Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced the appointment of the party Platform Drafting Committee’s 15 members who will draft its policy agenda for the November presidential election.
Among the members is Indian American Neera Tanden, 45, who has been a long-time associate of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, is being touted as a potential cabinet member if Clinton is elected as the US president in the November general elections.
The panel is responsible for developing and managing the process through which the platform is established which is similar to the election manifesto parties have in India.
Tanden, the president of the Center for American Progress (a top US think-tank), has served as a Clinton surrogate and worked as policy director for Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008. She was a key protagonist in developing President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform proposals – the Affordable Care Act – during her tenure in the Obama administration.
“We are delighted to bring together this talented group of Democrats. These individuals represent some of the best progressive thinking from across the nation. I am confident that the members of this committee will engage Americans in a substantive dialogue of ideas and solutions that will inform our Party Platform,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultzshe said.
Congressman Elijah Cummings has been appointed as chair of the drafting committee.
The committee’s members are Rep. Elijah Cummings, Howard Berman, Paul Booth, Carol Browner, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Barbara Lee, Bill McKibben, Deborah Parker, State Rep. Alicia Reece, Bonnie Schaefer, Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Neera Tanden, Dr. Cornel West, and James Zogby.
Sanders said he was satisfied with the way the committee’s seats were distributed.
“We believe that we will have the representation on the platform drafting committee to create a Democratic platform that reflects the views of millions of our supporters who want the party to address the needs of working families in this country and not just Wall Street, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and other powerful special interests,” he said in a statement.
Clinton campaign press secretary Brian Fallon also said their camp is happy with the fact that Sanders will have more input in the party platform.
“We’re pleased that the upcoming Democratic Convention will ensure supporters of Senator Sanders are well represented in the drafting of the party’s platform,” Fallon said. “The Democratic Party historically has been a big tent, representing a diverse coalition, and Hillary Clinton is committed to continue welcoming different perspectives and ideas.”