Tag Archives: hilda

Message to the Governor: Leave State Workers Alone

(27 members of the California Congressional delegation weigh in.  Thanks, Rep. Solis.  Slight edit to move things over to the flip. – promoted by David Dayen)

I’m appalled that Governor Schwarzenegger thinks cutting wages for state workers’ is the way to fix our budget.  Today, 26 of my colleagues in Congress joined me in sending the below letter to the Governor and expressing strong opposition to his misguided plan.  Join me in calling on the Governor to leave state workers alone.

July 25, 2008

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger:

As Members of the Congress representing California, we write to express our strong opposition to your proposed plan to cut the wages of 200,000 state workers to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 per hour as a temporary budget savings.  The earnings of hardworking state employees should not be leveraged for political gain in the current budget stalemate.  


In May 2007, Congress passed the first increase in the federal minimum wage in ten years.  On July 24, 2008, the second phase of the increased federal minimum wage began, raising the federal minimum wage to $6.55.  While the increases to the federal minimum wage are an improvement for hourly workers, they do not make up for the recent and rapid increases in food, energy and healthcare costs, which have risen even higher in California.  In addition, our state has been disproportionately impacted by the nationwide foreclosure crisis and statewide unemployment just reached 6.9 percent.  Working families in California who are employed by the state simply cannot afford to have their salary reduced to the federal minimum wage during these incredibly hard economic times, even with the promise of back pay once the budget negotiations are completed.  

We have always been incredibly proud to represent California because our state sets the standard for fair wages in the United States.  The $8 per hour minimum wage in California, as well as municipal living wage laws, set a benchmark for the rest of the country.  By reducing state workers pay to $6.55 per hour, you would not only hurt the 200,000 workers who serve California, but you would also hurt the reputation of California as one of the best states to live and work in the United States.

As Members of the California Congressional delegation, we understand that our state is facing significant budget challenges.  However, the California state controller has already stated that cutting workers’ salaries will “do nothing meaningful to improve our cash position or help us make our priority payments.”  We strongly urge you to reconsider your plan to cut 200,000 state workers wages to the federal minimum wage.  






























FISA Compromise Still Backdoor Immunity for Telecomm Providers

(Rep. Solis is one of the good ones. – promoted by David Dayen)

I share the concern raised by many on this blog about the FISA Amendments Act, especially the immunity it provides telecomm providers.  That I why I voted against the bill on Friday.  Below is my official statement.

“Today, the House of Representatives passed the FISA Amendments Act, which I voted against.  I am deeply concerned the legislation will provide an enormous loophole for those telephone companies that participated in the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.  We cannot allow backdoor immunity for telecommunications providers who spied on Americans and broke the public trust.  

“The constituents of the 32nd Congressional District and many more from around the country have spoken loud and clear that any form of immunity for telecommunications providers is unacceptable and I wholeheartedly agree.  We must work harder to not only fight against terrorism and threats to our country but also to respect our constituents’ civil liberties and the values upon which country was founded.”


Bring the Troops Home

(Let’s keep our eyes on the ball here, people. – promoted by David Dayen)

It’s been another interesting week in Washington, with General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker asking Congress to maintain current troops levels.  Their plea comes despite the lack of security stabilization and political progress by the Iraqi government.

The conditions in Iraq continue to worsen. Newly released figures by the military indicate that the number of attacks against civilians and American and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad have more than doubled in March over the previous month.  There has also been an increase of sectarian violence in other large cities and provinces. The Green Zone has become the target of a wave of increased violence and casualties.  Our troops and our nation continue to make sacrifices for an Iraq that is unable to secure its people and unwilling to reach political reconciliation.        

Meanwhile, the cost of staying the failed course in Iraq continues to take a toll on our troops, their families, the American taxpayers, our national security, and our homeland defense readiness.  The war on Iraq has claimed the lives of nearly 4,017 and close to 30,000 servicemen and women have been injured or permanently disabled.  More than half of those will not be able to lead a normal life because of the severity of their injuries impacting not only them but also their families.  Yet, we continue to burden our troops and their families with the all too common multiple tours of duty and extended 15 month tours. Since the war in Iraq began, we have spent more than $500 billion, unnecessarily risking financial security and reducing needed domestic investments in priorities such as health care and education.  

The American people are frustrated and want a new direction in Iraq and an end to the war.  I agree.  This grave situation requires a policy to secure and stabilize Iraq, one that constructively engages in diplomacy and partners with neighboring countries and the region to create a stable and peaceful nation, and one that supports our service men and women by redeploying them from Iraq – not a strategy to keep more of our men and women in harm’s way. I will continue to work with my colleagues to bring an end to this war and bring our troops home.

Where Was the U.S. at the UN’s Major Global Warming Meeting?

(Seriously, is there anybody as cool as Hilda Solis? (Well, maybe there are a few others who are tied.) She always supports progressive goals and organizations and pursues policy for policy’s sake. Too bad we can’t say that of all of our Representatives. Thank you Representative Solis. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

This morning I spoke on the House floor to ask why President Bush didn’t allow the United States to take part in the United Nation’s major Global Warming discussion this week.  You can watch my floor statement on my YouTube page here.

EDIT by Brian: Flip for more.

During my floor remarks, I spoke about how the world came together earlier this week at the United Nations to discuss the need to take action against climate change. The United Nations Secretary General stated, “I am convinced that climate change and what we do about it will define us, our era and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations.”

Our global legacy cannot afford a legacy of inaction, which is the legacy of the Bush Administration.

The United States is the largest emitter of global warming pollution in the world. Our activity impacts human health and security. Without a mandatory agreement the costs of climate change will continue to be socialized. This means that while polluting industries benefit, the health of vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world will suffer. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration continues to bury its head in the sand, organizing summits to discuss “aspirational goals” and delaying real action.

The science is certain. Business as usual cannot go on. We must commit to mandatory reductions in order to protect health, environment, and security around the world. Our cities, states and Democrats in Congress are leading by example and I hope the Administration will join us. Vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world deserve nothing less.


Global Warming Forum at Cal State LA on Aug. 16th

(Rep. Solis for President! Ok, maybe it’s too late for that. How about Governor? – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Tomorrow I'm hosting a forum on Global Warming at Cal State LA from 9am-3pm where I will bring together environmentalists, labor unions, small businesses, cities, schools and community residents to discuss the local challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.  Speakers will include Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster and Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board.

EDIT by Brian: See the extended for more details on what sounds like a really cool event.

A segment of the discussion tomorrow will focus on an issue of great importance to me – the promise of millions of “green collar jobs” that could be created through investment in clean technology.  These good paying and mostly union jobs would greatly benefit communities like mine, where the unemployment rate continues to run above the national average and those with jobs are struggling to make ends meet. 

On August 2nd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Green Jobs Act of 2007 (H.R. 2847), legislation I introduced to authorize $125 million for job training in the renewable energy industries, such as solar and wind power.  The bill was passed on August 2nd as part of the Democrats' New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act.  The training assistance provided by the bill would be targeted to veterans, at risk youth, and displaced employees, and would help promote programs such as the one at the East Los Angeles Skills Center where individuals are being taught to install solar installation panels.  Training for green collar jobs will open the door for these workers to mostly union and well-paying jobs. 

If you cannot join me at Cal State LA tomorrow for the Forum, I hope you will work with me and my colleagues in Congress and those at the local level to bring the issue of global warming to the forefront and to highlight the promise of green collar jobs.  For more information, I encourage you to visit my website at www.house.gov/soli and the website for the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming at globalwarming.house.gov.

Live Online Chat with Rep. Hilda Solis

(Rep. Solis is a fine Congresswoman who did us all a favor by challenging (and defeating) Rep. Martinez. – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Just got word that Congresswoman Hilda Solis from Los Angeles is doing a live online chat on Saturday, June 23rd at 11am PST/2pm EST at firedoglake!

Solis is one of the most progressive leaders in the House and one of the party’s rising stars.

For more info, check out www.hildasolis.org.  She’s also on youtube, facebook, and myspace.

Solis, McNerney Named to Global Warming Panel

Nancy Pelosi appointed two of our own – Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Congressman Jerry McNerney – to the newly created Select Committee on Global Warming.  More below.

Two Calif lawmakers appointed to new global warming panel

Friday, March 9, 2007

(03-09) 09:54 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) —

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, has tapped two House members from California to serve on a new committee tasked with offering recommendations on global warming.

Reps. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, and Hilda Solis, D-El Monte, will sit on the panel along with seven other Democrats and six Republicans, Pelosi announced Friday.

There are no California Republicans on the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which was approved by the House 269-150 on Thursday over objections from Republicans who said the panel was unnecessary or its budget could be better used elsewhere.

The committee, to be chaired by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., will hold hearings and recommend legislation. In a concession to existing committees, it will not write legislation and will exist for only two years.

Pelosi is intent on getting legislation to combat global warming through the House now that Democrats run Congress. It’s also a priority in the Senate, where Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is taking the lead.