By Kelly Hartog
Kimberly Ganier is a Renaissance woman. She’s been with the City of Los Angeles as an LAPD 911 dispatcher for the last 27 years – the same amount of time she’s been a 3090 member. For the last six years she’s worked the night shift from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. and if that wasn’t enough, she works part-time at a retail store at Disneyland’s California Adventure Park. “I wanted to line something up to do for when I’m eligible to retire in four years,” she said.
Prior to joining the city, Ganier worked as a photographer, then as a copier repair person for the Xerox corporation and spent 17 years in the Army Reserves. Clearly, she’s able to tackle anything, including her new role as the Central Area Coordinator for AFSCME 3090. She was elected to the position in October 2022.
Ganier believes in organized labor, stating, “My philosophy is the strength in numbers. I ran on a ticket of ‘the spelling of union includes U and I.’ One person standing is good, but two or more is even better, especially if everybody is united to campaign for the right causes.”
As coordinator, Ganier wants to be able to reach out to many members who are not aware of what 3090 can offer. “A lot of our members don’t know their rights,” she said. “And that’s really important. Instead of complaining they can look at our MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the city, but they have to know that it’s there. They can read the MOU and educate themselves. Knowledge is power.”
And, she added, “We need more members and more activism. I do understand everybody has different things going on in their lives and it doesn’t always work out, but we do need more people to attend rallies and protests, for example. We just want to see more people to be involved as much as they can be.”
Now, as a coordinator, Ganier says her eyes have been opened by going out to site visits and other work environments and seeing how other classifications are operating. “We need more leadership and guidance out there,” she said, “because people are kind of floating. They don’t even really know what the union does or who we are so, we’re really trying to get out there and be leaders and role models.”
Ganier is also galvanized by the number of events and site visits that have been undertaken this year. “In my 27 years, I’ve not seen anything like this be done,” she said. “I’d never seen or even heard of the union going out to different job sites.”
She also hopes that members understand that everything is about the choices people make – “whether we choose to be active or apathetic. With our daily lives, with our families and work and school and additional jobs, it can be hard but sometimes you have to carve out time for other things that are important, including fighting for more pay and benefits and safety in the workplace.”