NHLA Press Releases

NHLA Statement On Departure of Secretary of Labor Solis

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of thirty leading Hispanic organizations in the nation, joins in thanking Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis for her exemplary leadership on behalf of American workers. On Wednesday, after four years of impressive accomplishments as head of the Department, Secretary Solis announced her decision to resign.

Secretary Solis made history as the first Hispanic woman to lead a major federal-agency. During her tenure as head of the Department of Labor, Secretary Solis was a critical member of President Obama’s economic team and was instrumental in creating jobs that helped the country begin its recovery from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Under her stewardship, the agency held the first-ever Latino Worker Safety Summit to address safety and health issues in the Latino community. She has been an asset both to the Obama administration and to the nation.

The announcement of Secretary Solis’ resignation comes at a time of concern for NHLA due to the lack of diversity in President Obama’s cabinet and senior staff. During the November elections Latinos helped deliver an important victory to the President. Latinos communicated their role as important stakeholders in the Country’s future. With only one Latino remaining as a cabinet member, this is a critical time for the President to demonstrate his commitment to have an administration that reflects the diversity of America.

Hector E. Sanchez, NHLA Chair stated: “NHLA is honored to have had such an outstanding leader represent the Latino community at the highest levels of government. When Secretary Solis first took office four years ago, she assured her home community and her larger Latino family that she would be a strong advocate on their behalf, and she has. Secretary Solis recognized that what is necessary for the well-being of Latinos is also vital to the progress of our nation. President Obama relied heavily on the support of Latinos in the 2012 Presidential elections. We think it is fair to request that the President’s cabinet reflect the diverse composition of the country. We expect the President will continue to have, at the very least, two Latino cabinet appointments in his second term and we renew our request that he raise that number to a total of three Latino members.”

Janet Murguía, President and CEO, National Council of La Raza stated: “Secretary Solis has been one of the strongest advocates for working families and for the health, safety, and dignity of Latino workers. We salute her service to our nation. Yet, we are not only losing a dynamic leader, but also the first and only Latina in the cabinet. As a result of the turnout in the recent election, there are high expectations by our community for this administration. At such a critical time in our nation’s history; our voice needs to be amplified, not diminished. We need the President to ensure that happens."

Established in 1991, The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) brings together Hispanic leaders to establish policy priorities that address, and raise public awareness of the major issues affecting the Latino community and the nation as a whole.

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