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RELEASE - Tina Podlodowski on election of Tom Perez as DNC Chair

Tina Podlodowski on election of Tom Perez as DNC Chair


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 25, 2017


Former Secretary of Labor Tom Perez was elected chair of the Democratic National Committee today. Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski offered the following statement on Perez’s election:


“I’m looking forward working with Tom Perez as our new DNC chair. Tom’s commitment to working families and his passion for the values of economic opportunity and growing the middle class are going to be a huge asset to energizing our party and building the grassroots organizing and field work necessary to win elections in 2017, 2018, and beyond.


“This was a close race between two incredible candidates - Keith Ellison and Tom Perez. Despite Tom's win, both men - and all DNC members - pledged to stand in unity for progressive democratic change.  Going forward, our party will be united to fight for our shared progressive values, and as an example of that unity, Tom Perez's election as Chair was approved by a unanimous affirmation of DNC members and Keith Ellison was unanimously appointed to be the Deputy Chair of the DNC.  Here in Washington State that means standing up together and in unity for working people and their families, immigrants, communities of color, the LGBTQ community, people with disabilities, our union brothers and sisters, equal pay and healthcare choice for all women, Native American tribes, small businesses, and all our community partners and allies.


“We’re seeing an outpouring of new enthusiasm for the Democratic party since the 2016 election. New members are coming to our meetings and stepping up to leadership roles, and I’m excited to work with Tom to channel that energy towards our progressive agenda. It’s time for Democrats to stand up, resist Donald Trump and his backwards conservative agenda, and work with leaders here in Washington like Governor Jay Inslee on advancing our Democratic values like funding education, access to voting, and protecting the civil and human rights of all people.


“Right now Democrats have the energy of the people, the rule of law, and our fundamental American values of justice and equality on our side. Trump and his cronies don’t stand a chance.”


For the last three years, Tom has served as the 26th U.S. Secretary of Labor, working to reignite the department’s fight to protect and expand opportunities for American workers. Under his leadership, the Labor Department fought to secure collective bargaining rights, better wages and overtime pay, and the opportunity for middle-class families to retire comfortably and securely. He was an Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Justice Department under President Obama and led efforts to restore and expand the Civil Rights division after it was gutted by the Bush Administration.

Tom was also the first Latino elected to the Montgomery County Council, serving from 2002 until 2006, and was Council president. He then served as Secretary of Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. In 2002, Tom started as board president at CASA de Maryland, an organization that provides services to immigrants. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Ann Marie Staudenmaier, who is an attorney with the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and their three children.