Clark seeks position to continue uplifting Members, American people
September 15, 2020- Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, announced her candidacy for the position of Assistant Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a letter to colleagues, Congresswoman Clark cited her work to recruit, mentor and support candidates in 2018 and her role providing individualized services, programming, and solutions to Members as examples of her proven record of leadership and her motivation for running.
“Effective leadership is not about individual ambition, but our collective good. It is about truly listening and understanding the needs of our Members and using my voice at the leadership table to amplify yours,” stated Congresswoman Clark in her letter. “This is not the stuff of headlines, but it is the meticulous work that helps Members achieve their legislative goals and serve their constituents, and makes our Caucus stronger. Over the last four years, I have dedicated myself to this effort.”
“The challenges and opportunities facing our Caucus and our country are unprecedented and will require that we leverage the talent and expertise of our Members, unite behind our shared values, and deliver results for all communities,” said Clark. “I am eager to expand on our work together and to continue delivering results for you, your districts, and for the people.”
Numerous colleagues representing all corners of the House Democratic Caucus have already rallied behind Congresswoman Clark.
“Since I first made the decision to run for Congress and now as her colleague, Katherine has always been someone I can turn to for guidance and solutions,” said Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-5). “Her commitment to mentoring women in the House, to developing more inclusive policy solutions for children and families, and her willingness to take freshman members under her wing are just a few of the many reasons why I am proud to support her as Assistant Speaker. Through Katherine’s leadership, women and families will have a fearless advocate at the leadership table – a voice we need as we continue to build a more equitable and inclusive society.”
“We are fortunate that so many people in our Caucus serve in leadership roles in Congress. I am glad to support Congresswoman Katherine Clark because she always puts the needs of our Democratic Caucus members first in mind,” said Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-2), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “Congress serves the people and Katherine has exemplified that service in her over seven years championing populist people-first legislation in the House. We need someone with her vision and commitment to bold solutions sitting at the leadership table.”
“The saying goes, ‘women run to do something, not to be someone.’ That phrase embodies my colleague and friend Katherine Clark,” said Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29).“She knows that working hard and uplifting voices that are often ignored in politics is how we get real results for the American people. That’s what motivates her work and drives her as a leader. I know I can always come to her and expect results for my district.”
“If we select wise Caucus leaders today, we will be in good shape for the challenges tomorrow. Rep. Clark fits the bill and that’s why I support her candidacy for Assistant Speaker,” said Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5).
“Katherine is a problem solver and a proven leader who is not afraid of taking on big challenges. I trust her and I know that she will make an outstanding Assistant Speaker,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-6). “As a member of leadership, she and her Caucus staff have worked hand in glove with the Tri-Caucus and the House Diversity Office to recruit, retain and promote diversity among House staff. Katherine knows that when the House looks like America, our policies will be stronger and more impactful, and she will do the hard work to get us there. Katherine is also focused on making sure that all Members of our Caucus succeed, and she works to promote the efforts of her Caucus colleagues. This is what being a leader is about and she will continue to employ these critical qualities in the role of Assistant Speaker. I am proud to support her candidacy for this important position and look forward to her talents and abilities further strengthening our Caucus.”
“Katherine is uniquely qualified and equipped to be our Assistant Speaker because she works to help each and every one of our Democratic colleagues to succeed, no matter our politics or district,” said Congresswoman Ann Kuster (NH-2). “As a member of New Dems leadership, I constantly see colleagues, including many new Members and ‘frontliners,’ come to Katherine for guidance and solutions. They trust her to have their best interests in mind. I’m confident that her commitment to the success of each member of our Caucus will help us to grow and maintain our majority so that we can continue to support American families and do important work for the people of this country.”
“Katherine Clark has proven herself as a champion for the people we were elected to serve,” said Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20). “Whether teaming up to confront important issues, including climate justice and the fight for clean air and safe water, or traveling across the country to support our work and hear from American families firsthand, Katherine has been a true team player who has consistently put the needs of her colleagues above her own. Her work and her spirit embody the values of justice, intelligence and community that we stand for as a party and as a people. I am delighted to support my friend Katherine Clark in her bid to serve as the next Assistant Speaker of the House of Representatives.”selecti
Congresswoman Clark was elected as Vice Chair in 2018 and is the second highest ranking woman in the U.S. House following Speaker Pelosi.
September 15, 2020
As we confront the intertwined crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic crisis, and systemic racism, I want to thank you for your focused efforts to deliver relief on behalf of the American people. All of our work over the next two months must be dedicated to achieving a recovery that leaves no one behind, not only through much-needed legislation, but also by removing the forces obstructing our recovery by winning the White House and Senate, and maintaining and expanding our majority in the House.
If we are successful in defending the House Democratic majority, I will be a candidate for Assistant Speaker, and I hope to earn your support.
Effective leadership is not about individual ambition, but our collective good. It is about truly listening and understanding the needs of our Members and using my voice at the leadership table to amplify yours. This is not the stuff of headlines, but it is the meticulous work that helps Members achieve their legislative goals and serve their constituents, and makes our Caucus stronger. Over the last four years, I have dedicated myself to this effort.
After the election of Donald Trump, and in the minority in the House, my focus turned to helping win a Democratic majority and serving as a backstop to the devastating Trump agenda. As the vice-chair of Recruitment and the co-chair of Red to Blue in the 2018 election cycle, I worked for two years to recruit, mentor, and support candidates, now valued colleagues, whose victories secured our majority. We were successful because we listened, we trusted that our candidates knew their own districts best, and we supported each candidate in running the race that was right for their district.
My service as Vice Chair has been guided by the belief that our Caucus is filled with unparalleled talent — people from different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences, whose ideas and priorities are not only valuable, but necessary for truly representative policymaking for America. Under the excellent leadership of Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, I have ensured that Members are informed and engaged and have worked across our Caucus to bring Members’ perspectives and priorities to the leadership table. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we organized hundreds of hours of calls and meetings to provide a platform for Members to strategize and stay connected in our fight to save the lives and livelihoods of our constituents. As a result, even in the midst of the crisis, we have come together to support groundbreaking legislation to confront the pandemic, tackle systemic racism and police brutality, save the Postal Service, ensure an accurate Census, prevent voter suppression, invest in infrastructure, stabilize child care, and more.
I firmly believe that our Caucus succeeds when each Member succeeds. That’s why, in addition to my responsibilities to Caucus operations, I have taken an individualized approach to Member services, identifying areas of need, designing programming, and finding solutions to help Members and their offices achieve their goals:
- When Members expressed that we needed more opportunities to meaningfully connect with our colleagues, I planned the Vice Chair Dinner Series, offering opportunities for Members to gather informally, learn more about an important topic, and discuss their ideas and concerns with each other. From innovative, community-based solutions to gun violence, to the economic development of small towns across the Heartland, to analyzing how we create anti-racist policy, these dinners have provoked candid discussions, greater understanding, and deeper collaboration among Members.
- When Members and their offices expressed staffing challenges, my team and I collaborated with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, staff associations, and off-Hill organizations to identify qualified candidates to fit Members’ needs. And as we work diligently to ensure that our Congressional workforce reflects the people we represent, I am proud that over two-thirds of the candidates we have referred are people of color and LGBTQ+ candidates, and we have successfully helped place candidates of color in senior staff roles within our Caucus.
- When Members have expressed concerns about addressing specific issues, I created resources, guides, and event templates to help them lead. These have included resources to assist offices in convening team discussions about police violence, systemic racism, and creating an inclusive and respectful office environment, best practices for collaborating with advocacy organizations and Dreamers, guides to amplify the stories of DACA beneficiaries living and laboring in our districts, and templates for events to highlight the needs of independent restaurants impacted by the pandemic.
- When I heard from Members that they had a desire to share their expertise, I created a series of virtual conversations to highlight the remarkable accomplishments of Members. The template for these virtual conversations has been shared widely with offices, highlighting our work for the people on topics including trauma, safe school reopening, Black maternal health, housing disparities, voter suppression, domestic violence, mental health awareness, and more.
The challenges and opportunities facing our Caucus and our country are unprecedented and will require that we leverage the talent and expertise of our Members, unite behind our shared values, and deliver results for all communities. I am eager to expand on our work together and to continue delivering results for you, your districts and for the people.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to fighting alongside you to secure a victory for the American people in November and meet the extraordinary challenges and opportunities we face together.
With warm regards,
Katherine M. Clark