The suspense is over: In the quickest announcement in three cycles regarding her political future, Nancy Pelosi is asking to be re-elected as leader of the House Democratic Caucus.
In a formal letter to current and future colleagues on Wednesday afternoon, Pelosi said that despite huge electoral losses that gave Republicans their largest House majority in nearly a century, she wanted to continue leading the caucus to effect change on values all Democrats share.
The California Democrat in particular highlighted amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as among her biggest priorities for the next two years.
“Only by changing our political environment and broadening the universe of the electorate can we build a strong sense of community and an economy that works for everyone,” she wrote in her letter, obtained by CQ Roll Call. “This basic and even non-partisan challenge, which many of you told me you share, have convinced me to place my name in nomination for Leader when our Caucus meets.” Read the full letter here:
November 5, 2014
Dear Democratic Colleague:
Congratulations on your election to the 114th Congress.
Though last night was a difficult night for Democrats, our Members and candidates won hard-fought campaigns supported by and connected to their constituents, and strengthened by the tenacious leadership of Steve Israel. Unfortunately, we lost some valued Members of the House, but we must continue to fight for the middle-income families who are the backbone of our democracy. There is important work to do to jumpstart the Middle Class, which we hope we can do with bipartisanship and fairness.
An important part of our Middle Class Jumpstart agenda is raising the minimum wage, and I am pleased that in all five states where it was on the ballot – Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota – as well as in communities across the country, measures were strongly approved by voters. Much more must be done to strengthen the financial stability of America’s working families.
To do so, it is clear from the election results that more must be done to increase voter participation. As soon as we return in November, I want to engage the entire Caucus in discussion on how we complement the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act observances with an all out “Voting Rights Now!” agenda. To succeed, we must inspire, educate and remove obstacles to participation. Only by changing our political environment and broadening the universe of the electorate can we build a strong sense of community and an economy that works for everyone.
This basic and even non-partisan challenge, which many of you told me you share, have convinced me to place my name in nomination for Leader when our Caucus meets.
I respectfully request your support, your comments and your participation.
Thank you for your leadership and your friendship.
Congratulations again on your election.