Director beverley brakeman

UAW Region 9A Director Beverley Brakeman

Beverley Brakeman was elected director of UAW Region 9A at the 37th Constitutional Convention in June 2018.

Previously she was the Region 9A assistant director.

Brakeman, a member of UAW Local 376 in Connecticut, began her work with UAW under the direction of then-UAW Region 9A Director Phil Wheeler. She was hired to run Citizens for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a coalition started by the UAW comprised of community, labor, faith-based and other allied groups with an interest in challenging corporate power and accountability.

Under Brakeman’s leadership, CEO took on important fights like the lack of transparency and accountability in the use of state-funded, taxpayer-driven economic development grants and loans to corporations in return for job creation. In the early 2000s when states were fighting for better laws and policies to increase health care coverage for all, Brakeman started and led Labor for Universal Healthcare. This group fought in the legislature, in corporate boardrooms, on the streets and even in police vans against insurance company excessive CEO pay and profits.

Prior to coming on staff in 2008, Beverley worked as a temporary organizer on the successful drive to organize Foxwoods Casino dealers. She attended the Organizing Institute and worked with the Foxwoods team to build community and political support for the dealers. That year she also ran and won a campaign for her State Senator.

In 2008, as Region 9A’s Community Action Program representative, Brakeman put her skills as a community organizer and activist, lobbyist and political campaign manager to good use building the region’s political and legislative arm.  One of her first successes was to lead an effort by the newly organized Foxwoods dealers to end smoking in their casinos.  While a bill was passed in the State Senate — the House declined to pass the bill  — but the campaign proved to be pivotal in building support and unity within the UAW for these newest members.

Brakeman brings to the UAW a breadth of experience and knowledge about other movements as a veteran of the violence against women and marriage equality movement.

After graduating college, Brakeman ran a rape crisis movement and later became the assistant director of the Connecticut’s largest organization whose mission is to end sexual violence. By way of transition, she was the executive director for the Connecticut chapter of the National Organization for Women where her work intersected with labor when female corrections officers represented by AFSCME were being sexually harassed by their male colleagues. The women filed a class-action lawsuit against the state, won considerable changes within the Department of Corrections and forced the commissioner to resign.   Brakeman found the labor movement a place where she could fight collectively to improve working people’s lives and effect power imbalance in institutions across many sectors of the economy and our communities.

Brakeman lives in West Hartford, Connecticut with her partner Chris and his son, Aaron, and her dog Riley. Brakeman has two daughters, Gillian and Izzy.