Kevin Brown, the New Jersey State Director of 32BJ SEIU, is also a Vice President of the union. The Kevin has been involved in the trade union movement since 1987 when he started working for SEIU as an organizer.
During those five years, he helped organize 1,000 cleaners who lived in the working-class areas of Washington, DC. The grandchild of Russian and Polish immigrants, and raised in a Jewish family committed to Tikkum Olam –healing the world—Kevin firmly believes that, as humans, we have a shared responsibility to heal, repair and transform the world.
In 1992, after a successful campaign in Washington, DC, Kevin joined 531 SEIU in Connecticut where he and a group of young and eager unionists helped organize more than 2,500 members over the course of 9 years. In 2001, Kevin moved to New Jersey to work on the expansion of 32BJ in the Garden State. Today, there are over 13,000 commercial, residential, public school-contracted, and airport private sector service workers throughout New Jersey. As membership continues to grow, contracts have strengthened, allowing workers healthcare, meaningful benefits and the opportunity to rise up. Commercial cleaners’ approximate median annual salary increased from $6,200 to $32,000 since Kevin took over in 2001. Security officers’ salaries have increased double digits percentage wise and obtained fully employer-paid healthcare for the first time ever in N.J. since they were first organized in 2014.
Kevin has worked to improve the lives of all working people in New Jersey, regardless of their union affiliation. In 2019, after tireless efforts to raise the minimum wage, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy thanked Kevin Brown and 32BJ for having a role in raising the state’s minimum wage to $15.00/hour. Some of the legislation Kevin fought for and won includes paid family leave and anti-wage theft protections, to name a few.
Organizing Newark Liberty International Airport took years, but today, over half of all workers at Newark Liberty International Airport are organized with 32BJ in a master contract that was signed in 2017. Workers are on the track to $19.00/hour by 2023. The airports contract has improved conditions by enforcing wages, benefits and Kevin continues to negotiate for more through state and local politics.
Kevin currently serves on the Executive Board of 32BJ SEIU as Vice President and New Jersey State Director. He also serves on the Boards of the Newark Port Authority Oversight Committee, New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, BlueWave New Jersey as well as co-chair of the political action committee of Working Families Alliance of New Jersey. He previously served on the Boards of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Community Relations Federation of the Metrowest Area (Essex, Union, Morris, and Sussex Counties).
Originally from the St. Louis area, Kevin lives in New Jersey with his wife. He has two adult daughters, one of whom is a public relations professional in Chicago and the other who studies at Oberlin College, his alma mater.