Twenty three of the 49 new hard-core progressives who were sworn in today have served as Senators and Representatives in their State legislatures. Five of the 49 are returning to the US House of Representatives. Thus, 28 of the 49 new hard-core progressives moving in to the house, more than half, are seasoned politicians–not greenhorns who can be taken advantage of by those on the right or by corporate centrist Democrats.
There are more progressives today in the House of Representatives than since LBJ–perhaps than ever before.
Furthermore, many of them have faced tougher polarizations than those presented by the US House.
Consider for example the new US House Representatives from Texas. These men are not amateurs and they are progressives who have a history of representing the majority.
CONSIDER THE FOUR NEW TEXAS PROGRESSIVES MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES–ALL MEN OF COLOR:
1. Joaquin Castro - You can’t be a progressive in Texas without being very tough. Joaquin has been an effective leader in Texas politics, despite a difficult political environment. In this session alone, he transcended partisan gridlock to help restore millions of dollars in funding to critical health care and education programs.
2. Marc Veasey is another Texas tough progressive coming to be a burr under Boehner’s saddle. He served as the Chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus. Veasey had the courage to stand up to the most divisive, mean-spirited and destructive forces in the Republican Party. When others wouldn’t, he fought the Republicans who stole a congressional district and tore neighborhoods apart. Now, due to Marc’s leadership, we have new Congressional District 33 here in Texas and a new opportunity to send a young, strong and effective Member of Congress to Washington who will work for all of us.
3. Pete Gallego
TX-23 At just 28 years old, Pete`s neighbors elected him State Representative, and sent him to Austin to fight for them. During his career in Austin, Pete led the 43 members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and chaired numerous legislative committees. Pete crafted and helped pass legislation investing billions of dollars in public schools.
TX-34 born in Harlingen and raised in Brownsville, Texas. He graduated from Georgetown University and then received his JD from the University of Texas at Austin. For over 20 years, Filemon has been active in law, public service and politics his entire adult life–at the grassroots level in community causes, organizing and getting out the vote, and beyond.
NOW TAKE A LOOK AT THEM ALL. And of course, don’t forget that the King of the Progressives, Alan Grayson, is returning to fight for the people.
AZ-01 Ann’s battle cry, like that of many progressives, is JOB CREATION. Local jobs are her spotlight. Our district is home to dozens of small towns and hundreds of small businesses. In conversations with my friends and neighbors, everyone keeps asking what WE can do to support and bolster our local economies.
AZ-09 Jobs is at the top of her list tool The number one job for Congress is creating a stronger economy, both nationally and here in Arizona. That means helping small businesses start and grow, because 90% of new jobs come from small businesses. And Sinema believes Congress needs to do more for the middle class, like protecting payroll tax cuts for working and middle-class families, such as those in the American Jobs Act, which would give a typical Arizona household an additional $1,430 in take-home pay.
Huffman’s priorities include protecting California’s environment and creating new jobs through policies that grow our economy, resolve natural resource conflicts, advance clean energy solutions, and combat global warming.
CA-02 He has been one of California’s most prolific lawmakers, authoring or jointly authoring well over 60 pieces of successful legislation and receiving dozens of awards for his legislative leadership. Huffman’s priorities include protecting California’s environment and creating new jobs through policies that grow our economy, resolve natural resource conflicts, advance clean energy solutions, and combat global warming.
CA-07 We face a record jobless rate, a health care crisis, and a crumbling school system that is failing our children. The time for political games is over. We need results. As Chief Medical Officer of Sacramento County, I was a tough negotiator in my mission to bring down health care costs, create jobs, and bring health care to tens of thousands of people.
- To oppose Congressional pay raises until unemployment is below 5% in Sacramento County.
- To lead the charge against absurd Congressional perks, like flying first class on the taxpayer’s dime.
- Not to take a Congressional pension until Medicare and Social Security are secure for all Americans.
- To sponsor No Budget, No Pay—a law that says if Congress doesn’t do their job and pass a responsible budget, they don’t get paid.
CA-15 Rebuilding American manufacturing is the key in rebuilding our economy. I support a tax code that rewards U.S. manufacturers that build new plants, modernize existing plants, retrain workers, and keep jobs in America. This includes tax credits to cover moving expenses for companies that close production overseas and return jobs to the U.S. Companies that move operations out of the country should be punished in the form of higher taxes.
And, we must do more to enforce free trade rules against countries that violate or manipulate the rules to gain an unfair advantage over American products or workers, including currency manipulation and the theft of technology and intellectual property. [Note: Eric sounds a little more like a corporate centrist than a progressive.]
CA-26 standing up for Seniors in in the fore front for Ms. Brownley. She also believes strongly that education is a right–not a privilege. she believes the people of Ventura County deserve a strong economy with good paying jobs, access to quality affordable health care and a first class education system to prepare our children to compete in a global economy. She served in the state assembly since 2006 and helped to bring better education to her constituents.
CA-29Tony Cardenas was elected to the State Assembly in 1996. He stands tall for education. Cardenas secured more than $650 million for new school construction in Los Angeles to help relieve overcrowding in our kids’ classrooms. His reforms brought 78,000 new classroom seats to Los Angeles and 15 universal playgrounds that are user-friendly for children with special needs
CA-35 Jobs economy and education are foreground for her. Our district is still struggling with the aftermath of the housing foreclosure. We have not caught up with the loss of jobs, the need for roads improvement, and how to best compete in the global workforce.
CA-36 Dr. Raul Ruiz is not a politician; he is a public servant and physician, dedicated to serving the community. The son of farmworkers, Raul grew up in Coachella and learned at an early age that the key to attaining the American Dream was hard work and a great education. In the summer of 1990, under the hot desert sun, Raul walked from business to business in the Coachella Valley asking them to invest in their community – by contributing to his education. With each investment for college, he made a promise to come back home and serve the community as a physician. Create good-paying jobs in our community by investing in our economy and bringing in new businesses. We need to support actions which will restore consumer spending such as the payroll tax cut that will put more than $1,000 into the pockets of every working family. Additionally, I will fight to strengthen new industries and invest in new sectors like as health care research,
CA-41 Marks priorities include jobs and education. As a teacher, Mark supports job-training and vocational education in our local schools to teach students how to build solar panels, weatherize homes, and perform the jobs of the future. Mark supports grants to community colleges to form partnerships with local businesses, experts, non- profits, and community leaders to allow California to once again become the world leader in renewable energy and jobs of the future.
CA-47 Alan Lowenthal is a College Professor and State Senator who has lived in and worked to improve our community for more than forty years. He is one of California’s most effective advocates for education, jobs, and our environment. During his tenure as a local city councilman and state legislator, he introduced groundbreaking legislation to clean up our air, improve our schools and universities, created tens of thousands of jobs, and brought together members of both parties to solve the problems facing our state and communities. Job creation is his #1 priority.
CA-51Protecting Social Security and Medicare are among his top priorities, Taught the value of hard work by his parents, Juan attained impressive academic credentials. Juan attended the University of San Diego on scholarship, graduated Magna Cum Laude and received a B.A. in Political Science in 1983. In 1987, Juan earned a Master of Humanities from Fordham University in New York City and in 1991 earned a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, where he was classmates with President Barack Obama.In 2000, Juan was elected by a huge margin to the State Assembly. As the State Representative to the 79th California State Assembly District, Juan represented the southern portion of San Diego, the western portion of Chula Vista, and the cities of Coronado, Imperial Beach, and National City.
* Scott Peters
CA-52 America faces challenging new realities in a changing world. The economy is faster, smarter, more competitive and more global. And our federal budget is upside down because our Congressional representatives are more focused on holding onto problems for political gain than solving them. Balancing the budget over time will require sensible tax policy and smart cuts. At the same time, our economic future depends on making smart investments in the infrastructure, our children and research.
CT-05 Attorney and educator. Jobs and education are at the top of her list too. My grandfather lost his job on the day my mother was born. For the next two weeks, he went out the door everyday as if he were going to work. He didn’t have the heart to tell my grandmother that he no longer had a job when they had a six-year-old boy and a newborn baby girl to take care of. Too many people are struggling today to find a job or hang onto the one they have. And too often Washington looks out for those at the top, instead of looking out for the middle class.
FL-09 Alan Grayson was re-elected to Congress. He knows the territory well. Among other things, Grayson stands up for the working people in the USA. In November, black friday 2012, Grayson marched with Walmart employees. How many politicians do you know who would do that? Grayson is a brilliant and articular spokesman for the majority. He is indeed a Congressman with guts. i would vote for him for President in a heartbeat as would millions of other Americans. While many politicians only talk the talk; Alan Grayson walks the walk–all the way with the people.
FL-18 Patrick Murphy currently serves as Vice President of Coastal Environmental Services, which specializes in disaster relief and environmental cleanup. In 2010, Patrick spent six months in the Gulf of Mexico leading the company’s efforts to remove oil spilled during the BP disaster. Coastal Environmental is an affiliate of Coastal Construction, one of the leading construction firms in the country, and has been named one of the nation’s top “Green Contractors”. Economy and jobs are at the top of his list.
FL-22 Mayor Lois Frankel is a seasoned public servant with a record of bringing jobs and opportunity to South Florida. After serving 14 years in the Florida state legislature, Lois became mayor of West Palm Beach in 2003. In eight years as mayor, she worked tirelessly to bring jobs and opportunity to the city.
FL-26 Joe’s record of public service dates back more than two decades. In 1993, Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Joe to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC), the state agency that regulates utilities. Serving under both Democratic and Republican governors, Joe made Florida’s families his top priority. He helped usher in the single largest energy rate cut in the state’s history, which meant lower monthly electric bills for Florida’s families.
* Tulsi Gabbard
HI-02 Her service has included working with at-risk youth, joining the Hawai‘i National Guard and deploying twice to the Middle East, being elected to the Hawai‘i State Legislature and the Honolulu City Council, having the honor of serving Hawaii’s people in the U.S. Senate as legislative aide to Senator Daniel K. Akaka, and continuing her ongoing work and leadership on environmental issues and projects.
IL-08As a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, she was one of the first women to fly combat missions in Iraq until November 12th, 2004 when her helicopter was hit by an RPG. Tammy lost both legs and part of the use of her right arm in the explosion, and was awarded the Purple Heart for her combat injuries.
During her recovery at Walter Reed, Tammy was one of the highest-ranking amputees and became an advocate for her fellow soldiers. Her leadership was recognized when she was asked to testify before Congress and recruited to run for the House of Representatives. After losing a close race, Tammy continued to serve as a Major in the National Guard and became Director of Illinois’ Department of Veterans’ Affairs. There, she implemented many first in the nation programs to address Post Traumatic Stress, improve traumatic brain injury screening and reduce homelessness among Vets.
IL-10 Not much other than he is a management consultant. (his website does not allow visitors to access unless they provide personal information)
IL-11Bill Foster is a scientist, businessman, and former U.S. Congressman who served from March 2008 until January 2011 as the Representative of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, Within hours of being sworn in, Bill cast the deciding vote in favor of the strongest Congressional Ethics Reform bill in generations.
* Bill Eynart
IL-12 As Illinois’ top military commander, Bill has had the sobering task of sending troops into combat zones as well as mobilizing troops for in-state disaster response. More than 500 troops were activated in Feb. 2011 to assist with motorist safety during a record ice storm. Just a few months later, another 450 troops were sandbagging in Southern Illinois communities to thwart flooding. The troops helped fill half a million sandbags for the effort.
IL-1 A journalist who will likely be focused on improved health care. Cheri’s sister-in-law, Barb, died more than a year ago without health insurance. Barb and her husband both worked full-time but couldn’t afford health insurance. When Barb got sick, she couldn’t afford the most effective cancer treatment she needed. Even those with insurance aren’t immune. A few months later Cheri’s brother, Danny, died, leaving a wife and two daughters. He had a good job and was fully insured. Yet his health plan wouldn’t cover his treatment because he had cancer that required an experimental drug. Cheri will fight for people like Barb and Danny. They are a major reason why she is running for Congress.
MD-06 As the son of a union electrician, John learned at a young age the importance of hard work. He also saw first-hand how stable, good-paying jobs didn’t just support one person, they gave an entire family a chance and made communities stronger. While his parents never had the privilege of attending college, their commitment to education – together with critical scholarships from his father’s IBEW Local 164 – paved the way for John to graduate from Columbia University. That opportunity led John to Georgetown Law School, where after graduation he began his journey as a business builder, job creator, and non-profit community leader.
* Joe Kennedy
MA-04 Before getting into this race, Joe served as an Assistant District Attorney for Middlesex County, Massachusetts, prosecuting a wide variety of misdemeanors and felonies. Prior to that, he served the counties of Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket. During his time in the courts, Joe worked to keep serious drug offenders and violent criminals off the streets and advocated for women, children and families who were victims of domestic violence.
Joe attended Harvard Law School, where he spent most of his time working for the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, a student managed pro-bono law firm. Our number one priority must be getting people back to work. For me, that’s what this election is about. Our efforts will fall short if we fail to get back to a country that rewards hard work and gives everyone – no matter who they are or where they come from – a chance at success.
* Dan Kildee
MI-05 As County Treasurer, Dan worked to create the Genesee County Land Bank. A first of its kind in the nation, the land bank helps to keep families in their homes by preventing foreclosures, giving every family a chance at home ownership. It also helps to reduce the number of vacant and abandoned structures in the community, all while helping to create good-paying jobs for local residents. Across the country, Dan’s land bank model has helped to inspire other cities to start similar models to help create opportunity and foster development.
MN-08 Not much about Rick Nola to report
NV-01 She taught American and Nevada government classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 34 years, until her retirement in June 2011. She represented the people of Senate District 7 in the Nevada Legislature for 20 years, serving as the Democratic Minority Leader from 1993 to 2008.
Dina was elected to the US House of Representatives from Nevada’s Third Congressional District in November 2008. She served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Homeland Security Committee. She also served as Whip for the Western states and was a member of numerous issue caucuses during the 111th Congress. During the course of her political career, Dina has focused on protecting those most vulnerable – children, seniors, and the disabled. A teacher herself, she has always made quality education for all a priority and has been a strong advocate for the arts.
NV-04Steven was elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2004 and got right to work. He wrote and passed the “Clean Energy Jobs Initiative” because he believes Nevada can be the nation’s leader in renewable energy technology, and all the good jobs that come with it. He authored legislation providing tax incentives to businesses that create higher paying jobs in Nevada. And he was the chief sponsor of revolutionary K-12 school reform that passed in 2011 that brings greater accountability to our classrooms—so all of our children get the education they need to succeed in college or career.
NH-01 During my two terms serving the good people of New Hampshire’s First District, I always worked for what I call the bottom 99% of Americans, and I never forgot that public office is a public trust. believe that education is the key to prosperity, that renewable energy is key to our economic future and our national security, and that shipping jobs overseas hurts not just American workers but also our country. I believe that fostering job creation and investing in America and our people are both good business decisions and good moral decisions, and that we can reduce the debt without dismantling essential programs.
* Michelle Lujan Grisham
NM-01 As a young attorney she worked for the Lawyer Referral for the Elderly Program of the State Bar of New Mexico. Michelle fought to protect seniors from scam artists, safeguard them from abuse and neglect, and helped them to remain in their homes. Because of her tireless work on behalf of seniors, four-term Governor Bruce King to appointed her to head the New Mexico State Agency on Aging; she served as the state’s first Secretary of Aging and Long Term Services when the department was elevated to a cabinet position. In 2004, Michelle was asked to head the New Mexico Department of Health, where she managed over 3,800 employees and a $440 million budget. During her tenure, she fought to require public health facilities to meet the same high standards as private sector facilities. She led the fight to ban the sale of junk food in schools and she pushed to make sure every child in New Mexico had access to primary health care.
* Don Payne, Jr.
NJ-10City Council President and Freeholder-at-Large Donald M. Payne Jr. is a lifelong Newark resident whose family has dedicated themselves to making government work for the people. His public service follows that of his respected uncle, William Payne, a former Assemblyman, and his father, the esteemed Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr., who served the good people of New Jersey’s 10th district from 1989 until his untimely death in March of this year.
Throughout his career, Payne has effectively championed the progressive values and causes that affect people most. As Newark’s City Council President, he has focused on Job Creation, Education, Women’s Health, Seniors,Arts, and the Environment. He sits on the Health, Education and Recreation Committees and is known for his ability to foster consensus and cooperation among diverse constituencies both inside government and out.
* Grace Meng
NY-06 As a public interest lawyer, I am committed to organizing our communities to press for the protection of unions, and to rein in the menacing political activity of corporations and Wall Street.
As an Assemblywoman, I am dedicated to government as a force for accomplishing good in our lives, and to working in government to stand against Republican attacks on women’s access to healthcare and our social safety net. As a woman, I am running to improve the woefully inadequate statistic of women comprising only 17% of Congress, yet over half America’s population. Queens is the most diverse spot in America. How our neighborhoods differ is not as important as how they’re similar. We all want the best for our children and work hard to build a life for our families and to take care of our parents when they need us.
* Hakeem Jeffries
NY-08 Prior to his election to the Congress, Hakeem served for six years in the New York State Assembly. In that capacity, he authored laws that included protecting the civil liberties of law-abiding New Yorkers during police encounters, encouraging the transformation of vacant luxury condominiums into affordable homes for working families, and improving the quality of justice in the civil court system.
In 2010, Hakeem successfully sponsored legislation that prohibits the New York Police Department from maintaining an electronic database with the personal information of individuals who are stopped, questioned and frisked during a police encounter, but not charged with a crime or violation. This law is widely regarded as the only meaningful reform of the police department’s aggressive and controversial stop and frisk program.
** Sean Patrick Maloney
NY-18 Sean served as a senior advisor in President Bill Clinton’s White House as part of a team that balanced the budget and paid down the debt, all while creating over eight hundred thousand jobs here in New York. When Sean left the White House, he built his own business from scratch. His high-tech startup created hundreds of good-paying, New York jobs. He then served as a senior staff member to two Democratic governors of New York, focusing on education and infrastructure projects.
NY-24 Getting New York back to work.
OH-03 After graduating with a B.A. from Central State University and receiving her masters degree from Wright State University, Joyces began her career as the Executive Director of Montgomery Countys Human Services levy overseeing millions of dollars and later as a tenured professor at Sinclair College. As a result of her time in these fields, Joyce understands that education and healthcare are core elements needed to give individuals the opportunity to succeed. In 2000, Joyce Beatty was selected by her peers to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives. She went on to be elected to serve 5 terms representing the city of Columbus. During her tenure, she rose to become the 1st female Democratic House Leader in state history and was instrumental in passing legislation that improved the climate for economic development; fought foreclosures, championed STEM and financial literacy education as a part of the Ohio Core Curriculum and helped women without insurance receive lifesaving cancer screenings. Her work on securing screenings for uninsured women gained her recognition throughout the healthcare community and Komen for the Cure – Columbus gave her their public service award in 2008.
PA-17 For the past 24 years, he has worked as an attorney, with Munley, Munley & Cartwright. Matt has spent his time at the firm fighting for the middle class and for working families against corporations, insurance companies, big banks and corporate greed. Matt is a proud member of the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice. In addition to his experience as an attorney, Matt is a member of the “Brain Trust” for The Small Business Advocate for over nearly a decade. In this role, Matt has continued his work protecting the middle class by addressing issues such as: unfair provisions in business contracts, predatory lending practices, and auditing malpractice. He understands how corporate America has taken advantage of our working families and the middle class.
* Beto O’Rourke
TX-16 Beto O’Rourke is a life-long El Pasoan, who attended Carlos Rivera and Mesita elementary schools, and El Paso high school before graduating from Columbia University in 1995. He served on the El Paso City Council from 2005 to 2011. In that time, he played a key role in important initiatives, including: balancing the budget every year; lowered the tax rate; led a city-wide initiative to focus investment and attention on downtown that has led to tens of millions of dollars invested, historic buildings renovated, and hundreds of new housing units – all adding significantly and helping grow the local property tax base.
TX-20 Joaquin Castro is among the vanguard of a new class of Latino leaders emerging across the country. The Texas Tribune has called him a “rising star in his party,” and more recently, Politico.com named Joaquin one of the top 50 politicos to watch in the nation. Although Joaquin has established a distinguished legislative track record, As Vice Chairman of the Higher Education Committee and Democratic Floor Leader in the Texas House, Joaquin has been an effective leader in Texas politics, despite a difficult political environment. In this session alone, he transcended partisan gridlock to help restore millions of dollars in funding to critical health care and education programs. He has also been at the forefront in proposing forward-thinking legislative reforms in the areas of mental health, teen pregnancy, and juvenile justice.
* Pete Gallego
TX-23 At just 28 years old, Pete`s neighbors elected him State Representative, and sent him to Austin to fight for them. During his career in Austin, Pete led the 43 members of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and chaired numerous legislative committees. Pete crafted and helped pass legislation investing billions of dollars in public schools. He’s worked to secure our border, reform our criminal justice system and support Texas veterans.
Since he was first elected in 1990, Pete Gallego has earned a reputation for reaching across the aisle to solve problems. Pete has worked with both Democrats and Republicans to safeguard funding for priorities that make people’s lives’ better
* Marc Veasey
TX-33Marc was elected to the State House in November 2004 representing District 95. As a Member of the State House, Marc is recognized as one of the young rising stars among Texas Democrats and other State leaders. Marc’s colleagues quickly recognized his leadership and elected him Chair of the House Democratic Caucus where he has served as both a party leader and a coalition builder. He has the courage to stand up to the most divisive, mean-spirited and destructive forces in the Republican Party. When others wouldn’t, he fought the Republicans who stole our congressional district and tore our neighborhoods apart. Now, due to Marc’s leadership, we have new Congressional District 33 and a new opportunity to send a young, strong and effective Member of Congress to Washington who will work for all of us.
TX-34 born in Harlingen and raised in Brownsville, Texas. He graduated from Georgetown University and then received his JD from the University of Texas at Austin. For over 20 years, Filemon has been active in law, public service and politics his entire adult life–at the grassroots level in community causes, organizing and getting out the vote, and beyond. Moreover, his family history is deeply entrenched in public service. His late father, the Honorable Filemon B. Vela, served as a United States District judge for over 20 years in the Brownsville Division of the Southern District of Texas. His mother Blanca Vela was mayor of Brownsville. Filemon and Rose Vela have been married for 22 years. Other relatives have served and serve as elected and appointed officials at the local, state and national levels. Filemon is committed to carrying on that legacy.
WA-01 With a lifetime of business experience and community involvement, Suzan offers a vision for economic growth based on supporting the efforts of businesses and individuals to transform innovative ideas into new opportunities. She brings a depth of experience and history of achieving results that is essential in today’s difficult economic and political environment.
* Derek Kilmer
WA-06 a job creator with experience.
In 2004, Derek decided to run for office so he could help Washington State improve its approach to economic development. That year, he was elected as a State Representative representing Washington’s 26th Legislative District. Two years later, Derek was elected as the 26th Legislative District’s State Senator, a position he still holds.
Business groups have praised Derek Kilmer for being one of the most pro-business Democrats in Olympia. He is the three-time recipient of the “LEADER Award” from the Washington Economic Development Association and was named the “Legislative Business Star” Award from Enterprise Washington’s Business Institute. He wrote the law that helped build the new St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor – which created four hundred and fifty local jobs – and he helped write legislation to rebuild Washington’s roads and schools, creating thousands of construction jobs.
* Denny Heck
A strong advocate of open government, in 1993 Denny co-founded TVW to provide the people of Washington State greater accessibility to their state government. TVW has grown into the nation’s preeminent statewide public affairs network. While at TVW, Denny hosted the award-winning public affairs program Inside Olympia and also won an Emmy for a documentary he wrote and produced.
Denny served his community in the State House of Representatives for nearly a decade. He was chosen by his colleagues to serve as Majority Leader before retiring in 1986. While in the State House, Denny was one of the prime authors of the state’s historic Basic Education Act. After his time in the Legislature, Denny served as Chief of Staff to Governor Booth Gardner during his second term.
* Mark Pocan
WI-02Mark Pocan has spent nearly 14 years in the Wisconsin State Assembly representing one of the strongest progressive districts in the state. Yet, his political roots took hold in blue-collar Kenosha, Wisconsin where he got his start at age eight delivering campaign literature door-to-door for his father, a long-time city alderman.