Spotlight Exclusives

Obama۪s Labor Pick is Strong Advocate for the Poor

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“Out of the Spotlight” Posting for December 19, 2008

The Obama cabinet selections continue to impress those involved with the poverty and opportunity agenda as Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) is nominated by the president-elect as the new Secretary of Labor. Spotlight met the Congresswoman on an icy night in Iowa during the presidential campaign. Solis contributed an exclusive video interview to Spotlight, where she spoke of fightingpoverty through greater educational attainment and access to higher education. Solis has been an advocate of reinvesting in low-income communities and creating “green collar” jobs that stay within communities.

Solis, a five-term Democratic congresswoman who is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants, has focused on immigration and environment issues while in the House. But what pleases OOTs is that her legislative agenda has also included an array of anti-poverty initiatives. She sponsored the Green Jobs Act of 2007 establishing national and state job training programs to address job shortages in “green industries.” It also includes a special section to create “Pathways Out of Poverty” through job training in underserved communities. Solis has sponsored other legislation promoting health equity, to address linguistic and cultural barriers, lack of access to preventive care, and lack of diversity in health professions to help reduce health disparities. Her “Families First” legislation will insure immigrant raids conducted by ICE are humane and include protections for children; and she introduced legislation that would strengthen and expand substance abuse and mental health services to homeless persons.

Solis, who serves the East LA district, has a deep understanding and compassion for those struggling to climb out of poverty. Most importantly she understands the legislative process and how to work with Congress to get things done.

Her colleagues are already offering their support, such as this statement released by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee:

“Hilda Solis is a very strong champion of working families and will be an outstanding Secretary of Labor. Her record in the California legislature as a leader on labor issues and her excellent work in Congress on behalf of our nation’s working men and women will restore the Department of Labor as an advocate for hard working Americans. I look forward to working with her and the Obama administration to move the country forward on expanding health care, improving worker safety, strengthening retirement security and rebuilding our middle class.”

OOTS is pleased to echo Miller۪s sentiments about Solis.

posted by Norman


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