Meet the Progressive Candidates who Stand with Bernie Sanders! - Part 2
After a huge win in New Hampshire and a near-tie in Iowa, the political revolution to elect Bernie Sanders and transform our political system is in full swing. Even as we prepare for Nevada, South Carolina, Super Tuesday and beyond, we we must remember Bernie’s major message: This movement isn’t about one person, but ordinary people standing up and fighting back against an oligarchic system which benefits the one percent.
Bernie Sanders winning the White House would be fantastic, but for him to effectively push his platform for substantial change, we need to elect a wave of progressive politicians that will bring the political revolution to the House and Senate. We wrote an article last month that detailed a few of these Bernie supporters who are running for congressional seats.
Today we bring you part two. Check out these candidates who have #GotBerniesBack:
John Fetterman is running for Republican Pat Toomey’s seat in the U.S. Senate. He grew up in York, Pennsylvania to teenage parents, who worked very hard to make ends meet. After playing offensive tackle for the Albright Lions, Fetterman joined Big Brothers/Big Sisters, where he mentored an 8-year-old whose parents both had AIDS. As they lost their battle to the disease, John promised to take care of his “little” until college graduation, and withheld his end of the bargain.
This led Fetterman to pursue a career in public service, and he soon joined Americorps, where he helped set-up the first computer labs in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, and also taught GED classes to young parents. He would earn his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, with a focus on confronting urban challenges and economic inequality.
Upon graduation, he moved to Braddock, a former steel town which had become one of the poorest communities in Pennsylvania. He setup a GED program in the community and after being motivated by his students, ran for the Mayor of Braddock and won by one vote. In the past ten years, he has transformed the community, recruiting new residents and businesses, enlisting young artists to transform downtown spaces, and ending the cycle of violence which plagued the community. He also encouraged clean energy policies and officiated one of the first same-sex marriages in Pennsylvania.
As Senator, Fetterman promises to fight for working families over corporate interests and build Pennsylvania back up, much like he has done with Braddock.
Check out his endorsement of Bernie Sanders:
Lucy Flores is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Nevada’s 4th congressional district. She grew up in a challenging environment, dropping out of high school before turning her life around, earning her GED, enrolling in the Community College of Southern Nevada Cheyenne Campus, and earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California. She continued her education at the UNLV Boyd School of Law, earning her law degree and winning awards for her community work.
Motivated to give back to the community, she entered politics, serving as the State Assemblywoman in District 28 for four years. During her time in office, she improved high school testing requirements, protected consumers from predatory practices, and shielded victims of domestic violence from abusers.
She has an extensive platform which is similar to Senator Sanders, including holding Wall Street accountable, campaign finance reform, an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour including bargaining rights, expansion of renewable energy, trade agreements which respect workers’ rights, supporting small business, and improving the nation’s infrastructure. She is also fighting for universal pre-K, debt-free college, removing the income cap to expand social security, closing the wage gap, paid sick leave, expanding healthcare toward Medicare For All, ending gun violence and the school to prison pipeline.
Check out her powerful endorsement of Bernie Sanders for President:
Zepyhr Teachout is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 19th district, for the seat previously held by Republican Chris Gibson. Born on a farm outside of Norwich, Vermont, Teachout was involved in law from an early age. Her dad was a law professor at Vermont Law School and her mother was a state court judge. Zephyr received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, and a MA in political science and JD summa cum laude from Duke University. After her studies, she was a law clerk for a Chief Judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals.Additionally, she is a tenured Associate Professor of law at Fordham Law School.
Politically, Teachout has always been a progressive, and served as the Director of Internet Organizing for Howard Dean’s 2004 Presidential Campaign. She later co-founded A New Way Forward, an organization whose goal was to break up the big banks, and was the first national director of the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit advocating for open government. She also literally wrote the book on Corruption in America.
In 2014, she challenged Andrew Cuomo for Governor of New York in the Democratic primary, and despite not winning the backing of the influential Working Families Party, her strong grassroots campaign still captured over 34% of the vote. She is a fervent anti-corruption advocate who is also strongly against fracking, high-stakes testing, and believes that small businesses should have the same resources as corporate Wall Street interests.
In December, she endorsed Bernie Sanders for President in a Huffington Post editorial.
Preston Picus is running for Nancy Pelosi’s seat in California’s 12th District of the U.S. House of Representatives. After a successful career in marketing, the Columbia University graduate left in 2006 to become a public high school teacher, inspired by his volunteer work at a group home for disadvantaged children. In 2013, he wrote an anti-corruption book called Send our Reps to Rehab, and frequently gives lectures about the relationship between philosophy and physics. His core belief is that our systems and ideologies must evolve to reflect our new capacities brought about through technological change.
His platform includes limiting the influence of money in politics, marriage equality, abortion, immigration reform, social justice, police accountability, increasing access to healthcare, and ending government spying and torture.
Bao Nguyen is running to represent California’s 46th district in the House of Representatives. He was born in refugee camp and came to the U.S. when he was three months old. Nguyen attended public school in Anaheim, Orange, and Garden Grove, and earned a bachelors in political science from UC Irving and a masters in religious studies from Naropa University in Boulder, CO.
Upon completion of his studies, he worked as a substitute teacher and became a community organizer for local churches. One of his major achievements was organizing seniors in Garden Grove to establish their own transportation program. He also served on the school board, and helped invest funding to modernize local schools, improve educational opportunities, and fight against bullying and discrimination.
In 2014, he was elected mayor of Garden Grove, and during his time he fought corporate interests to maintain local control of the city’s water resources, partnered with Google to help local entrepreneurs, and increasing the transparency and accountability of the local government.
Nguyen’s extensive platform includes supporting small business innovation, investing in infrastructure, increasing the minimum wage and indexing with inflation, standing up to Wall Street and large corporations which exploit our economy, making higher education available to all people, reducing income inequality, promoting a fair immigration policy, protecting social security and medicare, striving for LGBT, racial, and gender equality and legalizing marijuana.
Earlier this week, Bao formally endorsed Bernie Sanders for President.
John Xuna is running for the House of Representatives in Florida’s 22nd district. Originally born in Spain, he studied Physics and served in the Spanish Army in the 1970s. He has lived in the United States and Puerto Rico for over 40 years, where he worked as a software executive and more recently, as a science teacher in Florida High Schools.
John Xuna’s platform emphasizes science, and includes saving the environment by shifting to clean and renewable energy, full LGBT, gender, racial, and religious equality, raising the tax rate on the super-rich, fighting back against big money in politics, raising Florida’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020, expanding medicare and social security, single payer healthcare, a path to citizenship, funding for science and math programs, and increased paid vacation and family leave.