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Hilda Solis

Political Figure

Born: 20 October 1957
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California
Best known as: U.S. Secretary of Labor, 2009-present
Congressional Representative Hilda Solis of California is President Barack Obama's nominee for Secretary of the Department of Labor. If confirmed by the Senate, she will head the agency that attends to federal labor laws and statistics, worker safety and veterans' employment, among other functions. Elected to Congress in 2000 from the district east of Los Angeles where she grew up, Solis is backed by labor unions and has described herself as an environmentalist, an ally of working families, and "an unabashed crusader for women's rights." She previously served in California's State Senate (1994-2001) and Assembly (1992-94). Her parents, immigrants from Mexico and Nicaragua, met in a citizenship class and were union members while raising Solis and her seven siblings.
Extra credit: Her last name is pronounced like the English words "so LEASE"... The first in her family to attend college, she holds a bachelor's degree in political science from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona (1979) and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Southern California (1981)... While a graduate student, she had brief stints in the nation's capital as an intern in the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs under Jimmy Carter and an analyst for the Office of Management and Budget... She was the first Latina elected to California's Senate... Her husband, Sam H. Sayyad, owns a car-repair shop in Irwindale, California.

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