Tom's Work On: Civil Rights

Tom Perez’s tenure as Assistant Attorney General heading the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice was among the most productive on record for the Division. Perez championed voting rights, fair housing, disability rights and sought the fair and full enforcement of our nation’s laws.

As a result, civil rights organizations representing the spectrum of America’s diversity have shown full throated support for Perez’s confirmation. In the words of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Perez “has been a tireless champion of voting rights, disability rights, equal educational equity, and has prosecuted some of the most heinous hate crimes in recent memory.”

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Continues Vigorous Efforts to Confirm Perez

As per the letter sent from the CHC Chair to the HELP Committee on the day of Tom Perez’s hearing, “we urge you to immediately confirm Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor. He is eminently qualified and there is no doubt that under his watch, every American worker’s civil and constitutional rights will be protected – no matter their race, sex, disability, religion, familial status or national origin.”

Read it here.

Japanese American Citizens League Urges HELP Committee to Approve Perez

The Japane se American Citizens League sent a letter to the HELP Committee on the day of the Tom Perez hearing to urge its members to confirm Perez, stating “Tom Perez has demonstrated that he has the ability and experience to lead the U.S. Department of Labor in its mission to promote, protect, and grow the American middle-class, and to help all Americans obtain and retain decent jobs with a livable wage.”

Read it here.


Bush Appointee John Dunne Writes in Support of Perez

John Dunne, who was appointed by George H.W. Bush to serve as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights from 1990-1993, wrote a letter to Senators Thomas Harkin and Lamar Alexander urging them to support Thomas Perez.

“I write as an appointee by former President George H.W. Bush to the United States Department of Justice in support of Thomas Perez who has been nominated by President Obama to serve as Secretary of Labor and urge your favorable consideration of his candidacy.”

Download the full letter here.

Bipartisan Group of Attorneys General Back Perez

A bipartisan group of ten current and former state attorneys general issued a statement in support of Thomas Perez.

“As state Attorneys General, we have found Perez to be open, responsive and fundamentally fair. He is committed to justice and the rule of law and able to work across party and philosophical lines to achieve just results. The U.S. Department of Labor and the country will be well served by a leader who understands the need to forge partnerships with state and local officials and who values cooperation to bring about successful results for both employers and employees.”

Download the full statement here.

Human Rights Campaign Supports Perez

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement praising Thomas Perez’s work to prevent hate crimes.

“The President made a strong choice for the next labor secretary by nominating Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.  “Perez has been a longtime advocate for LGBT equality.  As assistant attorney general, he has worked to protect the community from hate crimes and has testified before Congress on the importance of passing legislation protecting LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination.  We hope the senate moves forward in a bipartisan manner and without delay to confirm Perez as the next labor secretary.”

Read the full statement here.

Baltimore Sun Editorial Defends Perez

An editorial in the Baltimore Sun defended Thomas Perez against the “flimsy” attacks of critics.

“What Republicans are really upset about in the nomination of Mr. Perez is that he worked hard to enforce voting rights laws at a time when GOP officials in states across the country were seeking to make it harder for people — particularly the poor and minorities — to register and vote. They don’t like that as labor secretary in Maryland, he stood against predatory lending practices and in favor of enforcing fair pay laws. And many can’t stomach his record of treating immigrants — legal or not — as human beings. Mr. Perez is energetic and smart, with clear eyes and a good heart. He’s exactly the kind of person America’s workers need looking out for them.”

Read the full editorial here.

Buffalo News Editorial Backs Perez

The Buffalo News editorial board says that Thomas Perez has “empowered the powerless.”

“As soon as President Obama announced his choice for labor secretary, it became clear that Snyder native Thomas E. Perez had become the latest target of today’s toxic political environment.

“Indeed, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, as News Washington bureau chief Jerry Zremski reported. But Perez, who has fought more than his share of battles representing the downtrodden and disenfranchised, will surely be up to the tough task ahead.”

Read the full editorial here.

Mother Jones on St. Paul Housing Case

Mother Jones reporter Adam Serwer writes that landlords in St. Paul, MN were using the “disparate impact” standard to avoid apartment maintenance requirements.

“Republicans are expected to fiercely oppose President Barack Obama’s nomination of Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights and one of the more prominent progressives in his administration, to head the Labor Department. Already, Perez’s GOP foes have accused him of corruption concerning a deal he helped forge in the Justice Department. This agreement prevented an unusual Minnesota housing discrimination case from going to the Supreme Court, and the full backstory—which Perez’s critics haven’t acknowledged—is a bizarre tale of legal complexities in which landlords tried to use a major civil rights law to protect themselves from city regulations meant to improve living conditions for low-income residents.”

Read the full story here. 

People with Disabilities Launch

Over 50 organizations representing people with varying disabilities have launched a coalition to support Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez’s confirmation to be Secretary of Labor.

in their own words, the disability groups have become among the most active supporters of a Perez confirmation because  “in the twenty three years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a top priority of the disability rights movement has been making sure that the law is properly enforced. In that time, few have played a greater role in advancing that cause than Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez. During his time leading the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Mr. Perez has earned his reputation as an extraordinary champion of people with disabilities by enforcing the law to ensure that every American has an equal opportunity to succeed.”

The full coalition list below.  Go to to learn more.

NAACP Comes Out for Perez

Today, the NAACP endorsed Tom Perez’s confirmation to be Secretary of Labor.  After commending Tom’s work on civil rights enforcement, the organization went on to say “we have every confidence that Mr. Perez will do an outstanding job in protecting the rights of American workers which establishing internal reforms which will serve the Department of Labor, and the American people, well for decades in the future.”

Read the letter here.