The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) applauded President-elect Obama’s nomination of Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis for Secretary of Labor. Today’s nomination completed the President-elect’s Cabinet, creating an extraordinarily diverse, representative, and qualified Administration. Of particular significance to the over 45 million Latinos in the United States, this cabinet will include 3 outstanding Hispanic leaders from our community along with many allies.
For Congresswoman Solis, this nomination is recognition of her leadership on the issues related to labor, healthcare, and the environment. A recent achievement of hers came just one year ago today when her legislation, The Green Jobs Act of 2007, was included in H.R. 6. Through the investment in renewable energy outlined in her legislation, 3 million new jobs will be created over the next decade and $125 million will be invested in work force training targeted to veterans, displaced workers, at risk youth, and individuals under 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
As a California State Senator, she was on the frontlines in the fight to secure a living wage, raising the state’s minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.75. She was trailblazer in the area of environmental justice, redefining the way low income and minority communities were assessed as potential locations for waste disposal and other polluting facilities. She authored legislation that sought to protect and improve working conditions and rights for farm workers, garment workers, the construction industry, janitors, state and local employees, and many others.
"The CHC is losing one of the hardest working Members in Congress,” said Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43), Chair of the CHC. “As a champion of healthcare, environmental issues, and workers rights, there is no better person than Congresswoman Solis to lead our Labor Department. I look forward to working with the Labor Secretary-designate in ensuring fair and just labor standards for our nation.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA-08) affirmed, “I applaud President-elect Obama’s selection of my colleague and friend Congresswoman Hilda Solis to serve as America’s next Labor Secretary. Congresswoman Solis has been a tireless advocate on behalf of Hispanic and all working families and will make an excellent Secretary of Labor. While we are all thrilled about her nomination, her leadership on health and environmental issues and her voice in the Hispanic Caucus will be missed in Congress.”
“With today’s announcement, Hilda Solis makes history as the first Latina appointed Secretary of Labor. From her upbringing as the child of immigrant laborers to her leadership in Congress, she has a lifelong commitment to supporting our nation’s working families,” CHC Chair-elect Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12) said. “President-elect Obama continues to select a highly-qualified Cabinet with diverse experiences and backgrounds. The growing strength of the Latino community will be well represented in the next Administration with Hispanic leaders guiding the Commerce, Interior and Labor Departments.”
Congressman Raúl Grijalva (AZ-07), 1st Vice Chair of the CHC stated, “Congresswoman Solis is an outstanding choice for Secretary of Labor. She brings an understanding of working families and a progressive outlook to their needs.”
“Congresswoman Solis is yet another exceptional addition to the President-elect’s cabinet,” said Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez (TX-20), 1st Vice Chair-elect of the CHC. “Her commitment to workers’ rights is unparalleled but does not come at the expense of business and industry, and her ability to strike that balance is crucial during these challenging economic times. Her lifelong experience in public service is a tremendous asset, and she will serve our country well as Labor Secretary.”
"Our President-elect could not be doing better at the outset of his incumbency. In designating Hilda Solis, Barack Obama shows, once again, that he knows how to recognize and motivate the best talent that our nation can offer,” added Congressman-elect Pedro Pierluisi (PR). “This is a bright day for all Latinos in America.”
“I congratulate my colleague and dear friend, Congresswoman Hilda Solis for this very deserving appointment,” stated Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-04). “In selecting Hilda, President-elect Obama has chosen wisely someone whose entire life has been dedicated to waging and winning battles in defense of children, women, union members and the environment. I know that she will carry on this commitment in her new duties as Secretary of Labor, where she will likely make history with her strong defense and commitment to workers’ rights everywhere.
“I applaud President-elect Obama for appointing such an outstanding public servant to lead the Department of Labor. Congresswoman Hilda Solis is a vigorous advocate of low- and middle-income families and has a deep understanding of the hardships currently confronting many of America’s workers. I look forward to working with her in her new role as the Congress and the new administration work together to move our economy forward,” Congressman Silvestre Reyes (TX-16) stated.
“The nomination of Congresswoman Hilda Solis is wonderful news for our Hispanic community and nation as whole,” said Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15). “It has been a great privilege to work with Congresswoman Solis for the past eight years and witness her passion for bringing about much-needed change to our workforce investment and job training programs. I look forward to working with her as she continues to advocate for America’s working families.”
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) added, ““In today’s economic crisis, it’s more important than ever that American workers have a wise and dedicated voice at the Department of Labor. In Hilda Solis, they have found that voice. Representative Solis has impressed her colleagues in Congress as a gifted woman and a devoted representative, and I have every confidence that she will bring that strength and intelligence to her new role in the administration.”
“I commend the President-Elect for his excellent nomination of my friend and colleague Hilda Solis to be the next Secretary of Labor. Secretary Solis will be an outstanding advocate for working men and women, and all America’s families impacted by our current economic turmoil,” added Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34).
Congressman Solomon P. Ortiz (TX-27), the Dean of the CHC, stated, "I commend President-elect Obama for selecting Congresswoman Solis to be the new Secretary of Labor. She has a strong record of advocating for the health, safety, and well being of working people. In the wake of rising unemployment figures, Congresswoman Solis will no doubt promote job development and training for all Americans."
"Congresswoman Solis is an excellent choice for Secretary of Labor. She will continue to be a strong advocate for working families and improve the economic health of our country,” stated Congressman-elect Ben Ray Luján (NM-03). “I look forward to working with Congresswoman Solis in her new role as Secretary of Labor."
Congresswoman Solis has chaired the CHC’s Health and the Environment Task Force during the 110th Congress, and was elected as the CHC’s 2nd Vice Chair for the 111th.
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