Obama Names Alumna Hilda Solis to Cabinet Post

Obama Names Alumna Hilda Solis to Cabinet Post
Rep. Hilda L. Solis

U.S. Representative and Cal Poly Pomona alumna Hilda Solis has been chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as the Secretary of Labor under his administration. Obama made the announcement about his cabinet nominee on Friday, Dec. 19, in Chicago.

Solis, D-El Monte, studied political science at Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in 1979. Currently in her fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, she represents the 32nd congressional district, which includes El Monte, South El Monte, Baldwin Park, Covina, West Covina and Azusa.

“Hilda has always been an advocate for everyday people,” Obama said in his announcement. “Whether it's creating green jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced or expanding access to affordable health care or raising the minimum wage in California, Hilda has been a champion of our middle class.”

Elected to Congress in 2000, Solis has consistently supported measures to increase the minimum wage, make it easier for workers to organize and to preserve a ban on privatizing jobs at the Labor Department. Solis also serves on the board of directors of American Rights at Work, which advocates for the right to form unions and bargain collectively.

Prior to the U.S. House of Representatives, Solis served in the California State Senate, the State Assembly and on the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees. In 2000, she became the first woman to receive the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues in California. After Cal Poly Pomona, Solis attended the University of Southern California, where she received a master's degree in public administration.

For the past 12 years, Cal Poly Pomona has awarded more than $60,000 in scholarships in her honor to students who display strong academic achievement and community service involvement. The upcoming Hilda L. Solis Scholarship Dinner & Reception is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 6, 2009.