NHLA Press Releases

Nomination of Thomas Perez Welcomed by Latino Leaders

March 19, 2013


Presidential Nominee Has Outstanding Record Through Consensus Building, Pragmatic Problem Solving

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) hails President Obama's nomination of Thomas Perez to be Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL) and urges the Senate to promptly confirm him. NHLA is a coalition of thirty of the nation's leading Hispanic organizations.


NHLA members were honored to join diverse civil rights and labor leaders in the East Room of the White House to witness President Barack Obama's historic nomination of Thomas Perez as the next Secretary of the Department of Labor. (March 18, 2013)

Perez, who was endorsed by the NHLA board, currently serves as Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. His distinguished career -- including public service at the local, state and federal levels -- is notable for his pragmatic, consensus building approach. Perez is known for forging compromise between business and labor, Republicans and Democrats.

Following are some of the statements issued by NHLA member organizations:

Hector E. Sanchez, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of LCLAA, stated: "Thomas Perez has a long record of outstanding advocacy on behalf of the working and middle class families. His vigorous and common-sense approach to solving problems will serve our nation well in the Labor Department to promote the creation of a first-rate workforce and safeguard workers’ rights and safety. We fully support Perez's nomination and urge all Senators to support his prompt confirmation."

Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF stated: “Tom Pérez has been a champion of equality, fairness, and civil rights for all marginalized communities in the country and he is eminently qualified to lead the nation’s efforts to protect our workforce. LatinoJustice PRLDEF applauds President Obama’s decision to nominate Mr. Pérez and looks forward to working with him to protect the rights of Latino workers throughout the country.”

Al Gallegos, National President of the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives, stated: "On behalf of the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE) we welcome the nomination of Mr. Tom Perez as our next Secretary of Labor. We have full confidence that he will perform a tremendous job for the people of America. We also have great confidence that he will work within the DOL federal employees ranks to promote Hispanics, especially within the DOL Career Senior Executive Service arena."

Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR, stated: "Throughout Tom's remarkable career no one has been a stronger champion of working families, including the millions of Hispanic families he has directly helped through his work. We believe that his considerable talent, experience and expertise coupled with his commitment and compassion will make him an exceptional Labor Secretary. Thanks to his courageous leadership on issues ranging from education to voting rights to immigration, Tom is a hero to many in the Latino community, both in his native Maryland and across the country. We commend the president on this stellar choice. We support this nomination without reservation and urge the Senate to confirm him for this position as quickly as possible."

Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition stated: "Thomas Perez is an excellent choice for Secretary of Labor. Mr. Perez has been an extraordinary public servant for his entire career and his experience will serve him well in the Department of Labor. In particular, his extensive expertise in a host of civil rights issues will be a particularly exciting addition to the President's cabinet. We look forward to his swift confirmation."

Javier Palomarez, the U. S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, stated: "Thomas Perez's admirable civil service career protecting the rights of the American people is praiseworthy. His story as a first-generation American sheds light on the incredible contributions the children of our nation's immigrants offer to our country every day. His track record has proven that he is a tireless champion for the American worker and I am certain he will continue his outstanding service to our country as the next Secretary of Labor."

Ignacio Salazar, President & CEO, SER-Jobs for Progress National, Inc. stated: “Tom Perez has had a long and distinguished career. President Obama has made an excellent choice nominating him to be Secretary of Labor.”

Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund Executive Director, stated: “We applaud President Obama for nominating Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas E. Perez to Secretary of Labor. Mr. Perez is a dedicated public servant with the talent and experience necessary to excel in this important position. Throughout his career, he has built a record of accomplishment unifying stakeholders and taking action on pressing issues that move our country forward. We look forward to working with the President to support Mr. Perez’s nomination and call on the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Mr. Perez as our nation’s next Secretary of Labor.”

Perez's accomplishments in leading the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division include settling several of the largest fair-lending cases in the department's history, securing the largest-ever disability-based housing discrimination settlement, and successfully reaching a settlement to prevent discrimination in school enrollment and student discipline.

His career in public service includes serving as the Secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Montgomery County Council Member, Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and Special Counsel to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

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. To do its part in strengthening the pipeline of Latinos working in the federal government, NHLA is currently accepting resumes for its Presidential Appointments program, to identify and support Latino candidates pursuing presidential appointments. For more information, please visit www.nationalhispanicleadership.org.


| Melody Gonzales | melody@nationalhispanicleadership.org | (202) 508-6917 |
| Estuardo Rodriguez | estuardo@rabengroup.com | (202) 631-2892 |


ASPIRA Association, Inc. | Cuban American National Council | Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities | Hispanic Federation | Hispanic National Bar Association | Labor Council for Latin American Advancement | Latino Justice PRLDEF | League of United Latin American Citizens | MANA, A National Latina Organization | Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund | NALEO Educational Fund | National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives | National Association of Hispanic Publications | National Conference of Puerto Rican Women | National Council of La Raza | National Hispana Leadership Institute | National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators | National Hispanic Council on Aging | National Hispanic Environmental Council | National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts | National Hispanic Media Coalition | National Hispanic Medical Association | National Institute for Latino Policy | National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health | National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc. | SER – Jobs for Progress National, Inc. | Southwest Voter Registration Education Project | United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce | U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute

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