From Victory Institute
Washington, DC President-elect Joe Biden nominated Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine to be the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health a historic nomination that makes her the first out trans person nominated for a U.S. Senate-confirmed position. LGBTQ Victory Institute's Presidential Appointments Initiative had put forward Dr. Levine as a strong nominee for positions at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other key agencies. The Initiative which includes a coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations will work to ensure her nomination is approved by the U.S. Senate.
Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute, released the following statement about the nomination of Dr. Levine:
"Our nation is fortunate to have Dr. Rachel Levine nominated for a position so important to ending this pandemic and her experience on the frontlines in Pennsylvania will prove invaluable as Assistant Secretary. Her nomination is groundbreaking and shows the Biden administration will choose the most qualified individuals to lead our nation regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Dr. Levine is making history and will transform Americans' perceptions of trans people when she takes office and begins to work on their behalf."
Ruben Gonzales, Executive Director of LGBTQ Victory Institute, said the following about the upcoming confirmation process:
"Dr. Levine is one of the foremost experts on responding to this pandemic and our community is united in standing with her for the confirmation fight ahead. We know transphobic members of the U.S. Senate will try to block her nomination because of her gender identity ignoring her qualifications to try and score political points with extremists in their political base. But our Presidential Appointments Initiative coalition of more than 30 LGBTQ and allied organizations is ready to fight like hell to defend Dr. Levine and ensure she is judged on her qualifications and nothing else. The majority of Americans want whoever is best prepared to fight this pandemic and that person is Dr. Levine."
Victory Institute's Presidential Appointments Initiative a coalition of 32 LGBTQ and allied organizations will put forward hundreds of exemplary LGBTQ candidates for positions throughout the next administration and advocate for their consideration. It aims to help the Biden transition team in creating the most LGBTQ-inclusive administration in U.S. history.
The Initiative first launched by Victory Institute during President Bill Clinton's administration achieved unprecedented success under President Barack Obama, who appointed approximately 330 LGBTQ people, the most in history. Of those, 158 were assisted by the Presidential Appointments Initiative.
President-elect Biden has already appointed a number of historic LGBTQ leaders to his administration including Pete Buttigieg to be lead the U.S. Department of Transportation. Buttigieg is the first out LGBTQ person nominated to a permanent Cabinet position.
From the office of President-elect Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden:
"Dr. Rachel Levine will bring the steady leadership and essential expertise we need to get people through this pandemic no matter their zip code, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability and meet the public health needs of our country in this critical moment and beyond. She is a historic and deeply qualified choice to help lead our administration's health efforts."
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris:
"Dr. Rachel Levine is a remarkable public servant with the knowledge and experience to help us contain this pandemic, and protect and improve the health and well-being of the American people. President-elect Biden and I look forward to working with her to meet the unprecedented challenges facing Americans and rebuild our country in a way that lifts everyone up."
From the National LGBT Cancer Network
NFN Scout, Executive Director, National LGBT Cancer Network:
"Dr. Levine is an outstanding candidate for the position of Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. Her work as Secretary of Health for the 6th most populous state in the country and as elected president of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials shows not just her own skills but the faith that her fellow state secretaries of health also have in her leadership. As another trans leader in public health, I am thrilled to see such a revered member of my own community be this successful, yet it is my greatest wish that the U.S. Senate base their approval on her qualifications. The fact that she is trans is an inspiration for the many of us who have never had a role model this senior before. The fact that she is supremely qualified means her trans status, while historic and inspirational, should not be a factor in her confirmation."
See related comments and responses at www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/Biden-nominates-Dr-Rachel-Levine-first-trans-person-nominated-for-Senate-confirmed-position-/69815.html .