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Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) is sworn in during a re-enactment by Vice President Mike Pence as Kelly’s wife Gabby Giffords, the former Democratic congresswoman from the Tucson area, holds a family Bible in the old Senate chamber of the U.S. Capitol on December 2, 2020. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm/Senate pool)

The Navajo Nation

Office of the President and Vice President

December 2, 2020

President Nez and Vice President Lizer congratulate new U.S. Senator Mark Kelly

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer congratulate newly-elected U.S. Senator for the state of Arizona, Mark Kelly, who was sworn-in on the Senate floor in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

“Congratulations to Senator Kelly and his family on this special day. The Navajo Nation looks forward to working together with Senator Kelly and his office in the coming years. I also want to recognize and thank former Senator Martha McSally for her service to the people of Arizona. I am excited to work with Senator Kelly and continuing to build a strong working relationship that benefits the Navajo people and all citizens of Arizona,” said President Nez.

Senator Kelly was elected to office during a special election held on Nov. 3. He will serve the remainder of late Senator John McCain’s term through 2022. Former Senator McSally was appointed to serve until the special election was held.

“We are confident that Senator Kelly will be an advocate for the rural communities of Native Americans in Arizona. I look forward to working with Senator Kelly. Our office will continue to yearn for partnership between two Nations, as the goal is to advance our Native People to be welcomed into the 21st century,” said Vice President Lizer.

President Nez has previously met with Senator Kelly and provided an overview of the Navajo Nation priorities related to the former Bennett Freeze area, water rights, infrastructure development, economic initiatives, and other issues related to the Navajo Nation.

The 56-year-old former NASA astronaut was joined by his wife Gabby Giffords, who is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and their two daughters for the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.

Posted: December 3, 2020

Happy Monday!

Thanks to you and the countless tribal members across the country, we have helped to shape history with President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The Native American Community  truly was and is the Margin of Victory as we saw in Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. To each and every one of you – thank you!!!!

In large part this is due to the community organizers and volunteers on the ground. We were also as a campaign able to:

– Invest an unprecedented amount in Paid Media & Digital Investment
– Hire over 40 Full Time tribal specific team members across the US
– Campaign Literature and Materials for tribal communities
– Unprecedented Close Partnership with the Campaign and DNC

Margin of Victory

  • In 2020, Native American voters in Wisconsin gave Joe Biden a net of at least 22,500 votes over President Trump.  That is more than the margin of victory in the State.
  • Joe Biden received about 27% more votes from Native Americans in Wisconsin compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016.
  • The increase in Native votes for Joe Biden in 2020 made up an estimated 16% of the total net increase in votes for Joe Biden compared to 2016.
  • In Arizona tribal precincts came out as high as 96% for Joe Biden!

It has truly been an honor and privilege working alongside you, thank you for your support, dedication and for restoring the soul of this nation. Please keep in touch through our Transition efforts below. Additionally you can always reach me at this email address until the end of this week. Afterwards I will be joining the transition efforts and will send updated contact information.

Always and it’s been honor!

Clara Lee Pratte

President-Elect Joe Biden: Official Transition Website

Join the Biden-Harris Administration

Posted: November 16, 2020

Posted: November 12, 2020

Courtesy photo

Hello Indian Country,

The impact of grassroots organizing in Native communities, along with the urban Native vote and the strategic work of Tribal organizers, was critical in the success of the Biden-Harris campaign. We cannot thank you enough for the phone banking, the text messaging, and the door knocking. The participation in endless Zoom calls, the homemade campaign signs, the art work, social media posts, as it all showed the strength of the Native Vote. This is why we are celebrating this WIN together with you. We are so thankful to the Biden-Harris campaign for hiring brilliant Tribal organizers who knew their community and knew how to do outreach in our Tribes, as well as the Native Caucus members who went above and beyond. But our work doesn’t stop here. We will now have to focus our attention on repairing the many broken aspects of our government. Please stay engaged and continue to help us restore the soul of this nation.

Thank you for allowing me to work for all of you during this time. I truly appreciate you all and cannot wait to see what the future holds for us. We know that when there is investment in our communities, we show up. We saw the beautiful organizing efforts of all the Urban Native Centers, we saw the positive influences of the Native vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona. We also saw the increase in elected Native candidates in Kansas, South Dakota, Montana, Hawaii, and Washington. Our people are making a difference at all levels of government.

t’igwicid – Thank you,
Theresa Sheldon
DNC Native American Political Director
Citizen Tulalip Tribes

Posted: November 12, 2020

November 11, 2020

President-elect Joe Biden Names Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff

WASHINGTON – Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced the appointment of Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President. A longtime aide to the president-elect, Klain will oversee the Executive Office of the President and serve as a senior advisor. In addition to supporting the president-elect, Klain will work to build a diverse, experienced and talented team to help President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris meet the urgent challenges facing the country.

“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014,” said President-elect Joe Biden. “His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again.”

Photo by Pete Souza / White House

“It’s the honor of a lifetime to serve President-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence. I look forward to helping him and the Vice President-elect assemble a talented and diverse team to work in the White House, as we tackle their ambitious agenda for change, and seek to heal the divides in our country,” said Ron Klain.

Klain was most recently a Senior Advisor to the Biden for President campaign and has previously served the president-elect in a number of roles including as his Chief of Staff when he became Vice President. Klain is also known for his role as the White House Ebola Response Coordinator at the height of that public health crisis.

Ron Klain Biography:

Ron Klain served as the president-elect’s first Chief of Staff when he became Vice President (2009-11); Chief Counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the president-elect’s tenure as Chair of the Committee (1989-92); and Policy Advisor on the Judiciary Committee staff (1986-87). Klain also worked as an advisor on President-elect Biden’s 1988 and 2008 Presidential campaigns.

Klain has devoted many years to public service, serving as White House Ebola Response Coordinator (2014-15). At the conclusion of his work coordinating the US response, President Obama said that Klain had taken on “a challenge that many called insurmountable, and, in leading the team responsible for tremendous progress, helped remind the world what makes America exceptional.” Earlier, in addition to his work with then-Vice President Biden, Klain served as Chief of Staff for Vice President Al Gore, Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Janet Reno, and Staff Director of the Senate Democratic Leadership Committee. Klain was also Associate Counsel to President Clinton and in charge of judicial selection. Through his work on the Judiciary Committee, and in the Executive Branch, he has played a role in the selection or confirmation of eight Supreme Court Justices.

Prior to joining the Biden for President campaign, Klain was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Revolution LLC. In 2005, prior to joining Revolution, Klain spent four years as a partner and National Practice Group Chair at O’Melveny & Myers. Klain began his legal career as a law clerk to Justice Byron White, for the Supreme Court’s 1987 and 1988 Terms. He was also General Counsel for the Gore Recount Committee in 2000.

Serving as an advisor on several Presidential campaigns, Klain has worked for Presidents Obama and Clinton, and Democratic Presidential nominees Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Ron Klain graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School, was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and won the Sears Prize for highest grade average in 1985. He was a summa cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, where he serves an Adjunct Professor. Klain is married to Monica Medina and they have three grown children.

Posted: November 12, 2020

November 11, 2020

Daily Guidance for President-elect Joe Biden for Thursday, November 12

On Thursday, November 12, President-elect Joe Biden will meet with transition advisors.

Posted: November 12, 2020

November 10, 2020

Daily Guidance for President-elect Joe Biden for Wednesday, November 11 

On Wednesday, November 11, President-elect Joe Biden will meet with transition advisors.

President-elect Biden names transition team members

Posted: November 10, 2020

November 10, 2020

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by President-elect Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware

Good afternoon, everyone.

This morning the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case of grave importance to all Americans.

This case represents the latest attempt by far-right ideologues to do what they have repeatedly failed to do — in the courts, in Congress, and in the court of public opinion over the last decade: eliminate the entire Affordable Care Act.

Twice already, the Supreme Court has upheld this landmark law — in 2012 and 2015.

And the Congress, expressing the popular will of the American people and on a bipartisan basis, has rejected the numerous efforts of President Trump to erase the law as well.

Now, in the midst of a deadly pandemic that has infected more than 10 million Americans — nearly one out of every 32 of our people — often with devastating consequences to their health; these ideologues are once again trying to strip health coverage away.

The goal of the outgoing Administration is clear from the brief they filed with the Court.

It asserts, quote: “The entire ACA thus must fall.”

Now, I’m not naive about the fact that health care is an issue that has divided Americans in the past.

But the truth is, the American people are more united on this issue today than they are divided.

As recently as last month, a leading survey found that Americans want to keep the Affordable Care Act in place by an overwhelming margin of 22 percent.

Seventy-nine percent of Americans — including nine out of ten Democrats, eight out of ten Independents, and two-thirds of Republicans — want to keep the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which would be eliminated if this lawsuit were to succeed.

This doesn’t need to be a partisan issue.

This is a human issue. It affects every single American family.


Posted: November 10, 2020

November 10, 2020

Biden-Harris Transition Team Announces Members of Agency Review Teams

Formation of Agency Review Teams Among the First Steps to Building a Successful Administration

WASHINGTON – Today, the Biden-Harris Transition announced key members of the agency review teams (ARTs), which are responsible for evaluating the operations of the federal agencies so that the incoming Biden-Harris administration is prepared to lead our country on Day One. The ARTs are composed of highly experienced and talented professionals with deep backgrounds in key policy areas across the federal government. The teams possess a diversity of perspectives critical to addressing America’s most urgent and complex challenges.

“Our nation is grappling with a pandemic, an economic crisis, urgent calls for racial justice, and the existential threat of climate change. We must be prepared for a seamless transfer of knowledge to the incoming administration to protect our interests at home and abroad. The agency review process will help lay the foundation for meeting these challenges on Day One,” said Senator Ted Kaufman, Co-Chair, Biden-Harris Transition. “The work of the agency review teams is critical for protecting national security, addressing the ongoing public health crisis, and demonstrating that America remains the beacon of democracy for the world.”

The transition’s work continues full steam ahead. The agency review teams will proceed by meeting with former agency officials and experts who closely follow federal agencies, and with officials from think tanks, labor groups, trade associations, and other NGOs. Further, many of the ART members have had long careers in the federal agencies they will now help prepare for the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

Once the GSA Administrator ascertains the results of the election, the ART members will work directly with staff in federal agencies to ensure that the incoming Biden-Harris administration is able to effectively achieve the policy goals of the President and Vice President-elect.

Finally, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are proud to have one of the most diverse agency review teams in presidential transition history. Of the hundreds of ART members to be announced, more than half are women, and approximately 40 percent represent communities historically underrepresented in the federal government, including people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities. The President-elect and Vice President-elect are committed to building an administration that looks like America.

Find more information here.


See names of interest below in large type. Email or share @indianz the names of other noteworthy transition team members.

Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services team will also review the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Name Most Recent Employment Source of Funding
Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Team Lead Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP Volunteer
Robert Gordon, Team Lead State of Michigan, Department of Health & Human Services Volunteer
Kathryn Alvarez The Aspen Institute Volunteer
John Auerbach Trust for America’s Health Volunteer
Lisa Barclay Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP Volunteer
Jonathan Blum Health Management Associates Volunteer
Lu Borio In-Q-Tel Volunteer
Perrie Briskin University of California, Berkeley Volunteer
Ken Choe Hogan Lovells, LLP Volunteer
Henry Claypool Self-employed Volunteer
Jose Cordero University of Georgia Volunteer
Sarah Despres Pew Charitable Trusts Volunteer
Eliot Fishman Families USA Volunteer
Cristal Gary AMITA Health Volunteer
Mina Hsiang Devoted Health Volunteer
Tom Inglesby Johns Hopkins University Volunteer
David C. Kaslow PATH Volunteer
Natalie Kates Alloy Volunteer
Jeremy Konyndyk Center for Global Development Volunteer
Anna Martinez State of New Jersey, Department of Children and Families, Division on Women Volunteer
Sarah Nolan Service Employees International Union Volunteer
Yngvild Olsen Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc. Volunteer
Edwin Park Georgetown University Volunteer
Sharon Parrott Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Volunteer
Chuck Peck Guidehouse, Inc. Volunteer
Anne Reid Co-Equal Volunteer

Geoff Roth

Self-employed Volunteer
Meena Seshamani MedStar Health Volunteer
Cyrus Shahpar Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies Volunteer
Mary Wakefield University of Texas at Austin Volunteer

Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior team will also review the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the Commission on Fine Arts, the Denali Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority, and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

Name Most Recent Employment Source of Funding

Kevin Washburn, Team Lead

University of Iowa Volunteer

Bob Anderson

Harvard Law School Volunteer
Bret Birdsong The Nevada System of Higher Education Volunteer
Shannon Estenoz The Everglades Foundation Volunteer
Chris Goranson Carnegie Mellon University, The Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy Volunteer

Janie Hipp

Native American Agriculture Fund Volunteer
Kate Kelly Center for American Progress Volunteer
Elizabeth Klein New York University, School of Law, State Energy & Environmental Impact Center Volunteer
Amanda Leiter American University, Washington College of Law Volunteer
Molly McUsic Wyss Foundation Volunteer
Maggie Thomas Evergreen Action Volunteer
Tanya Trujillo Colorado River Sustainability Campaign Volunteer

Small Business Administration

Name Most Recent Employment Source of Funding
Jonathan Swain, Team Lead Harvard University Volunteer
Xavier Briggs New York University Volunteer
Liyan David Chang Devoted Health Volunteer
Michele Chang Markle Foundation Volunteer
Michael Chodos Medsphere Systems Corporation Volunteer
Isabel Guzman State of California, Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development Volunteer
Bibi Hidalgo Future Partners LLC Volunteer
David Hinson Ategra Capital Management Volunteer

Chris James

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development Volunteer
Clifton Kellogg C-PACE Alliance Volunteer
Ellen Kim Roti Modern Mediterranean Volunteer
Arthur Plews Stripe Volunteer
Michael Roth Next Street Volunteer
Meredith Shaffer Public Private Strategies Volunteer
Jorge Silva-Puras Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan Volunteer


Posted: November 10, 2020

November 9, 2020

Daily Guidance for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris for Tuesday, November 10

On Tuesday, November 10, in the afternoon, President-elect Joe Biden will deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware on the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act and his plan to expand access to quality, affordable health care, which will be expanded pooled press. The president-elect will be joined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

In the afternoon, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will hold briefings with transition advisors.

Supreme Court hears arguments in Affordable Care Act case

Posted: November 10, 2020