Biden pressures to diversify his cabinet


The push comes as activists and elected officials insist that Biden is not good enough to deliver on his promise to create an administration that reflects the diversity of the country. The latest effort comes from members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who in a letter received by CNN requested that Biden appoint California Attorney General Xavier Becerra or Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez as US Attorney General.

“We are confident that either will take the department forward under the law with a difference, champion equal protection, and advance the cause of justice for all Americans,” the letter read.

The source said the caucus had clarified with the Biden team that it wanted the New Mexico government. Michelle Lujan Grisham to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Attorney General for Becquerra or Peres.

So far, Biden has nominated four people of color in his cabinet: United Nations Ambassador Named Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a black woman, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban American man who was the first to serve in the position Must be Latino. Confirmed by the Senate, and Neera Tandon, the first woman of color and the first South Asian man to head the Office of Management and Budget. Cecilia Ross, a black woman, was nominated to chair the Council of Economic Advisors, a position that Biden announced last week that she would elevate cabinet levels.

However, Biden held two of the White nominees to the highest profile cabinet positions – Secretary of State and Treasury Secretary. Black and Latino leaders are concerned that people of color are being nominated primarily for second-tier positions in Biden’s administration and urged Biden to fill the remaining high-profile positions, choosing various candidates. Saying that it would give voice to a prestigious group led by the nation. Their demands stem from the nation’s assassination of black people, this year calling for racial equality, mass protests and President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies.

Leaders of seven black-led civil rights groups say they requested a meeting with Biden’s cabinet to discuss the need for more black nominees.

Groups included the National Action Network, NAACP, National Urban League, National Civicion of Black Civic Participation, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Leadership Conferences on Civil and Human Rights. The Washington Post first reported on his request for a meeting.

Rev. Al Sharpton, who led the National Action Network, said Biden has not agreed on a date for the meeting. He would like to see black leaders in positions like US Attorney General, Secretary of Education and Secretary of Labor.

“We are in an era of growing alerts in the areas of race and criminal justice,” Sharpton told CNN. “And whatever it does not recognize, it means that those who vote for him feel that he will deal with the issue, feeling a sense of betrayal.”

The effort, which focuses on increasing representation at the highest levels of government, is also about placing some potential cabinet picks outside the Biden administration.

NAACP President Derrick Johnson told CNN on Wednesday, there are names of at least two examples currently floating for administration roles that would be “extremely problematic for the African-American community”: former White House Chief of The staff is believed to be Rahm Emanuel, who is going to be transport secretary, and former agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, whose name has been called to fill that position again.
Emanuel’s handling of the police shooting of Lacan McDonald has drawn fierce criticism from civil rights groups. In 2010 Vilsack had to apologize to Shirley Sharod, a black woman, for whom he was forced to resign from her government job in Georgia based on incomplete and misleading reports of the speech she gave.

Congress pressure

As pressure increases from outside groups such as the National Urban League and the NAACP for Biden to meet with him and discuss the future of his cabinet, members of the Congressional Black Caucus seek greater transparency from Biden’s team on their plans for future nominations Are calling for

New Jersey Rape Congressman Black Caucus member Bonnie Watson Coleman told CNN that while Biden has had some initial conversations with the team about his first 100 days and hiring, he has been assigned to black men and women selected for the top tier Need to see. Positions.

Insisting on speaking for the Black Caucus and merely voicing her opinion, Coleman said she had been “disappointed” so far, with the number of black women selected for the top positions.

Biden has chosen Rowe to lead his Council of Economic Advisors and Thomas-Greenfield, the next U.S. ambassador to the U.N., both Black women, but Coleman says he hopes more will happen.

“I am disappointed that I have not seen enough black women or black men. I believe that there are too many positions to be announced,” he said.

Biden moves quickly to create a diverse administration

The night Biden made his acceptance speech, he recognized that the Black community was the cornerstone of his electoral success in both the primary and general elections, “The African American community stood up for me again. You always did.” My back, and I will be yours.

Coleman said that night, the line clung to him and meant something now.

He said, “The black community has high expectations not about naming a whole bunch of people in random positions, but it means we’re on the table at a time when important conversations happen, when policies and priorities are set Go, ”she said. .

His comments have also come after a South Carolina representative. Democratic leadership member Jim Clyb has stressed for Ohio. Marcia Fudge topped the Department of Agriculture. Clyb has said that the Biden team needs to continue to appoint more black men and women to the top positions.

Clyburn said Wednesday evening that he is seeing Biden continue his cabinet choice, with an eye for variety, and added, “I can think of at least 10 black people who are in every one Are eligible for, “for cabinet posts.

In addition to the three cabinet-level positions that may be filled by people of color pending his confirmation by the Senate, Biden has also announced several historic firsts for other positions in his administration. For example, Valley Adimeo will be the first black person to serve as Treasury deputy secretary, and Rus is the first black person to be named as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

“President-Elect Biden will create a diverse administration that resembles the US, becoming the first woman of South Asian descent and the first black woman to serve as vice-president,” Cameron French, transition spokesperson in a statement to CNN he said. “Both his campaign and change were successful in this endeavor. He has announced several historic and diverse White House appointments and cabinet nominations at this point, and has developed and applied his policy to meet our country’s toughest challenges. He has success in finding different voices to do. ” That is clear when our appointment and full slate of nominees is complete. ”

Outside groups want meeting with transition

Johnson of the NAACP told CNN on Wednesday that his organization and other civil rights groups discussed with Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris to discuss the new administration and to ensure minority and civil rights representation in the Biden government agenda Time is requested.

Johnson said he has to hear back from the transition team.

A Biden Transition official told CNN that he was associated with the NAACP LDF and the National Urban League.

“It’s about making sure a civil rights agenda is embedded in the administration’s decision,” Johnson said. “There have been many meetings with other constituency groups. There have not been meetings with the civil rights community. We want to meet so we can provide the necessary feedback and input so that they can be successful.”

“We don’t want any discussion or the clock to run out before all the decisions are made,” Johnson said.

Janet Murguya, Unidos president and chief executive officer, is calling for 800 – or 20% – of the 4,000 administration positions to be filled by at least five Latino secretaries and qualified Latino in the cabinet.

Murgio said, “Such Latino representations will not only reflect the reality of the United States, where Hispanics make up 18 percent of the population and are the largest ethnic minority, but the contribution Latino has made to our country in our history.” Respect. ” . “Everyone benefits when everyone has a chance to contribute.” ‘

Sharpton told CNN that one of Biden’s most important pix to show that he is serious about standing up for the Black community is when he will choose his attorney general.

“It’s cosmically good so far,” Sharpton said of Biden’s pix. “But I am concerned that we have justice, labor, education and agriculture still open … He has not engaged in conversations with many of us that he said.”

Sharpton argued that the important thing is for black leaders and Congress leaders to speak now.

“We don’t want to wait until the other shoe falls to say we’re worried about that.” We wanted to get ahead of it because the top tier he has already given is not as diverse as some other appointments. Other appointments are good, but they are not at the top level. “We don’t want to invite everyone to a party after having dinner.”

Sharpton called Biden’s pick as attorney general “an important point of reference for how Biden’s cabinet would be perceived.”

He argued that former Associate Attorney General Tony West, or civil rights lawyer and former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick during the Obama administration, could be good pics.

He also named Alabama’s former US Attorney Sen. Doug Jones, who had civil rights lawsuits.

“I’m not saying they have to be Black, but they have to be the kind of American who understands systemic racism,” Sharpton said.

The story has been updated with details of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus meeting with the Biden transition team.

correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly states how many people Biden has named his cabinet. They have named four.

CNN’s Jessica Dean, MJ Lee and Sara Mucha contributed to this report.

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