Washington, D.C., February 24, 2009 – Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis made history today as the first Latina to be nominated and confirmed as a secretary in a Presidential cabinet. Secretary Solis was confirmed today, February 24, 2009 after a vote of 80-18.
“America’s working men and women will be fortunate to have someone of Hilda’s tremendous talents leading the Department of Labor. She knows the huge challenges facing workers and their families, and she has the experience and dedication needed for this vital position,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. ” It’s been a privilege to work with her in Congress, and I look forward very much to working with her as secretary.”
First elected in 2000, Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis is serving her fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. She represents California’s 32nd Congressional District, which includes portions of East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. Prior to her election to Congress, Solis served eight years in the California state legislature. In August 2000, Solis became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues in California.
In 2003, she became the first Latina appointed to the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce where she is the Vice Chair of the Environment and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee and a member of the Health and Telecommunications Subcommittees. She is also a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources. In March 2007, Solis was named a member of the newly created House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
Solis is Vice Chair of the Democratic Steering & Policy Committee and serves as a Senior Whip, as well as a Regional Whip for Southern California. She is also serving her third term as the Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Task Force on Health and the Environment.In 2007, Solis was appointed to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the Mexico – United States Interparliamentary Group.
“This is a historic moment, we are all very proud of Congresswoman Hilda Solis, her support of tech projects to develop the education of our students has made her a strong advocate of closing the digital divide,” said Jose Marquez, President of LISTA. “She has made tremendous strides in bringing technology into in her congressional district’s classrooms, and address the pressing need to ensure our children are competitive around the world.” “Now as she accepts to lead the Labor Department, I am confident she will work to strengthen and support every American in our diverse workforce.
For more information on Hilda Solis go to: www.solis.house.gov