On February 25, the Democratic National Committee will elect its next chair, with Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez currently looking like the two front-runners in the race. To Ellison’s supporters, the economic populist and first Muslim elected to Congress is seen as a fresh face who will steer the party leftward in the face of its most recent defeat; Senators Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer and Representative John Lewis have already endorsed him for the position. And on Monday, feminist activist Gloria Steinem threw her support behind Ellison as well.
Variety reports that Steinem released a statement praising the congressman and community organizer’s viewpoints on issues such as universal health care and women’s rights:
“His understanding that issues like a living wage and universal health care should be national goals — and his support for the ideas and energy of the Women’s Marches around the world — make clear that he can and will lead the Democratic Party to a principled and populist victory. As both a strong advocate for feminism and a Muslim, he knows that, as Hillary Clinton said, ‘human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.’ He is ready to overcome the dangers presented by Donald Trump, to inspire and mobilize the grassroots, and to elect Democrats across the country.”
Steinem also cited Trump’s rise to the presidency “through a sealed tube of inherited money and fact-free ‘reality’ TV,” adding, “we all have an obligation to fight back and to reach such majority goals as eliminating racist and sexist violence, and diminishing economic polarization and global warming.”