Obama Chooses Rep. Hilda Solis As Labor Secretary

President-elect Barack Obama will announce today that he has selected another Latino to join his Cabinet--California congresswoman Hilda Solis, who will assume the post of Labor Secretary. Solis, 51, holds a strong track record of supporting union rights and creating green jobs, and already her appointment is being celebrated by labor officials and colleagues who see her as a powerful advocate for unions, environmental policy, women and working families.

We reported yesterday that Obama has already set a record for the highest number of Latinos to serve in a Presidential administration, but Solis' appointment is a milestone all its own. Solis is the only member of Congress to date who is of Central American descent, and in 1994, she was the first Latina elected to California's State Senate. Voters first elected her to the House of Representatives in 2001, and she is now serving her fifth term for the state's predominantly Latino 32nd District.

According to Politico, Solis' father was a Mexican immigrant, shop steward and member of the Teamsters union who met her mother, an assembly-lineworker from Nicaragua, while taking citizenship classes in Los Angeles.

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