Meet Chair Ada Briceño
Ada Briceño is serving her second term as Chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Orange County. She was first elected unanimously in January 2019, and was re-elected by unanimous acclimation in January 2021.
Under her leadership, OC Democrats flipped 20 local seats from red to blue, flipped 2 state senate seats, and now hold the plurality of school board seats in Orange County. OC Democrats also took the lead as the largest political party in Orange County; there are now tens of thousands more Democrats than Republicans in the county.
The first immigrant to lead the Democratic Party of Orange County, Briceño immigrated to the United States at the age of six when her family fled a brutal civil war in Nicaragua. After graduating from high school, she began working as a hotel clerk, where she joined her first union and discovered union organizing. She immediately rose through the ranks becoming the first Latina President of Local 681 at the age of 26.
Briceño has dedicated her career to uplifting marginalized voices. A hotel union leader, Chair Briceño currently serves as Co-President of UNITE-HERE Local 11 which represents 32,000 hotel workers in Southern California and Arizona. She is also a Vice President UNITE-HERE International Union. Her union is leading efforts to end sexual harassment in the hotel industry, and successfully led efforts to pass a living wage initiative for Disneyland workers. In 2020, UNITE HERE was the only national union to organize contactless canvassing for the Presidential election, and workers successfully helped turn Arizona elect a Democratic President for the first time in seven decades and elect Mark Kelly to the U.S. Senate.
Chairwoman Briceño was elected to the Democratic National Committee in 2020, earning the highest number of votes among all DNC candidates in California. She also serves as Lead Co-Chair of the California Democratic Party’s Finance Committee, and is the former Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Committee Diversity and Inclusion. She is a former Assembly Delegate to the 65th Assembly District.
In addition to her political and union work, Chairwoman Briceño has led many civil rights, immigrant rights, women rights, and environmental efforts. She serves as a member of the Southern California Air Quality District Environmental Justice Committee to raise the voices of those impacted by air quality and other climate and environmental justice issues. She is the former Chair of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), which brings together faith leaders for economic justice advocacy. She is active in addressing women’s rights and serves on the Orange County Women’s March Steering Committee. She also serves on the National Steering Committee for the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer, to advance healthcare affordability and access through a single-payer system. Among her many accolades, she has been named one of Orange County’s 100 Most Influential by the Orange County Register in 2020, 2019, 2018 and 2014.
Briceño lives in Stanton with her husband Enrique Fernández, her son Donald Torres, and her German Shepherd Riley María.
In the News:
- After Great Midterms, OC Dems Elect New Leader for 2020 (OC Register, Jan 15, 2019)
- On OC: Labor Leader Ada Briceno takes over as Dem Party Chair (Voice of OC, Jan 11, 2019)
- Union leader Ada Briceño finds her voice as leader of Orange County Democrats (OC Register, Nov 13, 2019)
- Briceño: Racial Justice Starts in Our Own Backyard (Voice of OC, Jun 2, 2020)
- Democrats can honor RBG by getting out to vote this November: Ada Briceño (OC Register, Sep 19, 2020)
- Most Influential: Meet Orange County’s Top 100 Influencers for 2020 (OC Register, Dec 20, 2020)