Diversity within our Party

Throughout my campaign, I pledged to be responsive and engaged with my constituents. I know it’s important for an elected official to respond to feedback, even if it is in disagreement.

Back in the Spring, at a time when many other candidates dodged the question if they would support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker, I felt an obligation to answer directly and honestly. A representative should always take that approach when answering to their constituents.

I informed Leader Pelosi of my position, and we have been in constant communication since, including in the last several weeks. I believe we enjoy a good working relationship.

My support for new leadership has always been about ensuring our party reflects the diversity of our nation. Diversity is one of the things that makes the 39th District so unique, and it’s why diversity has been a priority throughout my campaign and a priority I intend to take to Congress. For me, calling for new voices has always been about finding ways to further encourage, develop, and cultivate the next great diverse leaders of our Party.

Currently, the senior Democratic Leadership has not changed dramatically in 15 years. More importantly, I believe that sufficient steps have not been taken to encourage other members to run for leadership positions, nor has any type of transition plan been put in place. With the largest and most diverse incoming Democratic freshman class, this plan for the future has never been more important.

I believe that the future of the party depends on having a leadership team that reflects the large inclusive coalition that is the Democratic Party. I want to ensure the Democratic Party is positioned to succeed not just in the short term, which Leader Pelosi is more than capable of doing, but also the long term. I believe our Party must do more to encourage diversity — diversity not only in race, but also experience, background, and views. More importantly, steps should be taken so that the next generation of Democratic leaders feel encouraged to step forward and lead.

To be clear, I admire and respect Nancy Pelosi. She is an icon. While I maintain my call for new leadership, I refuse to jeopardize a Democrat being Speaker of the House and our Democratic legislative agenda. I will not support the Republican designee.

I believe it is important to have these honest discussions about the future of our Party before members are officially sworn in. I intend to continue to discuss the future with my colleagues.

If Leader Pelosi does indeed become Speaker of the House, l will gladly work with her on our shared agenda. I know that together, along with our entire caucus, we can fight for affordable healthcare, common-sense gun safety legislation, comprehensive immigration reform, getting corporate money out of politics, a federal transportation package, and so much more.

I appreciate the activism and views of my constituents. I hope our dialogue continues, including when I am officially sworn-in on January 3rd. And I look forward to the next two years and the opportunities I will be given to demonstrate my commitment to the people of the 39th. My pledge is to answer your calls, respond to your letters, hold town halls, and be the representative you deserve.