In a sign of Democratic unification, the Democratic National Committee has announced that in a break with past practice both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will appoint some representatives to the party’s 15-member platform committee.
The platform is considered a symbolic document, but after a tumultuous primary, Sanders and Clinton both getting to appoint their own representatives sends a signal to their supporters that both candidates’ views will be represented within the party ahead of the general election. The Washington Post called the new arrangement “highly unusual.” Typically, the chairman of the DNC would get to appoint the entirety of the committee.
Under the new arrangement, the Washington Post reported Monday, Clinton will appoint six representatives to the platform committee while Sanders will appoint five.
The Post reported that Clinton has selected president of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) who has worked extensively on immigration reform in the House, Wendy Sherman, who worked with Clinton at the Department of State, Carol Browner, an environmentalist who worked in the Obama administration, Ohio lawmaker Alicia Reece, and Paul Booth who is the executive assistant to the president at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union
The paper also reported that Sanders picked James Zogby, the president of the Arab-American Institute in Washington and a well-known advocate for Palestinian issues, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), one of two Muslim members of Congress, Dr. Cornel West, an academic and an activist for racial equality, author and environmentalist Bill McKibben and Deborah Parker, an advocate for the Native American community.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz named Rep. Elijah Cummings, who served as the the ranking member in the select committee on Benghazi, to be the chairman. She also selected former CEO Bonnie Schaefer, one-time Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and current Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) to serve.
The joint platform could help win over some Sanders supporters and voters who have alleged that their voices are not being heard in the Democratic primary.