In selecting California Congressmember Hilda Solis as his new Labor Secretary, Barack Obama has given progressives -- and all who care about working people -- someone to wildly cheer. Solis was elected to Congress in 2000 after defeating a Democratic incumbent in a primary after organized labor recruited her to run; as I discuss in Beyond the Fields
, Los Angeles labor chief Miguel Contreras was looking for a “warrior for working people” who would side with labor “not 80 but 100%” of the time. That warrior was Hilda Solis, who had already compiled an outstanding state legislative record (Obama’s own challenge to an incumbent Democratic congressman that year fell short.) Solis' selection brought universal praise from organized labor. SEIU described Solis’ new cabinet position as “the culmination of a lifetime of action serving as a voice for people who work.” Some progressives have been disappointed over Obama’s Cabinet picks, but the President-elect hit a political grand slam by nominating Solis, who personifies the Change We Need.