The economic anxiety in America “is real” and Democrats need to travel to “the heartland, inner-city communities and rural America” with a unified economic plan they can clearly articulate, U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of Brooklyn wrote in a letter to colleagues as he seeks to become co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
In the three-page Nov. 25 letter sent to POLITICO New York, Jeffries wrote that after the presidential election, House Democrats in Washington “are poised to recalibrate our message, rebuild our ranks and reclaim our country from those who want to turn back the clock.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Friday nominated Jeffries and Reps. Cheri Bustos and Matt Cartwright to co-chair the committee. The committee is currently chaired by New York Rep. Steve Israel, who did not seek re-election to Congress this year.
“The values I would bring to the DPCC are anchored in my upbringing in a working-class, union household in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood, as well as my time spent in the economically depressed Southern Tier region in Upstate New York while in college,” Jeffries wrote in the letter.
Jeffries, who traveled extensively as a surrogate for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, wrote, “In order to connect with and capture the imagination of the American people, our policy ideas are best communicated in 'headlines,' and not in 'fine print,' as illustrated by the most recent presidential election.
Jeffries has, up to this point, not ruled out challenging fellow Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio in next year's mayoral election. After the presidential election, Jeffries told POLITICO New York his “inclination” was to stay in Washington, but that “all options are on the table.”
House Democrats are due to hold leadership elections on Wednesday.