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Letter to the HELP Committee on Perez Hearing

April 17, 2013

Dear Chairman Harkin and Senator Alexander:

On behalf of the more than 3 million proud union members of the National Education Association (NEA), we offer our support of Secretary of Labor candidate US Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice Thomas E. Perez in advance of tomorrow’s hearing. 

Perez is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic who has spent nearly his entire career in public service at the local, state and federal level.  He understands the issues every day, middle class Americans face and he stands ready to advocate for issues that are vital to them like retirement security and health care.  NEA President Dennis Van Roekel summed it up best in a recent statement, “President Obama hit the nail on the head with his pick of Tom Perez, who has built his career working hard for America’s workers, we need someone with a strong civil rights background and a healthy respect for our public education system, and Tom definitely fits the bill.”

Perez is a consensus builder who has a proven track record working with both business and labor. He understands hard work and has fought to end bullying in schools, protect domestic workers’ rights, and against predatory lending, and also supported the expansion of medical clinics to serve the uninsured.  He is the Secretary of Labor American workers not only want, but need. 

We urge you to move quickly in confirming Mr. Perez so he may begin the important work ahead for the department and we thank you for the opportunity to submit comments in advance of this important hearing.


Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations