Downey man elected MABA president

DOWNEY - Downey resident Erick Solares was sworn in as President of the Mexican American Bar Association ("MABA") at its 54th Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Gala, which was held Feb. 15 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. Solares, who was born in Guatemala and currently serves as Senior Attorney with the California Department of Transportation's Legal Division, was sworn in by the Honorable David S. Wesley, the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.

During his first speech as president, Solares cited his Guatemalan heritage and emphasized the importance of cultural diversity and pledged to increase the work that MABA performs in different communities.

Solares then took a more personalized approach, commenting: "There is one person who took the bus every day at 7 a.m. to come work at this hotel [the Millennium Biltmore Hotel]; that lady is my mother, Berta Solares. Thank you very much, mommy, you taught me well."

These remarks marked one of the most emotional moments of the night and immediately led to a standing ovation dedicated to Ms. Solares.

Among the many dignitaries in attendance were Downey's very own Mayor Fernando Vasquez and Mayor Pro Tem Luis Marquez.

Vasquez released a statement in which he congratulated Mr. Solares, adding: "The City of Downey is honored and privileged to have a fellow Downey resident assume such a distinguished position."

Solares will serve a one-year term as president of MABA, and help prepare current president-elect Cindy Panuco, a Norwalk native.

MABA was founded in 1959 by a group of Mexican American attorneys who saw the need to create an organization committed to empowering and educating the Latino community. Over the years, MABA's membership has evolved to include members of various ethnic backgrounds.

For more information, call (213) 749-2889 or email

********** Published: Feb. 27, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 46