Hilda L. Solis
- 1 Early life
- 2 Education/early career
- 3 Political beginnings
- 4 Greetings to the Communist Party
- 5 Cuba trip
- 6 Cesar Chavez walk
- 7 J Sreet endorsement
- 8 Take Back America Conferences
- 9 America's Future Now Conferences
- 10 Democratic Socialists of America conference
- 11 "Progressive" Los Angeles
- 12 Woolsey/Sheinbaum fund raiser
- 13 Second Cuba Trip
- 14 Socialist International
- 15 Supporting Hillary Clinton
- 16 Human Rights Council
- 17 Obama's Latino Advisory Council
- 18 Inspired by Chavez and Huerta
- 19 Blue Green Alliance
- 20 Congressional Progressive Caucus
- 21 American Rights at Work
- 22 Labor/socialists welcome appointment
- 23 Obama appointment
- 24 Praised socialist labor leader Jack Henning
- 25 Presented Letelier award
- 26 Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
- 27 UFW 50th Anniversary convention
- 28 Abortion
- 29 External links
- 30 References
Hilda Solis is the pro - socialist U.S. Secretary of Labor. Before this she served in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009 for California. She is married to Sam Sayyad who is a small business owner.
Hilda Solis was born on October 20, 1957 in Los Angeles, California. She is the daughter of Mexican and Nicaraguan immigrants, Raul Solis and Juana Barela-Solis. Her father, Raul, is a Mexican union shop steward and her mother, Juana, is a Nicaraguan assembly line worker. Solis has stated that her parents and six siblings continue to be a great source of inspiration to her.
In 1979, Solis earned a Bachelor Degree from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona . In 1981, Hilda Solis earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California . During the President Jimmy Carter Administration, Solis worked in the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs as an intern. Solis was later appointed as a Management Analyst with the Office of Management and Budget in the Civil Rights Division.
Solis served in the California State Assembly from 1992 to 1994 and made history by becoming the first Hispanic woman elected to the California State Senate (1994-2000). In 2003 Solis became the first Hispanic woman to serve on the powerful House Committee on Energy and Commerce, she served as Vice Chair of the Environment and Hazardous Materials (EHM) Subcommittee and a member of the Health and Telecommunications subcommittees. Solis also served on the House Committee on Natural Resources.
Greetings to the Communist Party
- The Southern California Friends of the People's Weekly World tribute to two of Los Angeles' finest labor leaders, Jerry Acosta and Gilbert Cedillo, became a dynamic rally of elected officials, activists, labor and community leaders in solidarity with labor struggles and in the fight to defeat the ultra-right in November...
- "The People's Weekly World and all of us in this room feel very strongly about who we honor today," said Evelina Alarcon, chair of the Southern California District and national secretary of the Communist Party USA, one of the emcees of the tribute. "Jerry Acosta and Gilbert Cedillo represent the new fightback vision of the Sweeney, Trumka, Chavez-Thompson leadership in the AFL-CIO. They represent the rank and file that is pushing from the bottom for that new vision!"
- "Gil Cedillo and Jerry Acosta have changed the whole dynamic of what it means to be for the working class and what it means to fight for workers rights. Because of them and other labor leaders, we have seen a resurgence of strength of the least empowered in our country..."
Presentations to the honorees were also made by Clara James, chair of the Community Affairs Commission of the Second Baptist Church, on behalf of Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Antonio Aguilar, on behalf of State Senator Hilda Solis, California's first Latina elected to the State Senate, who, along with labor, led the drive to put a minimum wage increase initiative on the ballot...
Los Angeles Martinez Jobs Bill support rally
On October 18 1997, Matthew Martinez, State senators Hilda Solis and Diane Watson, City Councilman Richard Alarcon, Miguel Contreras, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor and Geraldine Washington, president of the Los Angeles NAACP addressed a Los Angeles "show us the living wage jobs" rally, as part of a national day of action, calling on Congress to pass the Martinez Jobs Bill. there were concurrent rallies in nearly 20 cities, organized by the Communist Party USA dominated National Labor-Community Coalition For Public Works Jobs. Pastor Cecil Murray of the First AME Church in South Los Angeles sponsored the rally.
Hilda Solis also enjoyed strong union and Communist Party USA backing) when she ran for U.S. Congress in 2000.
In a report submitted to the Communist Party in November 2000 Evelina Alarcon, Vice Chair CPUSA and Chair Southern California District, commented on Hilda Solis's Congressional victory;
- The monumental victories which are occurring in Los Angeles electorally and in the workplace are because of the coalition building that the labor movement is doing with the Latino and African American community. In Los Angeles, the Labor Federation not only targeted three congressional districts but it had organized 250 volunteers to help State Senator Hilda Solis win her Congressional seat by turning out the union household and Latino vote...
- We in the Party can also be proud because our members were involved in all the targeted electoral efforts...
Parke Skelton support
According to Harold Meyerson of LA Weekly, it was "L.A.’s liberal operatives who helped put Villaraigosa over the top". Antonio Villaraigosa’s 2005 Mayoral victory is the crowning achievement in the career of Parke Skelton, possibly the most principled political consultant in the business, who has steered to elected office virtually every liberal pol in greater L.A. — among them, Hilda Solis, Eric Garcetti, Jackie Goldberg, Sheila Kuehl, Karen Bass and Martin Ludlow.
Cesar Chavez walk
Thousands of people from across Southern California joined the 4th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Walk in East Los Angeles on Saturday, April 6, 2002 --marking the ninth anniversary of the legendary farm worker and civil rights leader's death and the 40th anniversary of the United Farm Workers.
Walkers who assembled Saturday at East Los Angeles College Stadium for the walk included Chavez's widow, Helen, other Chavez family members and UFW President Arturo Rodriguez. Also participating were Hollywood figures including Martin Sheen; Jackie Guerra, Pete Leal, Austin Marquez, Edward James Olmos; Esai Morales; Mike Farrell; Ed Begley, Jr.; Marisol Nichols; Richard Coca, Evelina Fernandez, Mike Gomez, Sal Lopez, Dyana Ortelli, Jose Luis Valuenzuela; and Michele Greene.
Many elected officials also joined the walk, including U.S. Rep. Hilda Solis, state Sen. Richard Alarcon, Sen. Gloria Romero, Sen. Nell Soto, Speaker of the Assembly Herb Wesson, Assemblymembers Marco Firebaugh, Judy Chu and Paul Koretz, and Board of Equalization member John Chang.
J Sreet endorsement
Take Back America Conferences
Hilda Solis was on the list of 129 speakers at the 2003 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
She was back in 2007.
America's Future Now Conferences
Hilda Solis was on the list of speakers at the 2009 America's Future Now conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
Democratic Socialists of America conference
An "insurgent" Hilda Solis was a keynote speaker at the 2005 Democratic Socialists of America national conference "Twenty-First Century Socialism" in Los Angeles, with DSA leaders Peter Dreier and Harold Meyerson.
- Saturday evening delegates recognized the contributions of DSA vice chair and Washington Post]columnist Harold Meyerson, Occidental College sociologist and longtime DSAer Peter Dreier and insurgent California Congress member Hilda Solis (D) who in turn provided in-depth perspectives of the political scene.
"Progressive" Los Angeles
- Antonio Villaraigosa....He was a union organizer. He was the head of the ACLU. He came out the barrio and grew up very poor. His father was an alcoholic, beat his mother—he overcame incredible obstacles. He dropped out of high school, and went back and then graduated from UCLA. He worked his way up through the labor movement and then was elected to the state legislature, becoming Speaker of the Assembly.
- When he was term-limited out of the legislature he ran for the LA City Council and was elected. When he ran for Mayor the first time in 2001 he lost, but he ran again and won in 2005. Now we have a progressive mayor, thanks in large part to this impressive network of grassroots organizations, labor unions and community and environmental organizations. Many of them have lifted up some of their leaders into positions of electoral power. It’s a network of activists that work closely with elected officials, like Congresswoman Hilda Solis, and it’s just remarkable what L.A. has become.
Woolsey/Sheinbaum fund raiser
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first Member of Congress to call on the President to bring our troops home, was be in Los Angeles on Saturday February 4th 2006, for a 'very exciting but critical fundraiser against the most well-known, well-financed challenger she's ever faced". woolsey was facing a primary challenge from a termed-out Assemblyman Joe Nation, a moderate Democrat who has been critical of her stand on the war and on bringing home our troops. He is raising money from people who have given money to Tom DeLay and Bush-Cheney and his legislative district covers 60+% of Congresswoman Woolsey's district. Congresswoman Woolsey is a "champion of equal rights, civil liberties, protecting the environment and fighting for single payer healthcare. Congresswoman Woolsey must be re-elected by the same victory margin she has had in the past to send a message to progressives everywhere that's it IS OK to be courageous, and to not back down on issues that matter."
The Host Committee for this fundraiser includes:
Ben Affleck; Ed Asner; Warren Beatty; Jodie Evans; James Cromwell; Matt Damon; Tom Hayden; Wendy Herzog; Mimi Kennedy; Norman Lear; Stephen Rohde; Susie Shannon; Stanley Sheinbaum & Betty Sheinbaum; Lorraine Sheinberg; Kathy Spillar; Gloria A. Totten; Peg Yorkin; Senator Barbara Boxer; Congressman Joe Baca; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Congresswoman Lois Capps; Congresswoman Jane Harman; Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald; Congresswoman Grace Napolitano; Congresswoman; Lucille Roybal-Allard; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; Congressman Adam Schiff; Congresswoman Hilda Solis; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Congresswoman Diane Watson; Senator Sheila Kuehl and Assemblywoman Karen Bass.
The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First
Hilda Solis is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".
Second Cuba Trip
From Dec. 15 - Dec. 18, 2006, a Congressional Delegation of ten congressmen and women from the U.S. House of Representatives visited Havana, Cuba. Leading the delegation were Jeff Flake and Bill Delahunt. The other participants were Hilda Solis, Jo Ann Emerson, Jerry Moran, Michael Conaway, Jane Harman, Lincoln Davis, Gregory Meeks and Jim McGovern. The delegation met with Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque and other communist officials. The delegation asked to meet with Raul Castro during their weekend visit to Cuba, but there was no word on whether such a meeting would take place.
Hilda Solis also has indirect ties to the Socialist International. In June 2008 the SI Migrations Committeeheld a Migrations Reform, Integration, Rights forum in Los Angeles
Democratic Socialists of America, the SI's main U.S. affiliate was represented by DSA National Director Frank Llewellyn plus Duane Campbell and Dolores Delgado Campbell of DSA's Anti Racism network and the Latino networks.
California State Senator Gil Cedillo, was also in attendance.
Supporting Hillary Clinton
In 2007 Hilda Solis, endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for president and signed on to co-chair of the Clinton campaign’s Environmental and Energy Task Force and co-chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Council.
Solis was joined by her friend and Democratic Socialists of America honorary chair, Dolores Huerta-Solis and Huerta had the honour of formally nominating Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary.
Together Huerta and Solis campaigned for Clinton through California and Nevada on a tour themed "Juntos Con Hillary, Una Vida Mejor" (Together with Hillary, A Better Life).
Human Rights Council
Solis was elected to be Vice Chair of the Helsinki Commission’s General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions. She is the only U.S. elected official to serve on this committee.
Obama's Latino Advisory Council
In August 2008 the Obama Campaign announced the formation of its National Latino Advisory Council, highlighting the continued growth of support Senator Obama is receiving in the Latino community nationwide.
- According to the campaign, the advisory council is made up of key labor, faith, community leaders, and elected officials from across the country and will serve as an advisory council for the campaign on issues important to the Latino community as well as play an active role reaching out and organizing Latinos in their communities and across the country.
Its members included:
Federico Pena, Chair, National Hispanic Advisory Council, Former Mayor of Denver and Former Secretary of Transportation, National Obama Campaign Co-Chair; Geoconda Arguello-Kline, President, Nevada Culinary Workers Union ; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Adolfo Carrion, Bronx Borough President; Henry Cisneros, Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Bishop Wilfredo De Jesus, Vice President of Social Justice, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Congressman Charlie Gonzalez; Congressman Raul Grijalva ; Congressman Luis Gutierrez; Ambassador Luis Lauredo, Former Ambassador to the Organization of American States; Patricia Madrid, Former Attorney General of New Mexico; Eliseo Medina, Executive Vice President, SEIU ; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; Congresswoman Hilda Solis; and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.
Said former Clinton supporter Hilda Solis:
- "As the Latino community continues to get to know Senator Obama, it is clear that he is the right candidate for our issues and is the best candidate to deliver the change that America desperately needs... Senator Obama not only understands the struggles and diversity of our community but because of his personal history and background he will stand with us and be a fighter for our issues. I look forward to continuing to work to elect Senator Obama as the next President of the United States."
Inspired by Chavez and Huerta
Hilda Solis claims inspiration from Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers and Dolores Huerta of UFW and Democratic Socialists of America. She has tried to get the U.S. Congress to honor both activists.
Blue Green Alliance
The Blue Green Alliance sponsors the annual Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference. The 2010 conference was held from May. 4-6, 2010.
Conference speakers included:
- Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives
- Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy
- Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor
- Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania
- Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor of Colorado
- U.S. Senator John Kerry, United States Senator of Massachusetts
- U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, United States Senator of Oregon
- U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Fifth District of Missouri
- U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, Fifth District of Minnesota
- U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Luján, Third District of New Mexico
- U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, First Congressional District of Maine
Congressional Progressive Caucus
Hilda Solis was a long time member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
On November 19 2008 the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced its elected leadership for the 111th Congress:
- Raul Grijalva (AZ), co-chair
- Lynn Woolsey (CA), co-chair
- Diane Watson, Whip
- Sheila Jackson-Lee, Vice-Chair Liaison to Black Caucus
- Hilda Solis, Vice-Chair Liaison to Women's Caucus
- Mazie Hirono, Vice-Chair Liaison to Asian Pacific American Caucus
- Dennis Kucinich, Vice-Chair Liaison to LGBT Equality Caucus
American Rights at Work
As at Dec. 18, 2008, Hilda Solis served on the Board of Directors for American Rights at Work. Following Obama's announcement that he had selected Solis as the nation's next Secretary of Labor, American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell stated: "Solis... will champion common sense policies like the Employee Free Choice Act to restore balance and create an economy that works for everyone". Chair of the Board, David Bonior, commented: "I’ve worked with [Solis] for years in Congress and she sits on our Board of Directors – she is a terrific leader who I know first hand will work tirelessly on behalf of America’s working families".
Hida Solis' appointment as secretary of labor was welcomed by several key labor and socialist figures including Andy Stern, Anna Burger, Stuart Appelbaum and her colleagues at American Rights at Work, David Bonior, John Sweeney and Mary Beth Maxwell.
According to the Communist Party USA's People's Weekly World
- One labor source said Solis’ name was put forward by Service Employees President Andrew Stern, whose union -- along with the Change To Win coalition -- endorsed Obama’s presidential candidacy long before the AFL-CIO did. SEIU is the biggest union in CTW.
- But leaders ranging from CTW Chair Anna Burger to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum all welcomed the Solis appointment.
- So did former House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-Mich.), now chair of pro-labor American Rights At Work, and ARW Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell. Both had been on lists circulated for the job...Maxwell. Bonior dropped out of the running to endorse her. Both praised Solis, who sits on the group’s board...
- Bonior, citing his work with Solis since she entered Congress in 2001 -- he was there until 2004 -- called her "a terrific leader who I know first-hand will work tirelessly on behalf of America’s working families."
- Sweeney said the AFL-CIO is “thrilled at the prospect of having Solis as our nation's next Labor Secretary...The AFL-CIO looks forward to working with Solis as she charts new territory for our nation's working men and women."
- What does Rep. Hilda Solis, Barack Obama’s selection for secretary of labor, bring to the job? Only a record of passionate commitment to working people, a high level of political smarts, and some genuine displays of raw guts that could make her a star of American liberalism...
- In the House, Solis has continued to champion labor causes, immigrants' rights, women’s health and environmental protections. She also worked closely with Rahm Emanuel in recruiting Democratic House candidates from the Southwest and Latino-dominated districts, so she brings to her new job a strong relationship with Obama’s incoming chief-of-staff. Now, she’s in the key position to promote the Employee Free Choice Act, which seems likely to be the most contentious issue on Obama’s agenda. But Solis has never been deterred by controversy.
In January 2009, Solis was nominated by the Obama administration for the position of Secretary in the Department of Labor and confirmed in February 2009. Her official title is "Chairperson of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee". Sen. Ted Kennedy. was in charge of Solis’ confirmation.
The son of a charter member of the plumbers union, Henning rose to become the longtime head of the California Labor Federation before his retirement in 1996.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis paid posthumous tribute to Henning's lifelong commitment to workers' struggles.
"Jack Henning was a champion, visionary and unwavering voice on behalf of the working women and men of the United States and the world," Solis said. "We are all indebted to his leadership, and he will be missed."
Presented Letelier award
On October 15, 2009, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Presented Domestic Workers United with the Institute for Policy Studies Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Domestic Workers United is a union for domestic workers, with the vision, "We have a dream that one day, all work will be valued equally". The IPS is a highly influential, but little known source of ideas, guidance and training for the U.S. and international left. It began as a revolutionary think-tank that consistently supported policies that facilitated the foreign policy goals of the Soviet Union and weakened the position of the United States.
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
In Oakland, California, hundreds of workers, youth, and activists rose to their feet to welcome Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis who opened the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance’s 3-day 11th biennial convention on July 22, 2011. Solis spoke of the employment crisis and the recovery of back wages for victims of wage theft, and was met with a standing ovation for her strong support for the DREAM Act. The convention’s lineup of speakers also included AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders, and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry.
In accordance with the theme, "Generations United: Our Jobs, Our Rights, Our Future!" the convention successfully outreached to 200 young leaders. Fiery testimonials were given by student activists and DREAMers Ju Hong and David Cho, as well as Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who all shared their experience as undocumented immigrants and highlighted immigration as a key issue in the APA labor movement.
APALA honored labor and community leaders during the sold-out gala dinner, and the grand ballroom was at-capacity with over twenty APA elected officials including Congressman Mike Honda, Mayor Jean Quan and State Controller John Chiang joining convention goers for a reception and dinner Saturday evening.
UFW 50th Anniversary convention
The United Farm Workers' 50th Anniversary convention was held Saturday, May 19,2012. Rabobank Convention Center. Keene, California.
• A three-hour program (1-4 p.m.) honoring the UFW pioneers, with special segments on the 1962 founding convention, 1965-1970 grape strikers and boycotters, 1966 peregrinos who marched from Delano to Sacramento, the Filipino American grape strikers and the farm worker ministry. Among the speakers were Dolores Huerta, Chris Hartmire and Luis Valdez, whose Teatro Campesino performed old union songs and actos throughout the program.
Sunday, May 20, Rabobank Convention Center. Keene, California
• Mass at 7:45 a.m. with Bishop Richard Garcia from the Monterey Diocese presiding, honoring the rive UFW martyrs.
Solis received $1000 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.
Solis has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.
- Somos Primos Magazine: Congresswoman Hilda Solis , Jan. 2009 (accessed April 28, 2010)
- People's Weekly World June 20 1996
- PWW, October 11, 1997, page 6
- Weekly, New Mayor, New City, By Harold Meyerson Thursday, May 19 2005
- http://www.ufw.org/_board.php?mode=view&b_code=news_press&b_no=702&page=21&field=&key=&n=235 UFW Thousands walk in L.A. to honor Cesar Chavez & 40th anniversary of the union he founded 04/07/2002]
- J Street 2008 Annual Report
- Our Future website: Take Back America 2003 Speakers (accessed on June 17, 2010)
- Confabb website: America's Future Now 2009 Speakers (accessed on July 13, 2010)
- http://www.care2.com/c2c/groups/disc.html?gpp=6486&pst=347342 LA Event Featuring Warren Beatty, Matt Daman for Lynn Woolsey 2/4/06 January 31, 2006 3:45 PM
- [ http://www.foodfirst.org/es/about/staff, Food First staff page]
- Havana Journal website: Fidel Castro and US Congressional trip to Cuba update, Dec. 17, 2006 (accessed on April 28, 2010)
- Huffington Post: Honoring the Legacy of Cesar Estrada Chavez, April 2, 2008 (accessed on April 29, 2010)
- NY Times: As Labor Secretary, Finding Influence in Her Past , July 5, 2009 (accessed on April 29, 2010)
- Green Jobs Conference website: 2010 Speakers (accessed on Jan. 28, 2011)
- American Rights at Work website: American Rights at Work Statement on Secretary of Labor Nomination, Dec. 18, 2008 (accessed on April 29, 2010)
- Nominations and appointments
- LA times, Jack Henning dies at 93; California labor leader, By Patrick J. McDonnell June 6, 2009
- Ms. Foundation Blog: Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Presents Award to Domestic Workers United
- Domestic Workers United website
- KeyWiki: Institute for Policy Studies
- 2011-convention.html, APALA 2011 Convention, July 28, 2011 Caroline Fan
- Talking Union, U.F.W. 50th. Anniversary Convention,Posted on May 2, 2012 by dcampbell1