Labor Secretary Hilda Solis

Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) with Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) at the Introduction of the Human Dignity Act, July 2006. Photo by W. L. Doromal ©2006

February 24, 2009

Hilda Solis was confirmed today as Secretary of the Department of Labor in a vote of 80 to 17.

This is a true victory for every person working on U.S. soil. Si se puede!

SEIU President Andy Stern said this about Secretary Solis:
"As the daughter of two immigrant workers and union members who met in a citizenship class, today's vote to confirm Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor proves the American Dream is still alive. Working men and women now have a Department of Labor they can count on to stand up and fight for them because Secretary Solis personally understands the challenges workers face in a global economy. For Secretary Solis this is not just another job, but the culmination of a lifetime of action serving as a voice for people who work."
My union president, John Sweeney of the AFL-CIO had this to say:
The confirmation of Rep. Hilda Solis is a huge victory: Finally, Americans will have a secretary of labor who represents working people, not wealthy CEO’s. It is also a historic moment as Rep. Solis becomes the first Hispanic secretary of labor.
From MS. Magazine
Solis is a tireless fighter for women's rights, minority rights, and worker's rights.
In the House, Solis is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Natural Resources Committees, and the House Select Committee of Independence and Global Warming. She is also a former chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.

In her eight years in the California state legislature, Solis authored a record 17 anti-domestic violence laws. She also led the battle to increase the state's minimum wage and has been vital in the struggle to close the wage gap for women.
See this post for more on Hilda Solis. 

Commerce Secretary Nominee

Former Washington state governor, Gary Locke has been selected to fill the post of commerce secretary. From Reuters:
"President Obama is expected to announce former Governor Gary Locke as his nominee for commerce secretary tomorrow," an administration official said.

Locke, a Democrat, would be Obama's third choice for the post after his first two nominees, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Republican Senator Judd Gregg, withdrew their names from contention.

Locke, 59, was the first Chinese-American governor in the United States. He served two terms as governor of Washington from 1997 to 2005, overseeing a state with a diverse economy that includes corporate giants like Boeing and Microsoft, wheat and apple farmers and major seafood companies.