On Monday, President Obama formally nominated Thomas “Tom” Perez for Secretary of Labor. Perez currently heads the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. Perez, a Dominican American and Harvard graduate, would replace Hilda Solis, who decided not to stay on as Secretary of Labor in the President’s second term.
The 51 year old, Harvard Law School graduate is the only Latino to be nominated for a cabinet post in President Obama’s second term. President Obama noted Perez’s working class roots in announcement saying, “If you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your last name is – you can make it if you try. Tom’s made protecting that promise for everybody the cause of his life.”
Perez made a few remarks in both English and in Spanish at the beginning and at the end of his short speech:
Yesterday in advance of this announcement, the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) tweeted the image, “I support Tom Perez for Labor Secretary.” Latino groups have been advocating for more Latino cabinet appointments since the announced resignations of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis and Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar.