Several Indian Americans are part of the Unity Task Force announced by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders with the purpose of use to promoting Democratic party unity by hammering out consensus on top policy issues, additional members have been announced.
Two Indian Americans had already been named as co-chairs of the Health panel: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his chief primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., announced on Wednesday the members of a joint task force meant to unify the party ahead of November’s general election, bringing together figures from different wings of the party, ranging from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to former Secretary of State John Kerry.
The news comes a month after Sanders joined Biden via video stream to endorse him. The pair pledged to create these task forces to focus on shared policy concerns. “Now, it’s no great secret out there, Joe, that you and I have our differences, and we’re not going to paper them over; that’s real,” Sanders said at the time. “But I hope that these task forces will come together utilizing the best minds and people in your campaign and in my campaign to work out real solutions to these very, very important problems.”
Biden and Sanders put together six of the “unity task forces” to handle policy in these areas: the economy, education, immigration, health care, climate change, and criminal justice reform.
South Asians for Biden said May 21 that these additional Indian Americans have also been named members of the Unity Taskforce:
- Chiraag Bains, director of Legal Strategies for the think tank Demos, will serve as the co-chair of the Criminal Justice Reform group;
- Former Acting Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, now president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, will also serve on the Criminal Justice Reform group;
- Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, a leading organization focused on climate change among young people, will serve on the Climate Change group; and
- Sonal Shah, policy director for Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, will serve on the Economy group.
“We are thrilled to see that a number of South Asian leaders have been selected to serve on the Unity Taskforce, which will have an impact on the Democratic Party platform for years to come,” said Neha Dewan, National Director of South Asians for Biden. “South Asians represent the second-most rapidly growing demographic group in America. In this critical election year, the South Asian community has a stake in key policy questions that affect our communities, and are deeply impacted by issues spanning immigration, civil rights, and healthcare. Such a robust representation of South Asians on the Unity Taskforce reflects the growing voting strength of the community,” said Ritu Pancholy, a member of the communications team for South Asians for Biden.
South Asians for Biden is a national, grassroots organization that is dedicated to engaging, educating, and mobilizing the South Asian community to help to elect Joe Biden as the next president of the United States.