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March 20, 2013

Obama Nominates Strong Labor Leader

PerezOn Monday, President Obama made a bold and encouraging move by nominating Thomas E. Perez to be his next labor secretary.

Perez, the former head of the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, has a strong record as a leader in the progressive world. He has come out in powerful support to secure voting rights, make positive immigration reform, and end discrimination against Hispanics. His rich history of working with minority communities will be integral to the greater progressive movement –- which includes a strong bond between labor, environmentalists, human rights activists, and other powerful coalitions.

Mr. Perez himself is an example of the huge success that comes from hard work. The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Perez helped pay for college and law school by working as a garbage collector and in a warehouse. As a nominee for labor secretary, Perez could hold the key to organizing people for the greater good. The Sierra Club finds its own strength in hard work and organization. It's made strong by its 2.1 million members and activists engaged in grassroots organizing. With Perez in charge of the federal labor department, the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations would be able to stand up for good, green jobs that help build the clean energy economy our climate so desperately needs.

WindThe United States needs to be a leader in the global fight against climate disruption. The American people strongly believe we should make clean, renewable energy a priority. The U.S. wind energy industry supports 75,000 jobs across the country, and both wind and solar are on the rise. These are clean, renewable energy sources that don't pollute our air and water and will help save us from climate chaos. With a steadfast leader like Mr. Perez at the forefront of the labor department, the U.S. can put its best foot forward and make real progress as a clean energy trailblazer.

We believe that Perez can stand up for hard-working Americans when so many others in politics are merely pawns to wealthy industries like Big Oil and Big Gas. Under his leadership, Perez will make sure that workers are treated fairly and that those willing to give back to their communities have the opportunity to do so. Resilient economies are built by hard workers and led by courageous leaders like Mr. Perez.

-- Cathy Duvall, Director of Strategic Partnerships


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