WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is delighted that presidential candidate Joe Biden has included social workers Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) on the list as potential running mates and the next vice president of the United States.
With their deep commitment to social justice, extensive public service experience and distinctive social work experience, Reps. Bass and Demings are well-positioned to lead the nation in addressing two simultaneous pandemics: COVID-19 and racial inequity.
Rep. Bass has served in Congress since 2011, where she chairs the Congressional Black Caucus and two key House subcommittees. Upon first serving in office, she founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, which was instrumental in the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, which NASW supported.
She introduced the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (HR 7120), which NASW endorses, and has championed numerous bills to promote police and criminal justice reform. Prior to serving in Congress, Rep. Bass was founder of Community Coalition, an organization to improve the economic and social conditions of South Los Angeles, and served three terms in the California Assembly, where she was ultimately elected Speaker. She founded and chaired the California Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care, which passed a number of laws to protect the state’s most vulnerable children.
Rep. Demings has almost 30 years of experience in public service. She started her career providing services to foster youth, and later working for 27 years in the police department in Orlando, Fla., which she ultimately headed. Rep. Demings was widely credited with building trust between police and the community, including launching several community development initiatives such as mentoring, GED programs, childcare and building playgrounds. In Congress, to which she was elected in 2017, Rep. Demings has supported a broad range of legislation that aligns with NASW’s social justice values.
Since the inception of the profession over a century ago, social workers have been at the forefront of crafting and implementing much-needed social reforms, and in leading the nation – whether in Congress or state houses – through crises. A social worker is the right choice for vice president, and Reps. Bass and Demings are both excellent choices.