WASHINGTON: Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has been elected president of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CCP), making her one of the most powerful American legislators in the 117th Congress.
Jayapal, 55, who was elected on Wednesday, said the caucus will promote racial justice, address poverty and inequality and help transform the country.
“As a lifelong organizer, I am honored that my colleagues have chosen me to lead the Congressional Progressive Caucus at this crucial moment,” Jayapal said shortly after her election to this most powerful Congressional Caucus, which is scheduled to play an influential role during the next Biden Administration.
Joe Biden, 78, will take office as the 46th president of the United States on January 20.
“We have massive crises knocking on our nation’s door, and the work of the Progressive Caucus has never been more important. The American people need Congress to lead with vision, conviction, empathy, and dedication to the individuals and families of every community who are fighting right now, “Jayapal said.
The incoming CPC Executive Board consists of 26 members: a president, a vice president, a whip, two presidents emeritus, two special orders hour coordinators, ten vice presidents, a general member of the Executive Board, and eight whip delegates.
The CPC Executive Board is representative of the diversity within the caucus: more than half of the Executive Board members are people of color and more than half are women.
The CCP’s upcoming vice chairwoman, Congresswoman Katie Porter, said that in 2018, she and many of her Democratic colleagues successfully ran campaigns based on progressive values.
“Rather than shy away from our fundamental principles, we embrace them, making clear that a progressive agenda is not only the right policy for America, but also a winning political message,” he said.
CPC Whip Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said: “We have a unique opportunity to fight for transformative change in the 117th Congress, whether it be to address the coronavirus pandemic, pass universal health care, address the climate crisis, or reorient our foreign policy”.
“I look forward to continuing to represent my colleagues in building a progressive voting bloc in Congress alongside intrepid leaders like Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Katie,” he said.
Among others, Indian-American Congresswoman Ro Khanna has been elected as a whip deputy, while Congresswoman Rashida Talib as vice president of member services.
“We have massive crises knocking on our nation’s door and our work has never been more important. It is time for Congress to act boldly and restore power where it belongs – with the people,” Jayapal said in a tweet.
“Together, our caucus will bring real relief to families, promote racial justice, address poverty and inequality, advocate for climate justice, and help transform this country so workers can finally get ahead. Let’s get down to business.” Jayapal said.