Rep. Ayanna Pressley is urging California Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint a Black woman to Vice-President Kamala Harris’s Senate seat once she assumes office on January 2020.
“We absolutely cannot go backwards. With the election of @KamalaHarris to VP-elect, @CAgovernor must prioritize this leadership, perspective & representation in the vacated U.S. Senate seat & appoint a Black woman,” Pressley tweeted, tagging Democratic California Reps. Barbara Lee and Karen Bass.
The tweet makes it clear that Pressley supports the appointment of either Lee or Bass. Last month, Lee made her interest in the position crystal clear in response to a Newsweek article championing her for the position.
“It would be an honor to fill Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s role in the Senate. I know Gov. Gavin Newsom will pick the person he believes best represents California,” she wrote.
Pressley is not the only person eager to ensure Harris’s role is fulfilled by a woman of color.
According to Politico, Newsom received a letter last from two women’s groups, signed by more than 100 women affiliated with Black Women United, imploring him to do so.
“Black women have continuously been credited with saving the Democratic Party. By retaining the only seat held in the United States Senate by a Black woman, California has an opportunity to do more than just thank Black women,” the women stated in the letter. “Congresswoman Bass and Congresswoman Lee, both of whom are seasoned policymakers and proven leaders, will hit the ground running to address the devastating economic impact and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the letter states.
In a letter from Let’s Keep the Seat, a group representing dozens of female elected officials in California, they drummed home the urgency of appointing a Black woman.
“With Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ departure, there will be NO African American women in the entire U.S. Senate. This is unacceptable in general, but especially troubling now given the racially charged issues confronting our society and the need for more diverse representation,’’ the letter states.