A Huge Week for Our Country

From: Libby Schneider, Rural Political Director, DNC <schneiderl@dnc.org>
Sent: Monday, January 25, 2021 11:59 AM
Subject: ICYM: A Huge Week for Our Country


Fellow Rural Democrats,

Last week was the culmination of years of hard work across constituencies united in a common purpose. Seeing our Democratic elected officials and an inauguration that withstood the recent physical attacks held particular significance.
As a country, we also had a moment to pause and reflect on the lives lost to COVID, something we had not done before as a collective. Even with our new leadership, Trump’s utter mismanagement could still lead to upwards of 100,000 more people taken from us while the Biden-Harris Administration works around the clock to bring this under control.

And press reports last week confirmed what we already knew: The Trump administration had no vaccine plan and left no blueprint for the Biden administration. Only about 14 million Americans have been vaccinated — far below the 20 million Trump’s administration promised to have completed three weeks ago.

However, President Biden and his team are setting us on a new course. They’re centralizing their operation and the President’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan “American Rescue” is already underway. The plan contains rural specific aid and addresses the unique challenges rural communities are facing as this pandemic continues to rage. It includes an ambitious goal to administer 100 million shots by the end of his first 100 days.

President Biden’s plan will get $1,400 direct relief checks to Americans, on top of $600 checks previously approved for a total of $2,000 in direct aid; enhance unemployment benefits and extend pandemic unemployment programs; increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour; provide additional support for small businesses; extend the federal eviction moratorium and provide additional aid to low- and moderate-income households out of work; and provide funding for vaccines, testing, and schools.
In addition, the new administration and our Democratic Senate majority got to work immediately addressing other critical issues left in the wake of Donald Trump. President Biden signed several executive orders, many of them undoing the damage inflicted upon our nation. This week the Senate began to confirm President Biden’s cabinet nominees. So far, the process has yielded the confirmation of Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as the Secretary of Defense and Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence.

Here at the Democratic National Committee, the work also continues. Last Thursday, the DNC members met virtually for the Winter Meeting. At this meeting, the DNC’s officers for the 2021-2025 term assumed their new positions.

The DNC’s new slate of leadership:

Jaime Harrison, DNC Chair
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Vice Chair of Civic Engagement and Voter Protection
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Vice Chair
Senator Tammy Duckworth, Vice Chair
Representative Filemon Vela Jr., Vice Chair
Ken Martin, Vice Chair for ASDC
Jason Rae, Secretary
Virginia McGregor, Treasurer
Chris Korge, National Finance Chair
And we are very proud that the DNC announced its first senior staff hires: DNC Deputy CEO Sam Cornale will now serve as our Executive Director, and DNC CEO and veteran campaign leader Mary Beth Cahill will continue her service to the party as Senior Advisor.

Thanks for all you do,

Libby Schneider – DNC National Rural Political Director

In This Update:

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Rural Relief
President Biden’s Executive Actions
New DNC Leadership Elected
DNC Announces First Senior Staff Hires
President Biden’s American Rescue Plan

Early last week, then President-elect Biden announced his American Rescue Plan and laid out the necessary relief it will provide to rural communities. Read the rural-specific impacts of the plan here.

Executive Actions

President Biden has wasted no time in combating the challenges facing America. He has signed 17 executive actions. Some of the actions taken address the pandemic, immigration, climate change, LGBTQ+ equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as the economy.

On the Pandemic

President Biden signed an executive order requiring social distancing and the wearing of masks on all federal property and by all federal employees. He is also reinstating ties with the World Health Organization after the Trump administration chose to withdraw the nation’s membership and funding last year.

On Immigration and Visas

President Biden signed an executive order preserving and fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that protects from deportation immigrants brought to the United States as children, often called Dreamers. Mr. Trump sought for years to end the program, known as DACA. The order also calls on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship for those immigrants.

On Climate Change

President Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, which it will officially rejoin 30 days from now. In 2019, the previous administration notified the United Nations that the United States would withdraw from the coalition of nearly 200 countries working to move away from planet-warming fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas.

On LGBTQ+ Equality

Yesterday, President Biden signed an Executive Order implementing the Supreme Court’s historic decision last June in Bostock v. Clayton County that made it clear, once and for all, that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited under federal sex nondiscrimination laws.

On Diversity and Inclusion

President Biden revoked Mr. Trump’s executive order limiting the ability of federal agencies, contractors and other institutions to hold diversity and inclusion training.

On the Economy

President Biden extended the moratorium on evictions through the end of March on his first day to provide relief to renters struggling during the pandemic

At the request of President Biden, the Acting Secretary of Education will extend the pause on federal student loan payments and collections and keep the interest rate at 0%.

DNC Announces First Senior Staff Hires

Today the Democratic National Committee is announcing its first senior staff hires following President Biden’s inauguration and the selection of DNC Chair Jaime Harrison: Sam Cornale will serve as Executive Director, and Mary Beth Cahill will continue her service to the party as Senior Advisor.

At the DNC, this leadership team will work to grow President Biden’s political operation and infrastructure, advance the agenda of the Biden-Harris administration, and lay the groundwork for a successful midterm election for Democrats at every level of the ballot.

The DNC will announce additional senior staff in the weeks ahead — continuing the Committee’s commitment to building a senior leadership team which reflects the Democratic Party and incorporates its top political talent.

“Under Mary Beth’s leadership the DNC played a critical role in electing President Biden and Vice President Harris, and their continued work with Sam at the helm will ensure President Biden’s commitment to a strong DNC and Democratic party infrastructure is fulfilled,” said former Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon. “With incoming Chair Harrison, this team will continue to support the vital work of grassroots Democrats, advance the priorities voters endorsed by electing the Biden-Harris administration, and set the stage for Democrats’ continued success in the campaigns ahead.”

“These battle-tested leaders know how to win, build a political operation that is second to none, and I’m excited they will lead the critical work of the DNC,” said incoming DNC Chair Jaime Harrison. “Their continued work will help fulfill the mission of the DNC: growing Democrats’ infrastructure in every part of every state, standing up for the principles we believe in, and marshalling the full resources of the Democratic Party in support of the Biden-Harris administration.”

“In 2020 a revitalized DNC helped President Biden and Vice President Harris win a historic race for the White House — and helped Democrats flip the Senate, hold the House and strengthen our party at every level. This work is important, not just to winning elections but to improving people’s lives,” said DNC Executive Director Sam Cornale. “President Biden and my friend incoming Chair Harrison are committed to investing in state parties and our grassroots, building a top-notch political infrastructure in every zip code, and making sure our organization reflects the diverse voices of our great Democratic family. I look forward to working with Chairman Harrison to build a team reflective of the diversity of our party, and one that will work tirelessly to make these goals a reality and lead Democrats to future success.”

“The effective, hard work done at the DNC helped win the White House and secure Democratic victories up and down the ticket — now we need to redouble our efforts,” said DNC Senior Advisor Mary Beth Cahill. “A well run and strategic DNC is the foundation for Democrats’ success everywhere, and I couldn’t be more excited to continue this important work in support of the Biden-Harris administration and the entire Democratic Party.”

“These leaders will build on the successes of the DNC during the last four years, and take our party forward with the purpose, tactics and values that all Democrats will be proud of,” said outgoing DNC Chair Tom Perez. “Along with Jaime and our new DNC officers, they will bring their invaluable experience and dedication to the task of growing and leading a strong, vibrant Democratic Party under President Biden and Vice President Harris. This week during his inauguration, Americans saw again that President Biden is our Healer in Chief and represents the best of our party’s values — a focus on making life better, more fair and more prosperous for more Americans. I know this team will continue to do everything in their power to fight alongside this administration for these principles.”

Biographies are below:

Sam Cornale

Sam Cornale is one of the top political, communications and campaign strategists in the Democratic Party, with more than a decade of experience on campaigns and across the Federal government. Cornale currently serves as the Deputy CEO at the Democratic National Committee, overseeing the operations of the DNC’s communications, opinion research, fundraising, and data and technology work. Prior to serving the DNC, Cornale managed DNC Chair Tom Perez’s successful campaign to lead the Democratic Party, an effort that raised a seven figure sum in just six weeks and resulted in a come-from-behind victory. Cornale is a veteran of the Obama Administration, having served multiple cabinet secretaries as a speechwriter and as the Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Cornale is also a veteran of the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns, with experience in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, and the 2016 campaign of Secretary Hillary Clinton in North Carolina.

Cornale earned his degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a native of Madison, Wisconsin, and an obsessive follower of the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. Cornale serves as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, teaching a political science course on the evolution of media and its impact on presidential campaigns and governance. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his two-year-old Ridgeback, June.

Mary Beth Cahill

Mary Beth Cahill has spent her professional life in public service, has established herself as a leader in Democratic politics, and is currently the DNC’s CEO. She served as Campaign Manager for John Kerry for President, Chief of Staff to Senator Edward Kennedy, and prior to that, as Assistant to the President and Director of Public Liaison in Bill Clinton’s White House.

Cahill successfully managed Edward J. Markey’s campaign for a seat in the United States House of Representatives, and then went on to manage Senate campaigns for Patrick Leahy in Vermont, Claiborne Pell in Rhode Island and Les AuCoin in Oregon. In between campaign activity, Cahill served in various positions for the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including Director of Federal-State Relations under Governor Michael Dukakis and Director of the Governor’s Personnel Office.

Cahill is recognized as an expert on Women and Politics. For over five years, she served as Executive Director of EMILY’s List, and has trained female candidates for political office across the globe.

Cahill has received numerous awards and honors. She was named a “Mover and Shaker” by Campaigns and Elections magazine, and recognized as one of the POLITICS “Fabulous Fifty” by Roll Call. Cahill also was honored as one of the Top Political Action in Leaders in America by Campaigns and Elections. After graduating from Emmanuel College, she began her political career as a staff associate and receptionist for former Congressman Robert F. Drinan (D-Mass.).

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