Labor Secretary Hilda Solis sent this to department employees today:
“Over the Christmas and New Year holidays with my family in California, I enjoyed my first opportunity in years to reflect on the past and my future, with an open mind and an open heart. After much discussion with family and close friends, I have decided to begin a new future, and return to the people and places I love and that have inspired and shaped my life.
“This afternoon, I submitted my resignation to President Obama. Growing up in a large Mexican-American family in La Puente, California, I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to serve in a president’s Cabinet, let alone in the service of such an incredible leader.
“Because President Obama took very bold action, millions of Americans are back to work. There is still much to do, but we are well on the road to recovery, and middle class Americans know the president is on their side…”
Solis continued with several paragraphs touting everything from the stimulus to ObamaCare.
The White House released this statement from Obama:
“Over her long career in public service – as an advocate for environmental justice in California, state legislator, member of Congress and Secretary of Labor – Hilda Solis has been a tireless champion for working families. Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class. Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work. I am grateful to Secretary Solis for her steadfast commitment and service not only to the Administration, but on behalf of the American people. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
Solis was one of two Latinos serving in Obama’s cabinet. It’s not yet known if the other, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, will stick around for the second term, but reports indicate that he wants to leave for the private sector.
Solis’ departure, along with that of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, knocks the number of women in Obama’s cabinet down to two.