Congresswoman Barbara Lee's "Dear Colleague" Letter in Support of Rep. James Clyburn
November 8, 2010
I am writing to ask for your support of Jim Clyburn to continue as Democratic Whip. With our country and our party at a crossroads, it is important that we have a leadership team in place that recognizes the strength and diversity of the Democratic Caucus and puts the needs of the Caucus before their own agendas. Like many of you, as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, I have worked closely with Jim to advance an agenda that has made a difference for millions of Americans. We need Jim's continued leadership as Democratic Whip going forward.
As Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn has been an extremely effective consensus-builder, rounding up the votes for what has been called the most productive Congress in decades. Thanks to his leadership and precise vote counting skills, we were able to pass the Recovery Act, health care reform (which included landmark student loan reform), Wall Street reform, and many other pieces of legislation that are helping to turn our country around. As we transition into the minority, it is even more important that Jim Clyburn continue in his role as Whip.
Jim has spent a lifetime working to bridge what divides us. Throughout his career in South Carolina, he learned how to work with conservatives and moderates to get results. As Caucus Vice-Chair, Caucus Chairman and Majority Whip, he brought together the diverse spectrum of our caucus behind a unified agenda. Jim has been a key voice in marginal districts where African American constituencies are strong. He has consistently supported our members, he has campaigned in these districts, and he knows what it takes to recruit candidates and win elections.
In the 112th Congress, we will need Jim's dedication to thwart Republican efforts to repeal all of the progress we have made on behalf of the American people. I am convinced that we will regain our majority in two short years, but we need a leadership team that will stand up for the principles we cherish and effectively communicate why these principles will create more opportunity for all Americans.
While I know that this may be a difficult choice for you, as we contemplate the future of our Caucus, I am certain about one thing. We need Jim Clyburns leadership in the 112th Congress. As the Chair, I am asking you to join the CBC in supporting him for Democratic Whip.