Former San Gabriel Valley Rep. Hilda Solis resigned yesterday as U.S. Secretary of Labor, saying she wants to spend more time closer to family and friends.
“Over the Christmas and New Year holidays with my family in California, I enjoyed my first opportunity in years to reflect on the past and my future, with an open mind and an open heart,” Solis wrote in a letter to Department of Labor employees. “After much discussion with family and close friends, I have decided to begin a new future, and return to the people and places I love and that have inspired and shaped my life.”
“Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class,” Obama said.
“Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work. I am grateful to Secretary Solis for her steadfast commitment and service not only to the administration, but on behalf of the American people. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
Solis, an El Monte Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 2000 and re-elected four times.
She was first elected to public office in 1985 as a member of the Rio Hondo Community College Board of Trustees and to the Assembly in 1992. In 1994, she became the first Latina elected to the state Senate, serving in that body for six years until becoming a congresswoman.
Solis received a bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s degree in public administration from USC. She worked in the White House Office of Hispanic Affairs during the Carter administration, later becoming a management analyst with the Civil Rights Division of the Office of Management and Budget.
Solis’ resignation had been widely anticipated, with most observers speculating she will run to replace Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina who is termed out.