DNC rolls out new jobs for top brass, including Keith Ellison's newly created position

Keith ellison tom perezMark Wilson/Getty ImagesDNC chair Tom Perez and Rep. Keith Ellison at the US Capitol.

The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday announced roles for its top brass, outlining for the first time the duties
Rep. Keith Ellison will tackle in the newly created deputy chair position.

“We are proud to usher in a new day at the DNC with a roster of extremely talented and diverse officers to lead our party’s turnaround,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement provided to Business Insider.

“The DNC leadership team is moving full steam ahead, enacting a true 57-states and territories strategy that ensures we are fighting for votes and putting our values into action in every single zip code,” he added.

Ellison, who narrowly lost the DNC chair election to Perez, will oversee the party’s grassroots and online mobilization efforts. He will work with progressive and organised labour groups and coordinate with several DNC caucuses, including the organisation’s Western, ethnic, Midwestern, Native American, and black caucuses, the committee said.

During his victory speech at the DNC winter meeting in Atlanta, Perez announced Ellison’s appointment to the deputy chair position. But the organisation took weeks to hammer out the details of what that role would actually be.

The DNC also appointed former South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison to the newly formed position of associate chair, where he will shape the party’s “57-state and territory strategy,” working particularly with embattled Southern and rural Democrats. The committee also said Harrison would be heavily involved in the planning process for the 2020 election, helping plan the party’s convention and primary debates.

Since Perez’s election in February, the DNC has announced a number of symbolic and practical steps aimed at diversifying the viewpoints represented within the organisation.

The DNC was frequently criticised for favouring Hillary Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential primary, and many Democrats were disappointed to see the chair race become a rehash of the primary, with Perez representing the establishment wing, and Ellison representing the Sanders wing.

On Monday, the DNC announced the 21-member Unity Reform Commission, which is tasked with reexamining the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination process. The commission is comprised of nine members selected by Clinton, seven selected by Sanders, three selected by Perez, and two members agreed on by both Clinton and Sanders.

Last night, Sanders and Perez kicked off the first of a 10-day unity tour aimed at healing the rift between the progressive and more centrist coalitions that emerged during the 2016 election.

“Our job is to bring millions of people into the political process who today do not vote or do not participate in any way,” Sanders said at rally with Perez in Maine. “Our job is to radically transform the Democratic Party.”

Here are the roles, according to the DNC:

  • New York State Rep. Michael Blake, vice chair: “Blake’s portfolio will include base and constituency mobilization, local and municipal elected official outreach, millennial outreach, African American outreach, progressive outreach, vendor diversity, building the bench through candidate recruitment, and fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Eastern Caucus, Black Caucus, and Youth Council.”
  • Louisiana Democratic Party Carter Peterson, Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Participation: “Peterson’s portfolio will include voter participation and protection, cybersecurity, State Attorneys General, Secretaries of State, African American outreach, and fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus, Black Caucus, and Women’s Caucus.”
  • Treasurer Bill Derrough: “Derrough’s portfolio will include budget development, long-term strategic planning, branding, cybersecurity, business outreach, tech outreach, LGBT outreach, and fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus and Small Business Council.”
  • Maria Elena Durazo: “Durazo’s portfolio will include organised labour and Latino outreach, as well as fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Western Caucus, Hispanic Caucus, and Labour Council.”
  • ASDC President Ken Martin, vice chair: “Martin’s Vice Chair portfolio will include the 57-state and territory strategy, State Party Partnerships, DGA, rural outreach, fundraising, and building the bench through candidate recruitment. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Midwest Caucus, Rural Council, and Military/Veterans’ Council.”
  • Rep. Grace Meng, vice chair: “Meng’s portfolio will include rebuilding the DNC’s surrogate program, coordination with the national campaign committees, Congressional Liaison, women and AAPI outreach, as well as fundraising. She will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Eastern Caucus, AAPI Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and Senior Council.”
  • National Finance Committee Chair Henry R. Muñoz III: “Munoz will be the primary lead in the DNC’s fundraising efforts and will lead Latino and LGBT engagement. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Southern Caucus and Small Business Council.”
  • Secretary Jason Rae: “Rae’s portfolio will include DNC member communications, millennial and youth engagement, LGBT outreach, as well as fundraising. He will also serve as a liaison to the DNC’s Midwest Caucus, LGBT Caucus, and Youth Council.”

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