Three prominent Indian Americans have been added to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ joint task forces. The aim of the task force is to craft a Democratic policy platform and shape a possible Biden administration.
Forty-eight lawmakers, activists, union leaders and academics are named to the task force. Among them are Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.); Chiraag Bains, director of legal strategies for the liberal think tank Demos; and former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy.
Politico says that “the announcement follows through on a pledge the two men made last month,” when Sanders endorsed Biden, “to establish working groups to advise the Biden campaign on six key policy areas: climate change, criminal justice reform, economy, education, health care, and immigration.”
Over the next six weeks, the task forces will be asked to offer policy recommendations and a possible administration, if Biden heads to the White House. “The hope is they could also arm Biden with possible executive orders that he could issue quickly should he be elected president,” The Huffington Post reported.
A new release from the Biden campaign said the task forces “will meet in advance of the Democratic National Convention to make recommendations to the DNC Platform Committee.” The campaign said the task forces will build upon “the work of the Democratic campaigns to date, the ultimate goal of the Unity Task Forces is to develop the most successful possible agenda for Democrats in 2020.”
One of the prominent members of the task forces is the progressive New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backed Sanders during the primary contest. She will co-chair the climate change group along with former Secretary of State John Kerry, a Biden supporter.
Rep. Jayapal, also the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, will co-chair the health care task force along with Murthy. Jayapal campaigned for Sanders in early primary states and supports “Medicare for All.” Murthy was the 19th Surgeon General of the United States and served under the Obama administration.
Chiraag Bains will be part of the criminal justice reform group along with Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and former Attorney General Eric Holder, who served in the Obama administration.
Others members of the task forces include Rep. Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus (D-Calif.) (economy), Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) (immigration), Rep Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) (education), Dr. Heather Gautney, a sociology professor and former Senate staffer (criminal justice); Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (immigration); former; and union activist Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (economy).