She was the first member in her family to go to college, earning degrees from California State Polytechnic University and University of Southern California. She was the first Latina elected into the California State Senate in 1994 and was re-elected in 1998. Solis was the first Latina to become a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee in congress and her nomination as Secretary of Labor made her the first Latina to serve in the U.S. cabinet.
Solis’ triumph for Latin’s across the nation made her an ideal candidate to speak at this Helen Edison Lecture in honor of Cesar Chavez at UC San Diego. In “A Look at What Cesar Chavez Symbolizes in the 21st Century with Hilda Solis,” Solis discusses the importance of higher education in the creation of a diverse and skilled workforce.
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