Progressive group frustrated with DNC over transition team

Progressive group frustrated with DNC over transition team
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A top progressive interest group says it’s frustrated with the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) transition advisory committee, saying the roster needs more liberals.  

DNC Chairman Tom Perez on Wednesday announced who would sit on the 30-member committee, which included a broad sampling of Democrats from a variety of constituencies within the party. 

But the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) wants more representation from the party’s liberal wing. 

“Many progressives are noticing that the initial names on the DNC Transition Advisory Committee include zero leaders of progressive grassroots groups that engage in electoral work and very few movement progressives,” PCCC press secretary Kait Sweeney said in a statement. 

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She added that her organization plans to send the DNC additional names she hopes the party adds to the list, arguing that leaders of grassroots movements would help the party capture energy of those who are making up the “resistance” to President Trump.   

A source familiar with the commission’s selection told The Hill that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), a progressive favorite who unsuccessfully ran for DNC chairman before becoming deputy chairman, had input on the selection process. Other new officers within the DNC gave input as well.  

The party organization is also planning to meet with the PCCC and other groups, the source added, as it continues to transition after Perez’s successful campaign last month to lead the party.  

The advisory committee’s roster includes three members who are specifically favored by progressives: labor activist Ai-jen Poo, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and union activist Brian Weeks.  

There are also a handful of other activists with progressive chops, including Black Lives Matter figure Deray McKesson, former American Federation of Teachers aide LaToia Jones, and former DNC chairman candidates Pete Buttigieg, Sally Boynton Brown and Jehmu Greene.  

In addition, there are a handful of DNC members — all of whom either voted for Perez for chairman or abstained — as well as other establishment party officials and strategists, including high-profile Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonObama's speech proves hypocrisy of Democrat's anti-Wall Street rhetoric Lawmakers targeted as district politics shift Want a tremendous deal on infrastructure spending? Suspend Davis-Bacon MORE campaign ally and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. 

Xochitl Hinojosa, a spokeswoman with the DNC, described the advisory committee as “just a start to the broader transition efforts.”  

“Over the weeks to come, Tom Perez and DNC leadership will continue meeting with key stakeholders in our big tent party, including progressive leaders, labor, and experts in various fields to discuss priorities for the DNC, grassroots organizing, reaching key voters who were left behind this last election, and raising the resources needed to succeed,” she added. 

Ellison had praise for several members of the committee. 

"I'm glad to see so many outstanding Democrats represented on the Transition Advisory Committee, including my friend and colleague Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, worker advocate Ai-Jen Poo, and labor leaders like Brian Weeks from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees," Ellison said in a statement to The Hill. 

"In the weeks and months ahead, Tom and I will continue to work not just with this committee but with a broad coalition of Democrats, state parties, organizers and activists looking to increase the DNC's engagement with rank-and-file members and progressive advocates across the country. 

Months after a difficult Election Day, Democrats are seeking to regroup under Perez as they look to combat Trump and capture the enthusiasm surrounding the opposition to him.  

By the end of April, the party’s “unity commission” will begin working to offer various recommendations to grow the party and deal with controversial issues like the role of superdelegates in the nominating process. 

Democrats agreed to establish the commission during the 2016 party convention to help bridge the gap between progressives and establishment Democrats in the wake of the conentious presidential primary race between Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders on skipping WH Korea briefing: 'I did not want to be part of a photo op' Demanding transparency and fairness from Trump tax plan Overnight Energy: Trump orders review of national monuments, claiming ‘egregious abuse’ MORE (I-Vt.) and Clinton.