Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis Appears in Los Angeles with Mayor Villaraigosa and Senator Boxer

August 15th, 2010 · 5 Comments

Yesterday I had the opportunity to see one of the more revered and respected Latinas in public office, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at a small event at Los Angeles Trade-Tech College. The Secretary appeared after Mayor Villaraigosa and Senator Boxer addressed a classroom sized gathering of organizers and activists. The event was sponsored by Organizing for America, the community organizing effort that helped propel Barack Obama into office but now works to help push his legislative agenda through congress.

I will be posting some photos from the event within the next few days. One key point that was made by Organizing for America California Director Mary Jane Stevenson was that 60% of Latinos who voted in 2008 indicate that they intend to come back to the polls in this year’s midterm election. Hopefully, our community can exceed this estimation, as midterm elections are just as important as presidential year elections.

The politico portion of the event started with Mayor Villaraigosa, who talked about 30/10 initiative, which is the City’s plan to build 30 years of transportation projects within ten years. He also talked about how when he goes to Washington, D.C., he lobbies Senator Boxer and always finds her to be accessible and approachable, ready to work on behalf of Angelenos and Californians. Essentially, Villaraigosa was present to introduce Senator Boxer, and he was rather casually dressed in a short sleeved pink shirt. He also appeared to be in some pain as he was stretching is elbow from his recent bicycle crash.

Senator Boxer then addressed the room and basically made an appeal to the organizers that she needs their help to be her “spokespeople” in the upcoming election. Senator Boxer mentioned three key accomplishments that she’s particularly proud of: her role in the creation of the federal after school program, bringing the first combat casualty center to California (which is in San Diego and was the only other center after Walter Reed Hospital of this kind), and doubling transportation funding for California.

Senator Boxer also talked about her opponent’s critique of her hair. Carly Fiorina was caught on an open microphone back in June saying that Senator Boxer’s hair was “so yesterday,” and Boxer took an opportunity to say that Fiorina’s policies are “yesterday” meaning that they are a throwback to the Bush era. Some key points that Boxer highlighted were her support of the HIRE Act, her support of the small business bill that has a deficit neutral rating and would create a half million new jobs, that Fiorina doesn’t support a woman’s right to chose, and that Fiorina still supports more offshore oil drilling despite the BP disaster. Senator Boxer also noted that Fiorina was fired from Hewlett Packard and left the company in a state of low morale and with rising stock because of the hope that a new leader would be better.

To close the speaker portion of the event, Secretary Solis addressed the group and noted that 3.6 million jobs have been saved because of the stimulus. Saved jobs means that there are fewer unemployment checks for her department to cut. Solis also mentioned that when she was in Congress she was well aware of the layoff and jobs situation but that the previous administration was not attentive to the issue.

Solis highlighted three immediate goals that she has: to save jobs, to generate more good paying jobs, and to make sure that people have the ability to collectively bargain in the workplace. She also talked about generating more jobs in wind and solar energy with companies that will keep the manufacturing here in the US.

Overall, I thought that Secretary Solis was the star of this small event, but Senator Boxer was a pretty close second. Both appeared to be more prepared than Mayor Villaraigosa, but then again, both Solis and Boxer are regulars on the national stage. Secretary Solis and Boxer both personally thanked as many people as they could approach in the room for attending the event with handshakes, and Secretary Solis was very attentive in listening to the concerns of the organizers. Once the politicians left, the organizers were left in the room to strategize for the upcoming elections.

Tags: Abortion rights · Antonio Villaraigosa · Barack Obama · community organizing and activism · Economics · Immigration · Labor Relations · voting trends

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // Aug 15, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    People in CA need to make sure to vote YES on Prop 25, which will allow the legislature to pass a budget with a simple majority. The 2/3 rule leads to gridlock and it needs to go.

    As for Latino turnout this fall, I hope it’s as high as the White House (Organizing for America) claims it will be. People should remember that however they feel aboout Obama, it does no good to give the Republicans a majority in the House and the Senate. If that happens, Obama will cater to those nuts by moving even further to the right.

  • 2 Anna // Aug 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Re: “revered”

    She’s a politician, not a religious figure.

    Adriana, do you view women throught the lens of the madonna/whore complex?

    You dislike Loretta Sanchez, but rather than limiting your posts to her policies, you have written about her sexuality in very negative terms.

    You like Hilda Solis, and use the word revere to describe your feelings towards her. Do you know what revere means? “To show devoted, deferential honor to.” Sorry, but no politician should be revered.

    I think you should take some women’s studies classes. :)

  • 3 webmaster // Aug 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Re: “revered” which means: to regard with deep respect. Many people in that room regarded Hilda Solis with great respect and admiration. I sat across from a DFA organizer who has interacted with Solis’s family, including her parents and husband. This particular volunteer talked about how Ms. Solis always makes time to come back to where she was from, including La Puente HS to talk to students and community members. It says a lot when organizers are proud of the people that they have helped support and put in office. I have never experienced that kind of praise from organizers or operatives around Loretta Sanchez, and believe me, I have been in the same room with Sanchez on more than three occasions. This particular event with Hilda Solis was the second time I have been in her presence, and as in the previous time in Washington, D.C., there was plenty of praise and respect for the Secretary of Labor.

    You are right in that we should not treat politicians like they are Gods, and I certainly don’t.

    As for taking women’s studies, I have read a lot of that material, and I don’t think that women need to engage in raunch behavior a la Loretta Sanchez to get ahead. Have you ever read Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy? Please take a look a it, and you will understand what I’m referring to. Explain to me how a Congresswoman attempting to hold a fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion is progressive or helpful for women…

  • 4 Anna // Aug 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Where are you getting the idea that women’s studies classes advocate being raunchy to get ahead? You’re way off base there.

    I read Levy, and yes, advertising and popular culture degrade women. They use the language of empowerment to make it seem like degrading activities like stripping are empowering. It’s nothing new to depict women as agents in their own oppression. But those are depictions…controlled by multinational corporpations who have no interest in women’s equality.

    As for Sanchez, she rented a house for a fundraiser. She could have used better judgment, but you make her seem like some kind of wild woman.

  • 5 Frank Ortiz // Apr 13, 2011 at 11:34 am

    “Solis also mentioned that when she was in Congress she was well aware of the layoff and jobs situation but that the previous administration was not attentive to the issue.”

    Solis might want to go back and check the unemployment rate which I believe was 5% during the previous administration!
    as compared to now, 9.2% or so….
    Lets also remember that the Democrats took over after the 2006 election. But we definately don’t want to mention that do we?


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