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Letter to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Perez Vote

May 07, 2013

Dear Senator: 

On behalf of the more than 3 million proud union members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge you to VOTE YES on the nomination of Secretary of Labor candidate U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice Thomas E. Perez, during tomorrow’s executive session.  

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 pragmatic leader and a consensus builder with 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.  During his confirmation hearing, Perez made it clear his first priority as Secretary is jobs, and ensuring a safe workplace, one that provides equal opportunities for all.  Clearly, 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. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director of Government Relations