A group of lawmakers and civil rights groups are demanding that President-elect Joe Biden appoint Black and Latino nominees to some of the remaining high-level Cabinet positions. However, the elected officials insist that Biden is not doing enough to meet his promise of creating an administration that reflects the nation’s diversity as he has already named White nominees to two of the highest-profile Cabinet positions — secretary of state and treasury secretary.
So far, Joe Biden has named four Black people in his cabinet;UN Ambassador nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman, Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban American man who would be the first Latino to serve in the position if confirmed by the Senate, and Neera Tanden, who is the first woman of color and first South Asian person nominated to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Cecilia Rouse, a Black woman, was nominated to chair the Council of Economic Advisers, a position which Biden announced last week he will elevate to the Cabinet level.
However, Black and Latino leaders have raised concerns over the nomination of black people to second-tier positions in Biden’s administration and are demanding that Biden choose diverse candidates to fill the remaining high-profile positions. This demand came after some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who in a letter obtained by CNN, requested that Biden appoint either California Attorney General Xavier Becerra or Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez to serve as the US Attorney General.
The caucus is scheduled to meet Thursday with incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain, as well as key Biden transition team leaders Jeffrey Zients and Ted Kaufman.
Leaders from seven Black-led civil rights groups say they requested a meeting to discuss the need for more Black nominees to Biden’s Cabinet but Biden has not yet agreed to a date for the meeting.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who lead s the National Action Network has said that he would like to see Black leaders in positions such as US attorney general, secretary of education and secretary of labor.
“We are in an era of heightened alert in the areas of race and criminal justice,” Sharpton told CNN. “And anything that does not recognize that means that people who voted for him, feeling he would deal with this issue, will feel a sense of betrayal.”