As our representative, Derek believes we have a moral obligation to make discrimination a thing of the past. That’s why Derek is fighting every day to make sure every American is treated fairly under the law – that no matter your race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability or disability, you are valued.
Following the killing of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, Derek joined peaceful protests across our region and called for action action to end violence against Black Americans. He’s done this because he knows too many Black Americans are being killed in communities all around our country. Derek was proud to join the Congressional Black Caucus in introducing the Justice in Policing Act, a comprehensive bill focused on bold changes to combat police brutality, raise standards, and address racial injustice. He knows there is much more work to be done, which is why he has met with community leaders all across our region to continue listening and learning.
Derek has been a leader on voting rights, sponsoring a new Voting Rights Act as well as reforms that modernize our voter registration systems and ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans.
Derek has supported efforts to reform our criminal justice system and eliminate inequities in sentencing.
Derek wants to ensure that his daughters grow up in a nation where you can earn a fair wage for a hard day’s work and everyone is treated equally, regardless of who you are. When Derek’s daughters enter the workforce, he wants to be sure they earn the same pay for the same work as their counterparts. That’s why one of the first bills he cosponsored when he was sworn into Congress was the Paycheck Fairness Act to close the wage gap between men and women. Derek has also been a champion for women’s reproductive freedoms.
Derek has been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. He sponsored the Equality Act to ensure that no one in this country faces discrimination in matters of housing and employment based on who they are or who they love.
Derek has worked closely with the 11 tribes he represents, and understands why it is necessary for the federal government to fulfill its treaty and trust obligations. Derek also knows that in our unique government-to-government relationship it’s important for the federal government to treat tribal members fairly. Derek views the tribes in his region as partners, and as a Member of the Congressional Native American Caucus, he is working to be a champion for all tribes.
He led an effort to direct the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to look at inequities facing Native Americans. That report, entitled “Broken Promises,” provides a roadmap for the federal government to address challenges related to housing, health care, education, and crime. He has been a leader in drawing attention to the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls and has sponsored Savanna’s Act to step up to this horrific crisis. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Derek has fought for increased funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the Bureau of Indian Education. For his work with the sovereign nations he represents, he received the 2020 Congressional Leadership Award from the National Congress of American Indians.