Biden Administration Must Be Diverse and Independent From Corporate Interests, 30+ Groups Say

October 20, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. — Today, 38 national organizations sent a letter to the Biden campaign urging them to establish hiring criteria that will strengthen the diversity and effectiveness of the federal workforce and ensure presidential appointees are independent from Wall Street and corporate monopolies.
The letter calls for the Biden campaign to successfully meet this moment through “embrac[ing] diversity in all its forms” by appointing federal policymakers dedicated to the public interest, including those with a proven commitment to racial and gender equity. It also calls on the campaign to “reject policymakers who have held senior roles in the industries they will be tasked with regulating; who have worked as corporate lobbyists, whether registered or not; who have used public service for personal gain; or who have otherwise, through their affiliations or sympathies with abusive or extractive institutions and corporations, promoted interests at odds with the well-being of workers, women, consumers, people of color, the environment, small businesses, and communities as a whole.” Finally, the letter urges the campaign to adoptstrong transparency rules, building off the transparency and ethics measures adopted by the Obama-Biden presidential transition team. 
“Presidential appointments must be made to advance the public interest, not pad corporate profits,” said Morgan Harper, Senior Advisor to the American Economic Liberties Project. “The next administration must empower diverse voices and be prepared to challenge powerful corporate and financial interests whenever they are in conflict with racial and economic justice or national security.”
“We need an administration that is truly reflective of all the American people,” said K. Sabeel Rahman, President of Demos Action. “We need more Executive Branch appointees who come directly from the most affected communities on the frontlines of our current crises of economic, racial, gender, and climate injustice. We need appointees who have a demonstrated commitment, not to serving the interests of Wall Street or corporate America, but instead to ensuring Black and brown communities have real power to shape Federal policymaking.”
“Now is the time for visionary leadership that moves us beyond the status quo and establishes a new normal,” said Jhumpa Bhattacharya, VP of Programs and Strategies at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. “COVID exposed how tenuous ‘normal’ was for people of color and women in America, particularly Black and Brown women. We urge President-elect Biden to usher in a strategic and effective race and gender justice conscious federal workforce that will stand up against corporate greed and power, and help us live up to our American values of justice and equity, putting people above profits.”
“As voices calling for an end to systemic racism and the rule of corporate profiteers grows louder on American streets, a President-elect Biden must nominate people with a proven track record of representing and fighting on behalf of these voices,” said Jeremie Greer, Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of Liberation in a Generation.  
“The Trump Administration named leaders of the most anti-worker restaurant corporate chains to oversee workers’ rights in the Administration – and that was just one example of the ways in which corporate America was in direct control of every aspect of federal government for the last four years,” said Saru Jayaraman, President of One Fair Wage. “In direct contrast, the Biden-Harris Administration must establish leaders in the administration who clearly and unequivocally represent workers and the people, not corporate interests.”
Read the letter here.


Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.