Council Leadership

Executive Director - Roberta Lynch

Roberta LynchRoberta Lynch became Executive Director of AFSCME Council 31 in 2014. She previously served as Deputy Director for more than two decades, playing a central role in all aspects of the union’s activities. In addition to overseeing the union’s policy, educational, legislative and political programs, Lynch has been a key strategist in dozens of critical labor battles. She also serves as a Vice President on the AFSCME International Executive Board and a Board Member of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

A Philadelphia native, Lynch is a graduate of Duquesne University. Before joining AFSCME in 1984, she was involved in grassroots community, labor and political organizing efforts in Pittsburgh and Chicago, including serving on the staff of the Calumet Community Religious Conference, the Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health and the Harold Washington mayoral campaign.

Lynch is the co-author of Rusted Dreams: Hard Times in a Steel Community (University of California Press), which chronicles the decline of the steel industry in the Calumet region.



Deputy Director – Mike Newman

Mike NewmanMike Newman joined Council 31 as the Legislative Director in 1982, playing an important role in the passage of collective bargaining laws in 1983 that won public employees the right to organize into unions and to engage in collective bargaining.

As Associate Director from 1996 until his appointment as Deputy Director in 2014, Newman has been involved in virtually every facet of the union’s work, including overseeing the negotiation and administration of hundreds of collective bargaining agreements. He has been particularly key in negotiating and administering Council 31’s comprehensive Master Agreement with the State of Illinois. Newman supervises the union’s legal and contract administration teams, and serves as the chief negotiator with the City of Chicago and Cook County.

Newman came to AFSCME after teaching in the Labor Education Program at the University of Illinois where he also earned a Master of Labor and Industrial Relations degree. Prior to moving to Illinois, Newman was a union organizer in the garment industry in the Southeastern United States. 



Council 31 Executive Board Officers

State Sector Executive Vice-President

Ralph Portwood

Stateville Correctional Center, Local 1866

University Sector Executive Vice-President

Charles Carver
Illinois State University, Local 1110

Private Sector Executive Vice-President

Yurvette Simmons
United Cerebral Palsy of Will County, Local 3237

Local Government Executive Vice-President

John Rayburn

Chicago Public Library, Local 1215



David Delrose

Will County, Local 1028



David Morris

Illinois State Employees, Local 805



Board Members


State Sector Executive Vice-President
Ralph Portwood, Local 1866

Private Sector Executive Vice-President
Yurvette Simmons, Local 3237

Local Government Executive Vice-President
John Rayburn, Local 1215

Dave Delrose, Local 1028

David Morris, Local 805

Board Members

State Conference Board Co-Chairs
Tim Worker, Vandalia, Local 993

Region I Vice-Presidents
Phil Cisneros, Local 3969
Safiya Felters, Local 2854
Susanne Littlefield, Local 2912
Kobie Robinson, Local 3835
Crosby Smith, Local 2645

Region II Vice-Presidents
Terry Boone, Local 672
Cody Dornes, Local 46
Tom Opolony, Local 89
Tawny Proulx, Local 172
Tamara Rietman, Local 3693
Miguel Vazquez, Local 3297

Region III Vice-Presidents
Arnold Black, Local 2971
Shaun Dawson, Local 2073
Elizabeth Hutson, Local 1019
Jack Matthews, Local 1964
Trudy Williams, Local 3433
Region IV Vice-Presidents
Jerry Grammer, Local 1175
Julie Latempt-Brazier, Local 2887
John Medley, Local 1805

Keith Kracht, Local 203
Vickey Leadingham, Local 978
Danny Williams, Local 29

Retiree Chapter 31 Representative
Larry Brown