After a group of House Democrats expressed their disappointment over the lack of representation of women of color in leadership positions in the party, some much-needed progress is now underway.
Following Rep. Barbara Lee’s narrow loss (10 votes to be exact) in the race for caucus chair this week, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has created a position that will require the overseeing of Steering and Policy Committee, according to a Politico report.
Lee, a 72-year-old Black woman, lost to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who is also African American but significantly younger, which prompted her supporters to claim that ageism played a role.
The Democrats had planned to ask Pelosi to find a place for Lee but Pelosi ever adept offered Lee a position on the Steering and Policy Committee in a meeting in her office Friday.
However, thanks to Pelosi, Rep. Lee will now have the opportunity to serve on the panel alongside Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). The panel “determines committee assignments for Democrats,” reports Politico.
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“The leaders and members of the Steering and Policy Committee reflect the diversity, dynamism and integrity of our historic new House Democratic Majority,” Pelosi said Friday evening in a statement to Politico.
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Pelosi continued, “As a leading African American woman with a place at the decision table, the appointment of Congresswoman Lee is even more meaningful as we mark the birthday of her friend: the trailblazing Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.
Rep. Lee took to social media to express her gratitude, tweeting “I wouldn’t be here without my mentor, my shero, my shining light – the late, great Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm..”
“I’m so grateful for her legacy and her leadership,” she continued. “She was truly #Unbought and #Unbossed. Happy birthday Mrs. C!”
Honored to be nominated to serve as a co-chair of the Steering and Policy Committee with @RepSwalwell and Rep. @RosaDeLauro. Together, we will make sure that every voice is heard at the leadership table. It’s time to get to work #ForThePeople.https://t.co/FV8Ags3Sq6
— Rep. Barbara Lee (@RepBarbaraLee) December 1, 2018