Washington, D.C. — Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) as labor secretary, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) as commerce secretary, and Isabel Guzman as administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Following the announcement, Mara Rudman, executive vice president for Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The past year has laid bare the need to rebuild an economy that is more equitable and more resilient. The president-elect’s appointments to the departments of Labor and Commerce and the Small Business Administration have each dedicated their careers to fostering a growth economy that builds economic security for all people.
As a longtime union member and leader, Mayor Walsh understands that when workers join together in unions they have the power to negotiate for family-supporting wages, fair workplace standards, and a voice on the job. As a mayor, he also understands the vital role high-quality jobs play in spurring the economic development of communities. As governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo has prioritized jobs, small businesses, and growing the economy, and we have no doubt she will bring this dedication to the Commerce Department. Guzman is returning to the SBA after shepherding California’s small-business community through its worst crisis in living memory this past year, and has done so with a focus on those who are traditionally excluded from business ownership—people of color, women, veterans, and rural communities.
The robust experience of these nominees couldn’t come at a more crucial time, in the midst of an economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc across the nation, disproportionately harming people of color and women. These leaders are well-positioned to—and must—move quickly to address problems that continue to perpetuate inequality, racial and gender bias, and systemic discrimination so that we have an economy that works for all.
With these latest appointments, President-elect Biden is continuing to build an economic team that is ready to hit the ground running on day one of his administration to foster inclusive, long-lasting economic growth.