LOWELL — U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan has seen firsthand how having Massachusetts lawmakers at the leadership table in Washington leads to better outcomes for the commonwealth. The state has been at the forefront of receiving American Rescue Plan Act money, CHIPS and Science Act funding, infrastructure investments and housing assistance.
“That political clout is what prompted President Biden to call our delegation the most effective in Congress,” she said by phone on Wednesday.
Trahan was elected by her colleagues Wednesday morning to serve in House Democratic leadership as co-chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.
The DPCC is the messaging arm of House Democratic leadership. Trahan will be able to channel her lived experience as a born-and-bred Lowellian and her political expertise as a three-term congresswoman into crafting messaging that she said will show the “difference between how Democrats govern and Republicans govern — about how we’ve delivered.”
“I’m honored and humbled by the trust my colleagues have placed in me to help lead the House Democratic Caucus over the next year,” she said in a statement. “I ran for this position because I want to do everything in my power to ensure that Democrats are successful in defeating MAGA Republican extremism, retaking the House and returning the American people to the center of everything we do in this chamber.”
It’s one of many hats Trahan wears in Congress. In addition to her election as the DPCC co-chair, she currently serves as a member of House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ Regional Leadership Council, a senior whip on House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark’s whip team, and a member of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.
Trahan is also co-chair of the Congressional Cambodia Caucus, which has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the largest and most prestigious art museums in the world, is in possession of stolen Cambodian art.
“We’ve alerted the DOJ,” Trahan said last May. “My request is very straightforward. I want the results of the Met’s internal investigation to be made public. I’ve asked for a thorough update on its investigation, a deadline to make a determination on the provenance of these artifacts, and a commitment from the Met to return the pieces to the people of Cambodia if they were stolen.”
Trahan said she plans to bring that same accountability, focus and ferocity to her new role of providing messaging about Democratic initiatives, investments and goals, which she said is always informed by her Mill City background.
“When you see those investments play out right in your hometown, you can actually develop the story and the narrative for how Democrats deliver for hard-working families like the ones in Lowell,” she said.
She said the issues that matter to Lowell and residents in her 3rd Congressional District, which includes 34 other communities in Essex, Middlesex and Worcester counties, matter to voters across the country.
“There are so many issues that we talk about in Washington where I see a direct line from issues in Lowell,” Trahan said. “Housing, transportation, the addiction crisis, public-school education — making sure those resources that play out in my hometown, I can see the impact of those investments … We have a remarkable story to tell between now and next November, and we have a caucus full of talented messengers already working to make sure hardworking families across the nation hear it.”