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Haaland named to Democratic platform committee

U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland believes she will bring a unique perspective to the committee drafting the Democratic Party’s platform to be voted on at its national convention.

“It’s no secret, I know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck,” she told the Journal about her selection to the committee. “I know what it is like to piece together health care. I know what it is like to be on food stamps. I’m the daughter of two veterans.”

Haaland was appointed to the 15-person Democratic National Committee Platform Drafting Committee by DNC Chairman Tom Perez earlier this week.

“I’m grateful to have been asked to serve by Chairman Perez,” the congresswoman said. “I’m grateful to be serving with a group of national policy leaders, including some of my progressive colleagues, (Reps.) Barbara Lee (of California), Katherine Clark (of Massachusetts) and Sylvia Garcia (of Texas).”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is chairing the committee. The panel is supposed to have its work finished before the party’s national convention Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee.

However, the pandemic has plans up in the air.

“I’m not sure how the (Joe Biden presidential) campaign and the DNC will do the convention with respect to our health crisis in our country right now,” Haaland said. “We’ll wait and see what they plan.”

Haaland said the committee will have a gathering, but believes much of its work will be done by Zoom calls.

She said she was looking forward to “bringing my progressive values and crafting our party’s platform, and paying attention to urgent issues like climate change, health care and criminal justice reform that we’ve seen protested about across our country the past couple of weeks.”

The first-term representative said one of her priorities since becoming a member of Congress has been the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.

“Protecting the environment, fighting violence against women and fighting for working families are all important issues,” she said. “I look forward to giving my perspective on those issues.”

Democratic Party of New Mexico Chairwoman Marg Elliston praised Haaland’s selection to the committee.

“As one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and as a lifelong New Mexican, Congresswoman Haaland has a critical perspective to share during the platform drafting process,” she said in a news release. “We know that as part of this team of Democratic leaders, she will fight for policies that support working families, protect the environment, and address the need for justice in policing. Her input will be critical in creating a platform that understands the needs of all Americans.”

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