President Obama has released a statement praising the new DNC leadership team of Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison. Approval of the new DNC leadership has been universal as everyone from Sen. Bernie Sanders to Barack Obama has expressed enthusiasm for Perez and Ellison.
In a statement, former President Obama said, “Congratulations to my friend Tom Perez on his election to lead the Democratic Party, and on his choice of Keith Ellison to help him lead it. I’m proud of all the candidates who ran, and who make this great party what it is. What unites our party is a belief in opportunity – the idea that however you started out, whatever you look like, or whomever you love, America is the place where you can make it if you try. Over the past eight years, our party continued its track record of delivering on that promise: growing the economy, creating new jobs, keeping our people safe with a tough, smart foreign policy, and expanding the rights of our founding to every American – including the right to quality, affordable health insurance. That’s a legacy the Democratic Party will always carry forward. I know that Tom Perez will unite us under that banner of opportunity, and lay the groundwork for a new generation of Democratic leadership for this big, bold, inclusive, dynamic America we love so much.”
The diversity of the DNC election demonstrates that the Democratic Party is still very much Obama’s party. The former president may no longer occupy the White House, but his values are well represented by the Perez/Ellison leadership team.
Enthusiasm for Perez isn’t limited to the former president.
Steve Phillps the founder of Democracy in Color said, “We are pleased that Democratic National Committee voters chose to elect a leader who not only reflects the diversity of the progressive community but has also made a commitment to better engage and invest in communities of color, which form a critical and fastest-growing part of the New American Majority. We are also very encouraged that the DNC unanimously selected Keith Ellison as Deputy Chair.”
The DNC needs to lead the charge to rebuild state and local Democratic parties all across the country. It was important for the DNC to represent the current and future faces of the Democratic base. This was an election that Democrats should feel good about.
While congratulating Perez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) made an important point,”I congratulate Tom Perez on his election as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and look forward to working with him. At a time when Republicans control the White House, the U.S. House, U.S. Senate and two-thirds of all statehouses, it is imperative that Tom understands that the same-old, same-old is not working and that we must open the doors of the party to working people and young people in a way that has never been done before. Now, more than ever, the Democratic Party must make it clear that it is prepared to stand up to the 1 percent and lead this country forward in the fight for social, racial, economic and environmental justice.”
Democrats must move forward by incorporating Obama’s values and the Sanders outreach to new working people and young people at a grassroots level to build a stronger party.
Obama’s Democratic Party is alive and well, and with new vision and direction at the DNC, Democrats have taken the first step towards election success at every level of government.