Rhode Island’s junior member of Congress just got his first leadership position. Congressman David Cicilline announced yesterday he’s the co-chair of the the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
“The Democratic Party needs to do a better job of listening and communicating our positions on the issues important to hard-working middle class families across this country,” Cicilline said in a press release. “We need to make sure that every working man and woman in America – no matter who they are or where they live – knows that we are fighting for them.”
According to its website, “The House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee is tasked with developing a Caucus-wide message that forcefully communicates where House Democrats stand, that resonates with hardworking Americans, and that presents a sharp contrast to House Republicans’ special interest-first agenda.”
In announcing House Democrats’ then “new message” in July, former DPCC Chair Steve Israel, of New York, told Politico, “The dominant theme in this environment is security. Military security, first and foremost, but also people are concerned about the security of their jobs, paychecks and security of their own voice in this democracy.” (the article is also pasted, without link or attribution, on the House DCPP webpage)
Cicilline struck a more economic note when he announced his new post today.
“As Donald Trump prepares to enter office, it’s more important than ever that we clearly and forcefully develop and articulate our strategies to create good-paying jobs, make college more affordable, end gun violence, ensure retirement security, and at the same time defend our American values,” he said. “Millions of Americans – including the disabled, women, LGBT and minority communities – are also feeling anxious and vulnerable right now. It’s critical that we stand on their side, fight to protect their rights, and preserve the values of equality and inclusion that have always defined us as Americans.”
One of three co-chairs of the committee, as per new party rules, Cicilline will head the committee along with representatives Cheri Bustos, of Illinois, and Hakeem Jeffries, of New York. Bustos is a former journalist and Jeffries represents Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.
Cicilline seems to have upset Congressman Matt Cartwright, of Pennsylvania, to win the leadership position. Cartwright was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s chosen candidate, according to several media reports. Pelosi offered a congratulatory tweet to the the new co-chairs of the House DPCC today.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 6, 2016
First elected to Congress in 2010, Cicilline also serves on the House Foreign Affairs and Judiciary committees.