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Pleas-Heron takes on role of treasurer for SEIU’s African-American Caucus

October 20, 2021

Lorna Pleas-Heron, a newly elected Local 888 trustee, moves up to treasurer of SEIU’s African-American Caucus (AFRAM).

Lorna Pleas-Heron, who was elected this spring as a Local 888 trustee, has stepped up to the role of national treasurer for SEIU’s African-American Caucus (AFRAM).
“I’m truly honored,” Heron said, adding that she also felt “overwhelmed” at first. Heron said that encouragement from friends and key members of the group was helping her to ease into the new role.
Previously, she had been an Eastern Region board member for AFRAM. “I’ve always wanted to be part of a driving force for change in a positive and productive manner,” she added.
The national AFRAM mission statement echoes her words — saying that its members “engage to promote social, economic and political justice within our workplace, our communities, our nation and within in our union.”
Heron added that “it has always been my passion to speak out against injustice.”
Heron has worked for the city of Boston since the mid-1990s, starting out as a street worker doing gang outreach for what is now the Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF). And she was there helping to organize her co-workers when they united with what was then SEIU Local 285.
Right from the start, she was impressed by what the officers at the time — President Celia Wcislo and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Borges — had to say. “They told us: This is your union. We need you to play an active role. And you need to hold us accountable,” said Heron. “I love the fact that members have a voice in their union.”
Heron added that “a union’s strength comes through the active participation of its members.” Her advice for leaders: “Listening is crucial.”
Since then, Heron has served on numerous contract negotiation teams and as BCYF chapter chair for years as well. She has been an active SEIU AFRAM member since the group was founded in the mid-1990s.
And she has also served on the board of the Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD).
Currently, she works as an advocacy representative for Boston’s Age Strong Commission — helping clients with their social, economic and health and wellness needs. “I honor the elders and love working with them,” she said.
As a newly elected Local 888 trustee, Heron said her goals are to “help the union to grow and maintain our programs and make sure the members’ money is well spent.”
Heron spoke at a recent Member Welcome Orientation. For a full article on these sessions, see
For more on Massachusetts AFRAM, see