Biden, Sanders name leaders of their ‘unity task forces’ — including AOC

Since Sanders’ exit from the White House race, however, Ocasio-Cortez has all but formally endorsed Biden while still pressuring him to pursue a distinctly liberal policy agenda. “There are very real, tangible areas where Democrats even fell short perhaps during the Obama administration that I think I would like for us to have a plan to improve,” she told POLITICO last month.

Ocasio-Cortez, who has championed The Green New Deal legislative package, was tapped Wednesday one of the two co-chairs of the Biden-Sanders climate change task force, serving alongside John Kerry, the former secretary of state and longtime Massachusetts senator who was an early Biden supporter.

The other five groups’ co-chairs include Chiraag Bains, director of legal strategies for the liberal think tank Demos; California Rep. Karen Bass; Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge; Dr. Heather Gautney, a sociology professor and former Senate staffer; Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center; Washington Rep. Pramila Jayapal; former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; union activist Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA; California Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard; and Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott.

Additionally, Biden and Sanders named Carmel Martin of Biden for President and Analilia Mejia of Friends of Bernie Sanders as their respective campaign representatives “to coordinate and support the work” of the task forces.

In a news release, the Biden campaign said the task forces “will meet in advance of the Democratic National Convention to make recommendations to the DNC Platform Committee” and to Biden directly. “Building upon the work of the Democratic campaigns to date, the ultimate goal of the Unity Task Forces is to develop the most successful possible agenda for Democrats in 2020,” the campaign said.

Biden said in a statement that a “united party is key to defeating” President Donald Trump in six months, as well as “moving our country forward through an unprecedented crisis.” The task forces “will be essential to identifying ways to build on our progress and not simply turn the clock back to a time before Donald Trump, but transform our country,” he said.

“In the midst of the unprecedented economic and pandemic crises we face, the Democratic Party must think big, act boldly, and fight to change the direction of this country,” Sanders said in his own statement, adding: “I commend Joe Biden for working together with my campaign to assemble a group of leading thinkers and activists who can and will unify our party in a transformational and progressive direction.”

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