The Subtle Force of Tom Perez - 2016 piece that covers his career
The Subtle Force of Tom Perez
The labor secretary, a son of Dominican immigrants, has used his power to make real gains for workersso successfully that hes become a vice presidential prospect.
June 22, 2016
"...Everything is a workaround, just about, Perez told employees at the website Gawker last year. Im not waiting for a functional Congress to do my job. And the good news is, I have ample tools in my toolbox to do my job, he told The Washington Post. His mission, as the Post describes it, is to shore up workers rights with the regulatory equivalents of duct tape and string.
"...An institutional ball of energy, Perez comes to meetings armed with data, facts, and ideas, but he aims to listen more than speak. He is a quick study; a wonk able to quickly grasp the granular details of an issue and their potential consequences, but also zoom out and see the big picture. He has a real curiosity, which is very good in a leader. In all my interactions with him, Ive never felt like hes come in to just make a speech and leave. Hes really wanted to engage people and ask a lot of questions, says Sarita Gupta, head of the worker advocacy organization Jobs With Justice. Its never the Tom Perez show.
"...PEREZ IS THE CHILD OF POLITICAL refugees who fled dictator Rafael Trujillos vicious rule in the Dominican Republic. His maternal grandfather was the republics ambassador to the United States but was exiled after speaking out against the dictatorships massacre of thousands of Haitians. Perezs father, a doctor, also fled the country for the United States, where he went on to serve in the Army as a physician. His parents both ended up in Buffalo, New York. Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, Perez had a front-row seat to the devastating effects of deindustrialization that swept through Rust Belt cities. Buffalo was hemorrhaging jobs and its middle class was disintegratingin the 1970s alone, the city lost more than 100,000 residents. Its left an impression on him politically as hes been quick to critique the shortcomings of NAFTA.
This is a long article and covers the vast array of issues that Perez has worked on in his various government positions. Really worth the read!
This quote from the article made me smile http://prospect.org/article/subtle-force-tom-perez
In October of 2009, Perez was finally confirmed and set out to reform a division in disarray. Under Bush, the division was accused of ousting career prosecutors who were insufficiently conservative and punishing those who didnt leave. In his early months, it reportedly wasnt uncommon for staffers to break down in Perezs office as they recalled the trauma. Within a year, Perez turned around morale and transformed the division into a formidable enforcement machine.