Scope and Content
Title: Hilda Solis Congressional Collection
Identifier/Call Number: SC2010/1
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Language of Material:
Date (inclusive): 2000-2008
The collection contains a variety of documents, media, news clippings, and artifacts that pertain to Hilda Solis during her
years as the Congresswoman from the 32nd Congressional District (2000–2008). The material was originally housed in Solis's
El Monte, CA Congressional District office.
Number of containers: 29 boxes Linear feet: 37 linear feet
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona: University Library Special Collections, Bldg. 15, room 4434
Hilda Solis grew up in La Puente, California. She was the first of her family to attend college, studying Political Science
at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. While a student, she used the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), government
grants, and a part time job to cover the cost of school. The EOP is a program designed to assist low–income, first–generation
college students by providing grants, advising, and tutoring. She graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
Solis then attended the University of Southern California and earned a Master's degree in Public Administration in 1981.
Hilda Solis's reputation for serving people began before she entered politics. While an EOP student, Hilda worked for the
program as a student assistant recruiter and also as a summer orientation leader for Cal Poly Pomona. While attending Cal
Poly, Hilda Solis's academic advisor and was Dr. Jose Vadi. He described Solis's political career and how it resonates with
how he remembers her as a student:
"She always had this sort of concern for people who didn’t have much, people who weren’t born with a silver spoon in their
mouth. But I would have never predicted that she would be a member of the Cabinet. She is a rather quiet person, so when you
think of a politician you think of someone who is extroverted, talks a lot. I thought she was so quiet that she didn’t have
the fire–in–the–belly, really, to be a politician. But, I think I was wrong." (Dr. Jose Vadi, October 20th, 2009) Hilda Solis's
career began shortly after graduating from the University of Southern California. In 1985, she was elected to the Board of
Trustees for Rio Hondo College. She served on the board until 1991 when she took the opportunity to run for the California
State Assembly when California re-established districts. Hilda Solis focused on door to door campaigning and was elected as
an Assemblywoman. While serving in the Assembly, Solis became one of the stongest voices in the immigration debate. She backed
a controversial bill to enforce a court ruling that undocumented immigrants may attend college if they had established California
residency. She also participated in a committee in the Assembly on groundwater contamination and landfill leakage, and served
on the committees of higher education, environmental safety, and labor and unemployment.
Due to term limits in the California State Assembly, Hilda Solis ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2000. After
her victory, Solis became the Congresswoman for California’s 32nd District, which includes parts of Los Angeles County from
East Los Angeles to West Covina. She was reelected for additional terms in 2002, 2004, and 2006 by very large margins. As
a Congresswoman, Hilda Solis was known for prioritizing labor, immigration and environmental issues. Specifically, her work
towards environmental justice won her significant recognition. Hilda Solis was the first woman to be awarded with the John
F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2000.
In December 2008, President Barack Obama announced his intention to nominate Solis as the next United States Secretary of
Labor. She took office after being confirmed by the United States Senate in February 2009, becoming the first Hispanic woman
to serve as Secretary in a U.S. Cabinet. Hilda Solis, as the Head of the Department of Labor, will continue serving the people
of America with the same passion for service she showed as a student at Cal Poly Pomona.
Scope and Content
The Hilda Solis Congressional Collection has a variety of materials documenting her career as a United States Congresswoman.
It features a strong compilation of congressional footage of Hilda Solis addressing members of Congress. The collection also
has a series of Congressional records that include transcripts of proceedings and voting records (Jan. 2006–Dec. 2008). The
collection also includes correspondence with colleagues and with varied government departments and agencies. A section of
the collection is dedicated to her campaign materials and brochures which include fliers and informative handouts. A series
of chronological and subject binders were included in the original donation that contain news articles pertaining to Hilda
Solis's political impact and activities. Also included are many awards and artifacts given by various organizations that attest
to her positive impact in her congressional district.
The donation arrived in 28 boxes with a rough organization. The collection has been organized into six different series based
on material and content: Audio-Visual Materials including photographs and slides, Legislative Files, Correspondence, Printed
Matter, Newspaper Clippings, and Artifacts.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
United States. California. Congress
United States. Constitution