(L-R) Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leadery Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) hold a news conference in the Rayburn Room at the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After a group of House Democrats expressed their disappointment over the lack of representation of women of color in leadership positions in the party, some much-needed progress is now underway. 

Following Rep. Barbara Lee’s narrow loss (10 votes to be exact) in the race for caucus chair this week, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has created a position that will require the overseeing of Steering and Policy Committee, according to a Politico report

Lee, a 72-year-old Black woman, lost to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who is also African American but significantly younger, which prompted her supporters to claim that ageism played a role.

 

The Democrats had planned to ask Pelosi to find a place for Lee but Pelosi ever adept offered Lee a position on the Steering and Policy Committee in a meeting in her office Friday.

However, thanks to Pelosi, Rep. Lee will now have the opportunity to serve on the panel alongside Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.). The panel “determines committee assignments for Democrats,” reports Politico.

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 “The leaders and members of the Steering and Policy Committee reflect the diversity, dynamism and integrity of our historic new House Democratic Majority,” Pelosi said Friday evening in a statement to Politico.

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 Pelosi continued, “As a leading African American woman with a place at the decision table, the appointment of Congresswoman Lee is even more meaningful as we mark the birthday of her friend: the trailblazing Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. 

 Rep. Lee took to social media to express her gratitude, tweeting “I wouldn’t be here without my mentor, my shero, my shining light – the late, great Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm..”

 “I’m so grateful for her legacy and her leadership,” she continued. “She was truly #Unbought and #Unbossed. Happy birthday Mrs. C!”