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria over incumbent Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno).

Leaders from the Central Labor Council from Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings counties announced the endorsement.

Soria is challenging Costa for the 16th Congressional district, which covers Fresno, Madera, Merced and Los Banos.

“In the labor movement, what we want are champions for working families. The status quo in District 16 is the same as it is in Washington DC, so it is our job to challenge that status quo. We have to call it like it is,” said Dillon Savory, Executive Director of the Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings, Central Labor Council, in a press release.

“We have members of congress in our own backyards who pretend to be for workers, who give us lip service, but at the end of the day do not give us the votes, the compassion, and the economic opportunities we demand.”

Soria was first elected to Fresno City Council in 2014, and she served as the council president from January 2018 to January 2019. She represents District 1.

“Our working families do not have a voice in Congress right now,” Soria said. “They are struggling to pay for their healthcare, they are struggling to pay for housing costs, and they are struggling to pay for their education. The leadership in Congress isn’t fighting hard enough for us. We have to change that.”

The Fresno-Madera-Tulare-Kings, Central Labor Council, includes 53 local unions through the four counties and represents over 105,000 people.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.