Meet LA County Supervisor-Elect Hilda Solis

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Hilda Solis talks to Warren Olney at KCRW. (Photo: Benjamin Gottlieb)

With 70 percent of the votes, Hilda Solis easily won the 1st district seat on the LA County Board of Supervisors earlier this month’s election. Essentially unchallenged, she ran a quiet campaign. But the job is a massive one. When she takes over for Gloria Molina, who is termed out, she’ll oversee a constituency of nearly 2 million people and join a board responsible for a $26 billion budget.

Solis was raised in LA, and served in Congress, before being appointed by President Obama to be US Labor Secretary. Her close ties to the administration made her the focus of a federal inquiry into whether she had solicited contributions for Obama’s reelection campaign from Labor Department employees. “I can’t really give an opinion on whether the inquiry is moving forward or not,” Solis told Warren on Which Way, LA?.

Listen to Hilda Solis’ interview with Warren Olney

Solis is Latina and a first generation American. She’s also the first person in her family to go to college and values “helping others to be empowered to rise up.” She maintains that she will fight, first and foremost, for working class people. “I’m a guaranteed vote for working class people, people that are struggling to get ahead, people that want to have a stake in our society,” she said.

Talking to Warren, she also said she’ll focus on the economy by looking at workforce investment and job training programs; pay attention to Child Protective Services, making sure “people are held accountable;” advocate for light rail and transit; and ensure that the $2 billion reconstruction of the LA Men’s Central Jail accounts for better services for the mentally ill, and a plan for reintegration after inmates are released.

She clearly has a lot on her list. “It’s going to be a very dynamic board,” she said. “People are excited about that.”