Rep. Elijah Cummings will help craft Democratic Party's platform

Rep. Cummings will chair committee charged with drafting Democratic Party's platform.

Baltimore Rep. Elijah E. Cummings will chair the committee charged with developing the Democratic Party's platform ahead of its nominating convention in July -- a role that could put him in the middle of policy disputes between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Cummings was named by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who names four people to the 15-member panel. Clinton will name six members to the panel, and Sanders will have five appointments -- granting the Vermont senator an unusual level of influence over drafting the party's platform.

"I am pleased that we have some of our best and brightest gathered here to assemble our collective vision of our nation's future," Cummings said in a statement. "We will be going to unprecedented lengths to ensure that the drafting of our party's platform is the most inclusive, open and representative process in the long history of our two major parties."

Sanders selected James Zogby, a pro-Palestinian activist who is president of the Arab-American Institute, activist and author Cornel West, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, environmental activist Bill McKibben and Native American activist Deborah Parker, according to The Washington Post.

Clinton named Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece, former Ambassador Wendy Sherman, Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, former Clinton administration official Carol Browner, and union leader Paul Booth.

Democrats will hold their convention in Philadelphia from July 25-28.

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