A group of 100 women are calling on the Biden administration to name Deb Haaland head of the Department of the Interior in what would be a historic appointment, making the Democratic congresswoman from New Mexico the first-ever Native American cabinet secretary.
The letter, dated Dec. 10 and addressed to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, includes the names of tribal leaders, activists, scientists, professors and Hollywood creatives, among others. It arrives after much traction for Haaland for the post and reports that she is being vetted by Biden. More than 50 House Democrats also lobbied for Haaland last month.
Those in the Hollywood set who signed the letter include (in alphabetical order): Uzo Aduba, Cher, filmmaker Rebecca Chaiklin, Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera, Jane Fonda, writer Jenny Han, Chelsea Handler, Catherine Keener, Alyssa Milano, Julianne Moore, Mandy Moore, Kathy Najimy, producer Christina Papagjika, Piper Perabo, filmmaker Taylor Rees, Zoe Saldana, Amy Schumer, producer Miranda Sherman, Sarah Silverman, Gloria Steinem, Marisa Tomei, Kerry Washington and Debra Winger.
“We strongly urge you to appoint Congresswoman Deb Haaland to lead the Department of the Interior,” reads the letter, said to be organized by We Stand United, a group founded by Tomei with Mark Ruffalo, Bruce Cohen, Fisher Stevens, Papagjika, Chaiklin and others. “Rep. Haaland will be a strong steward of our precious natural resources and will return to the practice of science-based decision-making. Additionally, she will work to honor the treaties between the federal government and Tribal Nations. This is an historic opportunity to appoint a Native woman of integrity, vision and of true public service.”
See a full copy of the letter and its signatories here.