Lora Jo Foo papers
Scope and Contents
- 1973 - 2009
- Foo, Lora Jo (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.
Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
From 1992 to 2000, she was the employment/labor attorney for the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, California where she represented Asian American immigrant workers in sweatshop industries - garment, restaurant, construction, domestic and other low-wage industries, in their struggles for decent wages and working conditions. Ms. Foo's numerous litigation successes as an attorney for the Caucus include the 1993 case of Anna Chan et al v. Moviestar, in which she obtained the first judgment from a California court holding a garment manufacturer responsible for the wages of its subcontractor's employees. In 1998 she won the Cuadra et al v. Labor Commissioner case before the state Supreme Court, a case which ensured that workers throughout California who utilize the administrative process to recover unpaid wages would recover 100% instead of a diminished portion due to an arbitrary method of calculations by the agency. In 1999 she led a statewide coalition of garment worker advocates in passing the California Garment Accountability Bill, which holds retailers and apparel firms strictly liable for the minimum wage and overtime violations of their contractors.
Ms. Foo stopped litigating in 2000, returned to school, and obtained a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2002. In 2004, she returned to her roots as a labor organizer and was the National Coordinator of the AFL-CIO's Voting Rights Protection Program, where she launched programs to protect the vote in 11 battleground states. In 2006 she joined the California Faculty Association as its Northern California Organizing Director. In 2014, Foo helped lead the campaign, Measure J to ban fracking in San Benito County, California. After the election in 2014, San Benito became the first county in California to ban fracking.
Foo co-founded the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum and was its National Chair from 1996 to 1998. She is also a co-founder of the California-based Sweatshop Watch and served as its Board President from 1995 to 2004. In 1995 she attended the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. She is the author of Asian American Women: Issues, Concerns and Responsive Human and Civil Rights Advocacy, published by the Ford Foundation in September 2002 (second edition, 2007).
18 boxes (15 linear feet)
Language of Materials
Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The contents of computer media in this collection has been copied to networked storage for preservation and access; the original directory and file structure was retained and file lists were created.
Material from Legal records and writing, Accession 2019-S-0057 was accessioned by Althea Topek in October 2020.
- Asian American women
- Asian Americans
- Asian Law Caucus
- Chinese Americans
- Electronic records
- Foo, Lora Jo
- Immigrants -- United States
- Labor laws and legislation -- California
- Labor leaders -- United States
- Labor movement
- Legal documents
- Legislative documents
- NGO Forum on Women, Beijing '95
- National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
- San Francisco (Calif.) -- Social conditions
- Sweatshop Watch (San Francisco, CA)
- Sweatshops -- California -- San Francisco
- Trial proceedings
- Finding Aid to the Lora Jo Foo papers
- Legacy Finding Aid (Updated)
- Finding aid prepared by Burd Schlessinger.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2017-07-26T17:48:20-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2020-04-06: Description added for born-digital content.
- 2020-04-30: Added accessions 07S-11, 07S-59, 07S-87, 09S-27, and 14S-05, updated dates
- 2020-10-27: Added new series, Legal records and writings, Accession 20219-S-0057
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton MA 01063