As the founding Executive Director of Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development (OCCORD), Eric designed the organization’s unique combination of community organizing, civic participation, policy research, and advocacy work.
Eric led OCCORD’s growth from a start-up with a staff of one to a vibrant organization with a staff of seven in less than five years, and he organized the Community Benefits Coalition, a multi-sector, multi-issue collaborative working on responsible development issues in Anaheim. Eric also co-facilitated the planning process for the Santa Ana Building Healthy Communities initiative.
Before co-founding OCCORD, Eric spent fifteen years as a leader of UNITE HERE’s Strategic Affairs Department, working to build one of the labor movement’s most respected research and strategic campaign operations.
From 1999 to 2001, he co-directed the union’s comprehensive campaign to improve wages and working conditions for housekeepers, dishwashers, and other low-wage hotel workers in Santa Monica. From 1997 to 1999, he worked with UNITE HERE President John Wilhelm to engage casino workers in the national public policy debate over gambling regulation and to make sure their voices were heard by government decision makers.
Eric also serves as a member of the OCTA Citizens Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Partnership for Working Families national network. He received his BA in Political Science from Yale University in 1989 and currently resides in La Habra with his husband, Joe.