Rachel LaForest is a New York City-based social activist and community organizer. Since 2011 she has been executive director of Right to the City, which is dedicated to halting the displacement of low-income individuals, people of color, and other marginalized groups from urban neighborhoods. Founded in 2007, Right to the City is a national alliance of economic, environmental, and racial justice organizations currently active in 11 states. Prior to her work there, LaForest directed the Organizing and Public Policy departments at the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, was the first Public Policy Director for Actors Equity, and served as Lead Organizer/Co-campaign Director at Jobs with Justice. At TWU, she organized and led multiple mobilizations of thousands of union members to City Hall and the State government in Albany; designed education and training in public policy for rank-and-file members and officers; and was one of the lead coordinators for the union during the 2005 New York City transit strike.
Why we love Rachel LaForest:
• Under Rachel’s watch, Right to the City has grown into a national alliance of economic, environmental, and racial justice organizations in 11 states
• Rachel knows how to get people organized — she once led a union of 35,000 New York City transit workers, organizing large-scale strikes and demonstrations, including the 2005 NYC transit strike
• LaForest fought to raise the New York State minimum wage by $2 — and succeeded!