Confirm Tom Perez As U.S. Secretary Of Labor


On March 18, 2013, President Obama nominated Tom Perez to be the U.S. Secretary of Labor, replacing Hilda Solis, who resigned in January. Mr. Perez, who has served as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights since October, 2009, is well known and very well respected by the NAACP and there is no doubt that he will be a progressive, effective Secretary of Labor.  Throughout his career, Tom Perez has demonstrated that he has the talent, energy, knowledge, skills and experience to lead the U.S. Department of Labor in its important mission to protect and grow the middle class and to help all Americans obtain and retain decent jobs with adequate compensation.

In his capacity as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, the NAACP has worked closely with Mr. Perez over the last four years.  We have been impressed by not only his passion for the protection of Americans’ civil and human rights, but also with his ability to get real, quantifiable, results.  The Civil Rights Division has been extremely productive in the last few years. For example, the Division handled more new voting cases in 2012 than any prior year, including critical litigation to defend the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act. Assistant Attorney General Perez also oversaw the successful implementation of the 2010 Mathew Shepard-James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act, landmark legislation that has transformed how the federal government investigates and prosecutes hate crimes.

Throughout his career, first with the Department of Justice under Attorney General Janet Reno and as Chair of the inter-agency Worker Exploitation Task Force; and then as special counsel to Senator Ted Kennedy (MA); followed by his work as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights, Mr. Perez  has served as an impressive, hard-working, intelligent man of conscience.   Mr. Perez also did an exemplary job for the State of Maryland as her Secretary of Labor.  In this capacity, he collaborated with businesses and employees to address critical workforce development needs and continue to build a world-class workforce.

As Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Perez has also worked steadfastly and diligently within the Civil Rights Division to implement institutional reforms to restore the integrity of the Division's hiring practices, the vigor of the Division's enforcement efforts, and the morale of the Division’s employees.  As confirmed by a recent study released by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, merit and experience -- not politics -- are once again the basis for the Civil Rights Division hiring decisions.

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