Members of a Department of Commerce committee called the Digital Economy Board of Advisors have turned in their resignations after President Trumpâs defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville.
ZoÃ« Baird, a founding co-chair of the board and the president and CEO of the Markle Foundation, confirmed that she had submitted her resignation on Thursday in a phone call with VICE News, and that other members had as well.Â The president said in off-the-cuff remarks Tuesday that there were âvery fine people on both sidesâ of the violent demonstration in the Virginia college town last weekend.
âIt is the moral responsibility of our leaders to unite Americans by respecting the diversity and inclusion that enables our country to generate new opportunity and celebrate freedom,â Bairdâs resignation letter reads. âIn order to preserve these cherished values, there must never be equivocation in denouncing hate, bigotry, violence, and racism.â
Formed in 2016 under the Obama administration under Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, the committeeâs aim is to âprovide recommendations on ways to advance economic growth and opportunity in the digital age.â
This is the third executive-branch advisory council of business and civic leaders to see a flood of resignations this week, following the collapse of the Strategic and Policy Forum and the American Manufacturing Council. Notably, the American Technology Council, packed with Silicon Valley execs, still remains intact â for now.
A spokesperson for the Department of Commerce did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Here’s the full text of Baird’s resignation:
Dear Secretary Ross:
I am resigning from my position as co-chair of the Commerce Departmentâs Digital Economy Board of Advisors, effective immediately.
It is the moral responsibility of our leaders to unite Americans by respecting the diversity and inclusion that enables our country to generate new opportunity and celebrate freedom. In order to preserve these cherished values, there must never be equivocation in denouncing hate, bigotry, violence and racism.
For decades, I have worked with every administration of both parties to further equal access to opportunity for all Americans. Having served on DEBA since March 2016, it has been an honor and privilege to work on behalf of my country and shape economic policies that benefit all Americans.
Here, for example, is the resignation of the head of the engineering org @IEEorg from Commerce’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors. pic.twitter.com/UMLsXqVHDi
— Nancy Scola (@nancyscola) August 18, 2017