Joan is running for the House in the 5th District. And she brings a bipartisan genetic tie to politics to this race. Her grandmother, her grandfather (both Democrat politicians), and her cousin, who was a three-term chairman of the Arizona Republican Party clearly fueled an interest in public policy, government and actively serving her community, as well as bipartisanship. Joan is also a successful entrepreneur with 30 years of success in marketing which started with serving non-profits and now has billion-dollar clients.
Joan brings some unique arguments to her support for universal healthcare. She vows to "make sure that Congress does not try to sneak in 'genetic predisposed' law or discriminate against the LGBTQA Community to stop them from receiving the coverage they deserve. And much to our delight, Joan would introduce a bill "that would allow sealed and unexpired medications to be donated to approved clinics for disbursement to those who need the medicine but cannot afford it."
We hope Joan will carry on her family's political legacy by being a tenacious fighter for Medicare for ALL!
David won the Democratic primary for governor and will run against Republican incumbent Doug Ducey. Since he's a Progressive, he'll have little to no support from the Democratic Party Machine, so if you live in AZ, you've not yet DemExited, and were about to respond to one of their ubiquitous fundraising letters, send your money to David instead!
David is a kid from the neighborhood. His dad was a commercial painter and Vietnam-era veteran and his mom juggled parenting along with a job at an electronics factory to help make ends meet. David's family did not have a lot, but he credits his success to one simple constant in his life -- "they loved the hell out of each other."
David has a soldier’s sense of duty. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Infantry. His time as an infantryman instilled values that guide his life to this day: discipline, accountability, and duty. “Discipline is doing the right thing when no one is looking,” was the mantra that his Drill Sergeant instilled in him and other young soldiers.
David was a leader, trained as a chemical warfare specialist, qualified as an expert marksman and decorated with the Army Achievement Medal and the Humanitarian Award for fighting wildfires in Yellowstone National Park. Serving in the Army remains one of his proudest life accomplishments.
The military, along with one of our most successful government programs, the GI Bill, changed David’s life. He is the first in his family to finish college and earn a quality education that allowed him to realize his American dream. Today, he's a national education expert who will invest in our schools so all children have the best shot at opportunity and their American dream.
David has childhood memories about healthcare. "When we first got health insurance," David recalls, "my sisters and I went to the dentist and eye doctor right away. We had never been to either before then." He also has a plan for Arizona, unlike his opponent who went along with Trump's failed plan.
David supports Arizonans being able to see a doctor when they get sick and believes that Arizona should begin moving towards Medicare for All. In the meantime, Arizona has a cost-efficient and successful Medicaid program that should be expanded and made available to healthier and younger Arizonans who choose to buy in.
David understands that it’s not just about putting people on insurance or getting them to the doctor. It’s also about improving the quality of life for families, reducing disease, and building a productive economy for the long run. "We need to build a better health system across the board, from our hospitals and doctors offices, mental and behavioral health system to our environmental policies, to our schools, nursing homes, and community centers," David says.
David will fight to maintain the protections in the Affordable Care Act like ensuring those with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage, making sure lifetime caps are never allowed to return, and that essential healthcare benefits actually include basic and necessary health treatments. He will also fight to expand the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to make sure it covers the working poor or those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid today but not enough to afford insurance on the marketplace; he will also work to make sure AHCCCS covers all mental and behavioral health care needs. His leadership on healthcare is what Arizonans need!
Kevin de Leon (PD)
Kevin de Leon (sorry about the lack of accent mark) is now our endorsee to unseat Diane Feinstein in the Senate.
Kevin has served in the California State Legislature, first in the Assembly for four years and then, since 2010, in the Senate. Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold the position of President pro Tempore in over a century. During his time in the Senate, he's pursued an agenda to increase economic opportunity for all Californians with a focus on maintaining California’s global leadership role in fighting climate change and building a clean-energy economy, rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, public education, work-place and healthcare, equity for women, immigrants, and low-wage workers and public safety.
Kevin is passionate about making life better for Californians and Americans and that includes healthcare. While Feinstein sits on the sidelines continuing to take Big Pharma money ($84,000 according to Open Secrets) with other ACA incrementalists, Kevin pledges to lead the fight for Medicare for All in Washington as he has in Sacramento.
In 2018 alone, the health sector spent over $500 million on lobbying and hired over two thousand lobbyists. Thus, politicians get rich and the people don't get what they need and demand. For Kevin, that's why he supports Medicare for All. "The evidence is clear that a single payer health care system will decrease costs and offer coverage to all Americans."
Ro is the third incumbent we're endorsing and he serves the people of the 17th District. We set the bar a little higher for incumbents, as they have records we can research to ensure that they aren't just thinking of political expediency when voicing their support for H.R. 676 or "Medicare for All." We are happy that Ro has been such a consistent, outspoken advocate for single-payer.
Ro's parents immigrated to the United States and Ro was born in Philadelphia in 1976, and learned the value of education and hard work from his parents. Ro’s father studied engineering at the University of Michigan; his mother was a substitute teacher. Ro benefited from a quality public school education and took out student loans to attend great universities, which he is still paying off today. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago, and received a law degree from Yale University.
Ro became involved in politics while attending the University of Chicago, where he worked on the campaign of a little-known candidate for state Senate named Barack Obama. Later, Ro worked on Obama’s presidential campaign.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Ro to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ro broke new ground when he organized clean technology trade missions and expanded the Green Embassy program, which allows American clean technology firms to showcase their products in our embassies overseas. Ro also served on the White House Business Council, where he worked with both business and labor for policies that promote to bring back American manufacturing jobs.
In 2016, Ro was elected to Congress. He is one of only six members of Congress who does not accept PAC contributions, continuing his efforts to keep special interest money out of politics. He serves as a member of the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Armed Services in Congress.
On healthcare, he sas, "I support Medicare for All and remain committed to making it a reality. I supported HR 676, which would guarantee health care for under a single payer system. This would involve removing Big Pharma profits, hospital monopolies and facility fees from the equation, saving nearly $17 trillion."
Kenneth Mejia (G)
Kenneth is running in the 34th District and shockingly to some (but not to us), he made history as the first Green Party candidate to get this far, coming in second in CA's "jungle primary" where the top two candidates, regardless of party, oppose each other in the general election. We highly recommend that you read the Meet Kenneth section at his website. Kenneth and his family have overcome hardship and he has accomplished many things academically and professionally that men twice his age would consider reason to brag about. But though Kenneth is the one Green candidate who's not close to destitute and could've just sat back and banked his paycheck, he's chosen instead to be an active warrior for justice in his community and hopes to in Congress as well. California 34th voters - send him there!
Ammar Campa-Najjar (PD)
Ammar won his primary in the 50th District, a traditionally conservative area, currently represented (sort of) by Duncan D. Hunter, a Republican who, in 2009, succeeded his father Duncan L.
Ammar was born in East County, the son of a Palestinian Muslim father and a Mexican Catholic mother. He was raised in San Diego until the family moved to Gaza for four years. When war broke out and it became unsafe to remain, Ammar, his mother and brother returned to San Diego. The family struggled, and Ammar sought work as a janitor in a church, where he later became a youth leader. He attended community college and graduated from San Diego State University, after taking time off to help re-elect President Obama.
Following the election, Ammar was hired in the Executive Office of President Obama and had to take out a loan to move to DC and serve on the team that selected the 10 letters that the president read every night.
He then worked at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) before moving on to the U.S. Department of Labor where Ammar led the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). There he was instrumental in promoting a nationwide an "earn while you learn job" that pays apprentice workers an average of $60,000 a year.
He built up his political knowledge during his years in Washington, and on healthcare he displays his political saavy, giving Party-liners what they want to hear with, "Congress must fix the ACA, not undermine it and tear it down with nothing to replace it...If elected, I would vote to take immediate action to (1) lower the cost of prescription drugs by having Medicare negotiate prices, (2) provide a public option to compete with the private sector based on who provides lower costs and higher quality service and (3) as a short-term solution, allow individuals ages 50-64 years old to buy into Medicare."
But he also has a separate page for Medicare for All on which he says, "A Medicare for All system would set prices for medical services and prescription drugs. It could eliminate deductibles, co-pays, premiums and caps on cost-sharing. It could also promote better care, and reduce unnecessary services, through evidence-based guidelines...If elected to Congress, I would be proud to support Medicare for All." And with that, we are proud to support him!
Joe Neguse (PD)
As a 34-year-old son of refugees from Africa, Joe isn't your typical candidate. Over 35 years ago, Joe’s parents fled Eritrea, a war-torn country in East-Africa, and immigrated to the United States as refugees, eventually settling in Colorado, where he and his sister were raised. As hardworking immigrants and naturalized citizens, Joe’s parents never forgot nor took for granted the freedom and opportunities the United States gave them and their children. Their experience motivated Joe to be an active participant in our democracy at an early age, and to give back through public service.
First, after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder summa cum laude and working for the then-Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff, Joe co-founded New Era Colorado, the state’s largest youth voter registration and mobilization non-profit in Colorado. The organization, which has been featured in the New York Times and Time Magazine, has since registered over 150,000 young people to vote across the state, secured successful passage of progressive legislation at the state level (including online voter registration and 16/17 year-old voter preregistration), and has led the fight locally against climate change.
Joe Neguse and President ObamaLater, while still in law school at CU, Joe was elected in 2008 by the voters of the 2nd Congressional District to serve on the CU Board of Regents, becoming only the second African-American to be elected Regent in Colorado’s history. Joe served a six-year term on the Board (which oversees the CU-System, the fourth largest employer in the state with an operating budget of $3.4 billion), including two-years as Chair of the Audit Committee. As a Regent, Joe fought to make higher education more affordable and accessible and to build consensus on tough issues, sponsoring several resolutions that received bi-partisan and unanimous support, including efforts to lower student health insurance costs and make voter registration more accessible to students, as well as working to increase wages for the University’s lowest-paid workers.
Following his term as a Regent, Joe was appointed at the age of 31 to lead the state’s consumer protection agency, making him one of the youngest people to serve in a state-Cabinet across the country. He led the department—an agency with roughly 600 employees and a $90 million budget—for two years, leading the fight to expand economic opportunities by protecting the civil rights of every Coloradan and strengthening consumer protections and safeguards. During his tenure the agency achieved key victories, including the recovery of millions of dollars for consumers, investigations culminating in significant financial-fraud cases, the championing of legislation to combat financial fraud against seniors, and launch of the state’s first online filing system for civil rights discrimination complaints. In recognition of his work to expand the agency’s consumer protection mission, Joe was awarded the 2017 “Consumer Protection Award” by the international Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation.
Joe's vision for Colorado and the Nation includes the right to quality health-care -- which to him means "opposing efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, fighting for the Expanded & Improved Medicare-For-All Act, which would ensure universal healthcare coverage, and fighting to decrease prescription drug costs (for example, by mandating Medicare negotiate prices and enabling importation of prescription drugs from Canada)."
Jared is escaping the Swamp after 10 years in Congress in order to serve the people of Colorado as their governor. He has always been a favorite of DUH since he eagerly supported H.R. 676 year after year and for his personal courage and integrity as an openly gay Representative and, with his partner Marlon Reis, the first gay parent in Congress, having a son and a daughter.
The son of a physicist and a school teacher who decided to pursue their true passions: art and poetry. They combined his painting with her poetry to create a small Colorado business called Blue Mountain Arts. Their entrepreneurship gave Jared an example to follow as, from his college dorm room, he launched American Information Systems, a dial-up service provider that brought the internet into many homes for the first time. He also helped take the family greeting card business online, and founded ProFlowers, a startup where he did everything from loading the trucks to taking the business public. Later, Jared co-founded Techstars, a startup accelerator where he mentored entrepreneurs from all walks of life, and Patriot Boot Camp, which helps veterans start their own small businesses after coming home from their service.
In in 2000, Jared was elected to the Colorado Board of Education where, as Chairman, he fought to raise pay for teachers while reducing class size for students. He also founded several non-profit public schools for at-risk children and served as superintendent of the New America School, which helps new immigrants earn their high school diploma.
During his decade in Congress, he supported and helped pass the ACA, as well as legislation that would rein in the excesses of Wall Street, provide more opportunities to young immigrants, and protect national iconic public lands. Continuing his dedication to education, he led the charge to replace the one-size-fits-all mandates of No Child Left Behind with a new system to help students from every background get the quality education they deserve.
On healthcare, he says, "I believe passionately in universal health care, and I always will...As with so many other issues, politicians in Washington will stop at nothing to make life harder for Coloradans for the benefit of special interests. In Colorado, we have an opportunity to aggressively reduce the costs of care, expand access to the services people depend on, and put Coloradans first.
Andrew Gillum (PD) FL
Bob won the primary in District 2. He spent his high school years in Tallahassee, graduating from Florida High in 1961. He went on to Florida State University, where he earned a bachelor's, master's degree and PhD. in history.
Bob joined the Navy at age 17. serving for 22 years, the first seven as an enlisted sailor, including two years aboard the USS Terrebone Parish (LST-1156). He then earned a direct commission as a naval intelligence officer reservist for the next 15 years. His final assignment was as a Soviet Navy analyst and managing editor of the Naval Intelligence Quarterly. Bob retired in 1983 as a Lieutenant Commander and is a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Jewish War Veterans.
In civilian life, Bob fought for his North Florida community against Big Oil for six intense years – and won! He and residents of Jefferson and Leon counties organized a grassroots movement to stop Colonial Pipeline and Texaco from building a pipeline and tank farm and exposing their aquifer to leaks and spills that both companies were notorious for. They exploited Big Oil’s weaknesses until they abandoned the project in 1995.
Bob was a Leon County Commissioner 1998-2010 and balanced the budget every year, even in the worst years of the George W. Bush recession, with no net increase in taxes. Services were even improved, including organizing a new county EMS service, four new branch libraries, improved roads and trails, and new parks and conservation areas. By 2010, Bob established a record of principled independence, standing up to special interests in defense of neighborhoods and leading the enactment of North Florida’s first local human rights ordinance that included LGBT protections.
Bob also has Federal government experience as a speechwriter since 1974, writing for U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter, for U.S. Senator Ed Muskie, four Cabinet Secretaries, and two Sub-Cabinet officials. His own writing career took him to NYC where he wrote for the Chairman of Time Inc., after which he returned to Tallahassee, working for the next 27 years as a self-employed writer for several dozen corporate and nonprofit client CEOs. After leaving the county commission in 2010, Bob went back to Washington, D.C. as speechwriter for Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and HUD Secretary Julian Castro, returning home to Tallahassee in 2017.
Bob has personal experience with healthcare, according to his website. "Medicare saved my mother’s life three years after it was enacted. She required expensive surgery and hospitalization for breast cancer. She would have gone bankrupt otherwise, but Medicare paid her bills. So protecting Medicare from Neal Dunn’s budget meat-axe is personal for me.
"I’ll also fight for Medicare for All for the simple reason that every American deserves affordable, comprehensive health care. All other rich countries do this. So can we."
First, we owe Tim a huge apology! We in our age-related brain decline forgot that he was running as an INDEPENDENT and therefore, DID win his primary, setting up what we hope will be the victory he would have won in 2016 had Wasserman Schultz and the Clinton rigging machine not destroyed ballots to make sure Hillary's bestie had walked away with the 23rd District seat in the House. So we're sorry for removing Tim from the Florida section of the page!
Born and raised on Long Island in Merrick, New York, Tim is from an immigrant half Italian Catholic, half Jewish family, which taught him the traditional values of honesty and hard work.
Tim has an extensive academic career. He completed his undergraduate studies in government and economics at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, earned a law degree, with honors, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and was a Swedish Institute Visiting Scholar at the University of Stockholm.
In the 1990s, while a visiting professor at the University of Miami, Tim opposed efforts to weaken the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act firewalls that had separated commercial banking from the risky securities markets. In the early 2000s, Tim warned about the growing bubble in housing prices and called for increased supervision of Wall Street banks and financial markets.
Tim left Miami for a teaching position at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he was granted early tenure in 2003. While in Albuquerque, Tim spearheaded a successful grassroots lobbying campaign to abolish the state’s felony disenfranchisement law that had barred about 6 percent of the state’s voting age population from voting for life. Ever since, he has opposed the misguided “war on drugs” and the privatization of prisons that has resulted in the perverse incentive of warehousing people for profit.
After New Mexico, Tim taught at Chapman University in Southern California, became an endowed professor in International Economic Law, and served as the academic associate dean, helping Chapman move up significantly in the national rankings.
In 2011, Tim took part in the Occupy Wall Street movement in the Los Angeles encampment. At that time, he was also selected by Senator Bernie Sanders to serve on an advisory committee on Federal Reserve reform along with such leading economists as James Galbraith, Robert Reich, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz.
Tim moved back to South Florida in 2012 for a teaching position at the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law where he is currently a professor of law and public finance.
Though Tim is a bit too close to the DNC script when it comes to the ACA, he won us over with his overarching progressive vision and this: "Despite the reforms of the ACA, tens of millions of Americans still do not have health insurance. Millions more are underinsured, cannot afford high priced deductibles and co-payments, or are forced to declare bankruptcy because they simply cannot afford to pay their medical bills. This should not happen in a fair and just America. I firmly believe that health care is a universal human right and it is because of this that I want to improve upon the Affordable Care Act, by moving to a 'Medicare for all' single-payer health care system that would guarantee every citizen health care as a basic right."
Andrew shocked the pundits (and quite a few Republicans, we're sure!) by unexpectedly winning his primary over establishment Dem Gwen Graham. He'll be running against the heartless Rick Scott in November after helping the residents of Tallahassee get through Huriccane Michael. We think it would be a great idea for Alexandria, Randy, and Andrew to stump for each other!
Andrew was born in Miami where his mother drove a school bus and his father was a construction worker. He was the first in his family to graduate college and he went on to become the youngest person in history elected to the Tallahassee City Commission, before later becoming Mayor. He has a proud record of 15 years in public service.
As Mayor, Andrew developed a thriving innovation economy, beat the gun lobby in court to protect commonsense reform, and stood up to President Trump and Governor Scott to defend immigrants.
Under Andrew’s leadership, Tallahassee advanced workforce training programs for underrepresented workers as one of only 50 cities in the nation included in President Obama’s TechHire program. Andrew also helped lower violent crime in the City by more than 8 percent through increased investments in law enforcement, community policing, re-entry programs, and an expansion of social service funding.
Andrew is one of the few gubernatorial candidates to mention national healthcare, in his endorsement of S.1804. However, like many Southern candidates, Medicaid expansion is a priority for his state. Florida never received the benefits of the full impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare") due to Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to extend Medicaid to over 1 million Floridians -- we bet he wishes he'd done it now! As Governor, Andrew will work to accept that expansion and he has also proposed a Florida law protecting people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage, being charged more for their care due to a pre-existing condition, or women being charged more than men. He was also the only candidate who proposed a law protecting women’s access to no-cost contraceptive care under the ACA.
Andrew is committed to restoring Floridians’ healthcare security. He believes, "With that security comes an entire economy of good-paying jobs around it. People visit their doctor; they speak with a nurse or specialist; they undergo a test or a scan — those all require skilled workers, machines, and facilities."
Lisa Ring (PD)
Lisa is running in the Georgia 1st. As a military wife, a military mother, and a former corrections officer, we have no doubt that she's tough enough to handle Congress! We were pleased to see Medicare for All listed as her first priority and part of her progressive agenda.
Josh McCall (PD)
Josh is running in GA's 9th District. The son of two factory workers, Josh learned about hard work early. He also learned about job lock as his father , now retired from Lockheed, drove 100 miles each way to work every day, in large part so that he could get good insurance for his family.
Josh earned a B.A. in English and a Masters in English Education from the University of North Georgia, as well as a Masters in Classical Languages from the University of Georgia. He's been teaching high school since 2003, with some of those years spent as an instructor in college at UNG. Josh, his wife Jenifer, and heir three girls have resided in Gainesville, GA.
Josh has a unique view of the path to single-payer. He favors a "National American Health Service, similar to the British NHS. We may very welll get there someday, but for now we really liked his reasoning - "From birth to death, every American must have guaranteed access to life-saving health care without a price tag, because our lives are worth more than money."
Stacey Abrams (PD) GA
We are thrilled to endorse Stacey, who will be a powerhouse for her state. Along with our GA Congressional candidates Lisa Ring and Josh McCall, we believe Stacey offers hope for real, progressive change! Stacey ran unopposed in the primary but will face two opponents in November -- Libertarian Ted Metz and Republican Brian Kemp. two words -- name recognition.
Stacey and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi with three tenets: go to school, go to church, and take care of each other. Despite struggling to make ends meet for their family, her parents made service a way of life for their family. This ethic – and her parents’ unwavering commitment to providing educational opportunity for their children – led the family to Georgia.
While her parents attended Emory University to become United Methodist ministers, Stacey graduated from Avondale High School and went on to receive degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School.
She put her education and law degree to work through the government, nonprofit, and business sectors. She founded the New Georgia Project, which submitted more than 200,000 registrations for voters of color between 2014 and 2016. As co-founder of NOW Account – a financial services firm that helps small businesses grow – Stacey has helped create and retain jobs in Georgia. And through her various business ventures, Stacey has helped employ even more Georgians, including hundreds of young people starting out.
In 2010, Stacey became the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly and the first African American to lead in the House of Representatives. As House Minority Leader, she has worked strategically to recruit, train, elect, and defend Democrats to prevent a Republican supermajority in the House, and has worked across the aisle on behalf of all Georgians. Please go to her website to learn more about her many legislative accomplishments!
Stacey has met with families and small businesses in more than 150 counties, and she has proven her ability to find solutions across divides. Stacey has received the Friend of Labor award and an A-rating from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in the same year. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the proud 2012 Grand Champion of the Georgia National Fair Legislative Livestock Roundup. Stacey has received recognition from the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Georgia), the National Urban League, EMILY’s List, and Planned Parenthood, among others.
As is true for most Southern states run by Republicans, Georgia is also a victim of the refusal to expand Medicaid. As Minority Leader, Stacey introduced legislation to expand Medicaid in Georgia, and led the House Democratic Caucus in a statewide campaign to raise awareness about the crucial nature of expansion for health care access, rural hospital support, and job creation. Stacey's progressive vision for Georgia will move the state forward in many ways. "A critical component of that vision is ensuring our workers and their families have access to quality, affordable health care, and expanding Medicaid will be her first step in achieving this goal," according to an article posted on Medium, a platform that people can use to follow political candidates. You'll be taken there automatically when you hit the "Health" tab on her Issues page.
Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (PD)http://jesuschuygarcia.com/
Jesus "Chuy" Garcia was born in a village at the edge of the Sierra Madre in Durango, Mexico. His father worked as a bracero in the fields of California, Kansas and Texas. The family moved to Chicago when Chuy was 10 and settled in Pilsen and then the Little Village neighborhood.
Chuy developed his first interest in politics at St. Rita High School, inspired by the speeches of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and United Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. He got his first taste of political organizing when he and fellow students threw a picket line around the old dilapidated Atlantic movie theater on 26th Street. It closed but reopened in a clean, renovated version and the young activists could take pride in their work.
Chuy earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in urban planning from the University of Illinois-Chicago. During his undergraduate experience, he held a job as a paralegal helping immigrants and low-income families.
When Harold Washington was elected mayor in 1983 he tapped Chuy to become the city’s deputy water commissioner. In 1986, Chuy was elected alderman of the 22nd Ward and tipped the balance on the City Council to Mayor Washington’s favor, ending the furious clash known in Chicago history as Council Wars.
As Alderman, Chuy secured city funds to construct the giant Little Village Arch that sweeps across 26th Street. He also pushed through an ordinance providing help for immigrants with filling out forms, writing letters and applying for green cards issued by the federal government.
Chuy left the City Council to run for the Illinois Senate in 1992 and became the first Mexican-American elected to that post. He succeeded in passing legislation that set limits on fees charged by notary publics to immigrants for assistance with legal matters. Chuy also won passage of a bill requiring interpreters be made available to hospital patients who could not speak sufficient English to understand their treatment options.
Chuy’s time in Springfield came to an end when he was defeated for reelection in 1998. But his dedication to publi service continued as he then founded and became executive director of the Little Village Community Development Corporation. The group, whose name is now Enlace Chicago, has successfully lobbied for money to upgrade housing in the community and organized a hunger strike to force city bureaucrats to build the Little Village-Lawndale High School, which was the first High School built in the community in nearly 100 years.
In 2010, Chuy was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, a legislative body that allocates the county’s $3.5 billion budget. He was named floor leader by Board President Toni Preckwinkle and helped enact the reform agenda. Chuy stood up to an army of real estate lobbyists and pushed through a ban on the practice of some landlords refusing to rent homes to low income families, veterans, the disabled and others who rely on housing choice vouchers. Chuy also passed a measure to put an end to Cook County’ officials detaining a person based on the suspicion of being undocumented. The measure became the first of its kind in the nation and more than 250 localities followed Chuy’s lead nationwide. He was re-elected to a second term on the County Board in 2014.
Chuy launched his campaign for Mayor of Chicago on October 27, 2015 (which DUH supported). He put together an impressive coalition and forced the first ever run-off election in the city’s history. Chuy fell short of winning the mayor’s seat, but inspired and reawakened the progressive movement in Chicago.
A consistent supporter of single-payer healthcare, Sue remembers him from her days at Project Vida, the second HIV/AIDS agency she worked for which was led by current DUH volunteer Queen Luule Vess. PV was in Chuy's aldermanic district and Luule remembers him speaking at the agency when most politicians wanted to avoid it. But Chuy understood that even the most marginalized populations needed healthcare, a fact he carries with hi today. "Our entire health system is fatally warped by profit-taking by hospitals, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies. I support a single payer health care system based on Medicare," he says on his website.
Liz won her primary in Indiana's 9th District. A native of Bloomington, IN, she started down a political path with her favorite job in her youth - interning with Congressman Frank McCloskey’s district office. From there, she went to college and Georgetown Law School. During law school, Liz represented victims of domestic violence and helped them get orders of protection from their abusers. After law school, she went on to represent moms who were being denied assistance, simply because they couldn’t do a work assignment without adequate child care for their kids. She also represented working people in low-wage jobs who were treated unfairly—some were victims of pregnancy discrimination, others were unfairly denied unemployment compensation, others got fired over the need to take time off to care for family members.
Working for people the economy has left behind, Liz saw that impossibly low wages are not the only problem, it’s working conditions too. She says, "Our laws have yet to acknowledge the reality of people’s lives – parents working two jobs who need affordable child care, daughters and sons caring for aging parents who need paid family leave, women who need equal pay, people who made mistakes in their lives who need a second chance, and working people who need stronger protections for organizing so that we can restore unions’ strength."
Liz held jobs as the director of workplace justice at the National Women’s Law Center, as the executive director of the Georgetown Poverty Center, and as the Labor Policy Director for Democrats in the United States Congress.
Liz led the development of the $15 minimum wage bill in the House, and worked with Senator Sanders' staff when he introduced the companion bill in the Senate. She drafted first-of-its-kind legislation to end the practice of calling people into work on a couple of hours’ notice and telling them if they don’t report, they’re fired. Senator Warren introduced this legislation for the first time three Congresses ago. Since then, it’s been introduced in cities and states across the country. Liz brought a Working Families Agenda to the United States Congress.
She has a complicated stand on healthcare, including some ACA incrementalism, but she got our vote when she said, "A solid majority of the American people believe that the federal government should insure, and ensure, universal health care coverage. That is why I support the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act of 2017, H.R. 676. It is the only proposal on the table that will accomplish the three essential goals of universal coverage, quality care, and affordability."
Verone is running in Louisiana's 3rd District and has the disadvantage of his primary being the same day as the general election, a Louisiana quirk. Verone ia a native of Louisiana and has been interested in politics since he was a teenager. Family members that are deeply rooted in politics have always been adamant about his awareness of the policies that affect Louisiana and the nation.
After graduating from Lake Charles Boston High School as an honor roll student. Verone joined and served in the United States Navy. As Secret Control Clerk for his command aboard the USS White Plains, it was Verone's duty to decide who needed access to the ship's secret documents (we imagine that would be a useful skill with the Trump administration). In addition to his duties, Verone performed as a Operations Specialist and Surface Warfare Specialist helping his command track and identify hostilities that could jeopardize the safety of his ship.
After a successful career at sea, Verone spent his last years in the Navy as a Top Navy Recruiter in Los Angeles, earning him titles such as Rookie of the Year and Recruiter of Year with various and numerous awards from the Secretary of The Navy and Secretary of Defense.
Since his Honorable discharge from the Navy. Verone has spent many years applying his military training/knowledge to corporations such as Qualcomm, Nokia, Exxon-Mobile, and Home Maintenance Depot. In addition to the corporate world, Verone spent some time in the entertainment industry as a engineer for acts like the Jacksons.
It's a rare thing to find a Progressive in the deeply red Louisiana, but Verone's platform proves that it's possible! On healthcare, he makes the case for Louisiana's Medicaid expansion. "Few factors bear as heavily on the well-being of any state's citizens as their overall quality of health. Louisiana's Medicaid providers deliver a valuable service to the state's Medicaid recipients, and their continued input and participation are critical as the State works to create a care delivery system that leads to better health outcomes and more effectively coordinates services and treatment. Our results in Louisiana makes a good case for the implementation for a " MEDICARE FOR ALL, SINGLE PAYER, UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM." We agree and are in favor of calling it MedicAID for All is much closer to H.R. 676 than Medicare is.
Ryan is running in the 4th District and bears the burden of all Louisiana Congressional candidates who don't really have a primary since it's on the day ofthe general election.
Ryan has lived in Shreveport for the past twenty years. A single father of 2 teenage daughters, he is invested in the struggle to make Louisiana a better place to live. for five years, he worked as a beverage supervisor at the Isle of Capri Casino. When the casino was sold, Ryan moved to a Dodge dealership, where he was shop foreman in the service department.
In 2016, Ryan worked as a political data manager for Bernie Sanders. He helped develop and manage a successful peer-to-peer texting program while recruiting and training more than a thousand volunteers. Locally, Ryan led the Green Progressives of Shreveport, North Louisiana for Earth and Climate Justice and was a Greenpeace group leader. Statewide, he worked primarily with 350.org , Louisiana Bucket Brigade, and Bold Louisiana.
While traveling the State, speaking at meetings and helping others establish progressive groups, Ryan found the common thread in people who thought they were all alone in their community, that no one outside their community knows about specific local issues such as clear cutting old-growth Cypress trees in Monroe, a hazardous waste plant in Colfax poisoning the community, polluted tap water (300 LA cities) or a proposed creosote plant north of Shreveport. Ryan knows about that and more.
Compelled to expand his activism, Ryan has collaborated with groups such as All Streets All People (ASAP), Voice of the Experienced (VOTE), the Louisiana Democratic Party, Allendale Strong, Hope House, the ACLU and many others.
On healthcare he says, "Health care is a moral and financial issue. Almost seven hundred thousand families go bankrupt every year because of medical bills while insurance and pharmaceutical companies rake in trillions of dollars in profit. The U.S. pays more per person for health care than any other country in the world while we aren't even in the top ten of countries in quality of care...The only logical solution is universal care like Medicare for All. A single payer health care system drastically reduces costs, improves quality of care and improves quality of life."
Zak Ringelstein (PD) SEN
Zak is running for the Senate and is truly a man of the people. He was delivered on the kitchen floor by a doctor who came to their rural home. He was raised by parents who lived their values as teachers and social workers, evidently passing those values on to Zak.
He and his wife Leah met in college, sharing a passion for education, and left with over $150,000 in debt, but they worked hard -- first as public school teachers and then as founders of an education business that helped teachers and students collaborate. As the CEO, Zak negotiated the sale of the company at the age of 28 and was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. During this time, he worked on early childhood education policy at the White House, gave a TEDx Talk on the damaging effects of standardized testing, and collaborated with national leaders like Senator Mark Warner and Representative Gabby Giffords to facilitate nationwide civics lessons in schools. Just last year, Zak co-led a campaign called “PowerToPublic” to stop billionaire Betsy DeVos from becoming Secretary of Education.
Besides education, Zak is also aware of other issues affecting many Mainers, as well as their own family -- the cost of childcare is so expensive that people have to decide between going to work so they can pay thousands of dollars of childcare costs per year or staying home without enough money to pay the bills. Zak and his family live with the gnawing awareness that his brother, a Navy helicopter pilot, could be drawn away into another misguided war due to the reckless behavior of our current president.
During her recent pregnancy, Leah was offered insultingly high premiums from Zak's employer and Leah wasn't able to see their trusted local doctors because they were not “in-network” through her Affordable Care Act coverage.
Zak believes that "...a prosperous country has a healthy citizenry. Therefore we believe Medicare, a single-payer system that has proven itself over the course of many decades, should be implemented universally. Medicare For All legislation will be my top priority because no Mainer should pay the cost of a second mortgage just to get the insurance they need to make sure their family can remain healthy."
Jamie was born in Washington, DC, the son of progressive activist Marcus Raskin, a former staff aide to President John F. Kennedy on the National Security Council and co-founder of the Institute for Policy Studies, and Barbara Raskin, a journalist and novelist. He graduated from Georgetown Day School in 1979, received his B.A. degree from Harvard College (magna cum laude) in 1983, and received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude) in 1987. He is a past editor of the Harvard Law Review.
In November 2006, Jamie was elected as a Maryland State Senator for District 20. In 2012 he was named the Majority Whip for the Senate, and was the Chairman of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation, Chairman of the Select Committee on Ethics Reform, and a Member of the Judicial Proceedings Committee.
Jamie was a strong voice for liberal issues in the Maryland Senate. He has been the sponsor of bills advocating same-sex marriage, the repeal of the death penalty in Maryland, among others. On March 1, 2006, during a State Senate hearing regarding same-sex marriage, he told a lawmaker, "People place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution; they don't put their hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible." A fact we only wish Congressional Representatives would remember! A former board member of FairVote, Jamie also introduced and sponsored the first bill in the country for the National Popular Vote, a plan for an interstate compact to provide for the first popular presidential election in American history. He also introduced Senate legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Maryland. It passed and went into effect in January 2015.
In 2016, he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House, stating, "[m]y ambition is not to be in the political center, it is to be in the moral center." He was one of the most progressive candidates that year and won his crowded primary by 33%, going on to win the general by 60%. In his first action as a Congressman, Jamie, with several other Representatives, objected to certifying the election of Donald Trump as President because of Russian interference in the election and voter suppression efforts. Vice President Joseph Biden ruled the objection out of order because it had to be sponsored by at least one member of each chamber, and there was no Senate sponsor. Thanks, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, even Bernie - where were Senate Dems when we needed them to help nip this poisonous weed in the bud? But I digress...
For more than 25 years, Jamie has been a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law. He authored several books, including the Washington Post best-seller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People and the highly-acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students, which has sold more than 50,000 copies.
Healthcare has always been included in Jamie's agenda. His campaign website states, "A long-time champion of single-payer health care, Jamie says, 'In a modern democracy, good health care is not only a basic right of citizenship, it is a precondition for effective citizenship.' Jamie wants to see the health care system 'organized rationally around the health needs of the people and promoting excellent nutrition and preventive care.'”
Ben Jealous won his primary against SEVEN other candidates and will face Republican opponent Incumbent Larry Hogan, as well as Ian Schlakman (G), and Shawn Quinn (L). If he could beat four, why not two and the "second most popular governor in the country?" We think he can!
Ben is a civil rights leader, community organizer, investor in startups for good, educator, former investigative journalist. and a Rhodes Scholar who has spent his life bringing people together to get big things done. While his name recognition may stem from his time leading the NAACP, he is now a political rising star running for Governor of Maryland.
Ben’s Maryland roots go back generations and includes activists before him. His grandmother worked at Planned Parenthood while his grandfather worked on the B&O Railroad. Ben’s mother helped to integrate Western High School in 1954 as a member of the NAACP’s Youth and College Division. Ben’s father was one of a small number of white men jailed during the Congress of Racial Equality’s efforts to desegregate Baltimore’s downtown business district.
Ben is a Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Columbia and Oxford University He is also the proud father of two children who attend public schools.
As a community organizer Ben helped lead successful campaigns to abolish the death penalty for children, stop Mississippi’s governor from turning a public historically black university into a prison, and pass federal legislation against prison rape.
While working as a journalist in Mississippi, Ben’s investigations were credited with helping save the life of a white inmate who was being threatened for helping convict corrupt prison guards, free a black farmer who was being framed for arson, and spur official investigations into law enforcement corruption.
Ben has extensive experience as a non-profit executive, serving as the past president of the Rosenberg Foundation, and the founding director of Amnesty International’s U.S. Domestic Human Rights Program. At age 35, Ben was named the youngest ever National President and CEO of the NAACP. During the depths of a national recession, Ben guided the NAACP through an unprecedented era of growth, nearly doubling the organization’s revenue in just five years. The NAACP’s membership increased three years consecutively for the first time in 20 years under Ben’s leadership.
In 2013, Ben was named Marylander of the Year by the Baltimore Sun because of the role he played in leading the effort to abolish the death penalty, helping assure the effort to pass marriage equality was successful, chairing the effort to pass the DREAM Act, and expand voting rights.
Ben currently works as an investor for Kapor Capital, an investment firm that invests in companies working to create progressive social change. At Kapor, Ben manages the firm’s Baltimore office where he has invested in several Maryland companies working to make his state stronger.
His 21-page MD-Care plan is available for download on his website (and in DUH's Info & Resources Legislation section) and it won our endorsement, along with this in the introdyction : "A true Medicare for All system that extends affordable and quality healthcare to every Marylander – and saves countless lives in the process – is well within our grasp. Getting it done requires the courage to stand up to both the special interests who profit off our current system’s shortcomings and to those whose lack of political will continues
to hold us back."
Jay is running for governor against popular Republican incumbent Charlie Baker. This means he REALLY needs our support!
Inspired by Governor Deval Patrick’s vision and leadership, he joined the Patrick Administration in 2007 and served as the Governor’s Secretary of Administration and Finance during the Great Recession. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Massachusetts Health Connector, where he oversaw implementation of Massachusetts’ health care reform, and he co-chaired the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. Before joining Governor Patrick’s administration, Jay was a partner at a Boston law firm where he specialized in public finance.
Jay has been active in his community since arriving to Massachusetts from Ohio in 1998. He has served on the boards of many community organizations, and he currently serves on the boards of the Dimock Center, Project Hope and the Trust for Public Land. As a former Brookline resident, Jay was an elected Town Meeting Member, Co-Chair of the Town Meeting Members Association, and a member of the Advisory Committee in the Town of Brookline.
Jay has been a fierce advocate for high-quality early education for all of our children, and is the former Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Early Education and Care.
Most recently, Jay served as President and CEO of CeltiCare Health and New Hampshire Healthy Families, where he works for a system that is cheaper, simpler and better. Under his leadership, Jay turned CeltiCare Health around, launched New Hampshire Healthy Families, grew the company’s regional presence by multiple times and added hundreds of jobs. He credits this job with giving him the knowledge base for his awesome, strong stance on healthcare.
"Simply put, we need a single-payer system that is cheaper, simpler and better...As the former CEO of a health insurance company that covered low-income people in the Medicaid program, I know our health care system. I know the many inefficiencies and unnecessary complexities that exist as a result of our multi-payer system, and I know the pitfalls we need to avoid to make sure a single-payer system is done right and achieves the outcomes we need: a sustainable health care system that works better for people.
With Jay's leadership. Massachusetts can maintain its proud history of leading in health care. As Jay says, "We were the first state in the nation to make near universal health insurance coverage a reality. But that coverage is too expensive and too limited for too many, and growth in health care costs threatens the sustainability of our system."
Rob Davidson (PD)
Dr. Rob Davidson, like the vast majority of ER doctors, is a strong advocate for M4A. He's running from Michigan's 2nd district.
Rob was born in Fraser, Michigan, and in his early childhood was raised in a small modest house. He was raised by a mom who stayed home and a dad who was a traveling salesmen and worked long days. In 1979, Rob’s parents started a small business in the basement of their house, packaging small auto parts. Neither of his parents completed college. But they showed him how, through hard work, patience, grit and a lot of sacrifice growing their small business for 30 years, they built a middle-class life for their family.
Rob went to Kalamazoo College. He played football, studied biology and met his future wife, Diana, who would later become a family physician serving families of the Lakeshore. Rob received his medical degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed his training in Emergency Medicine in Portland, Maine.
In addition to many community and school volunteer activities as a parent of two daughters and a son, Rob also serves on the Spring Lake school board. For many years, Rob and Diana have volunteered at medical missions at home and abroad, in some of the poorest countries and in hard-hit disaster areas. Rob is an active outdoorsman and athlete, competing in many short running contests, several marathons, triathlons and Ironman™ challenges.
As an emergency physician, Rob believes in the power of listening to patients. He’ll do the same in Congress, listening to the people who live and work in communities throughout West Michigan, and working hard for them. Rob states his unequivocal support of Medicare for All on his website, but we think the video on his home page says it all - take the time to watch!
Andy Levin (PD)
Andy is running for the 9th District. His knowledge of the healthcare system is undebateable. He not only has two children who suffer from Crohn's disease, but he is a two-time cancer survivor himself. He gets it - "Health care must be universal. I am sick and tired – and I believe most Americans are sick and tired – of talking about health insurance and coverage when we should be talking about quality care...I am not shy to tell you that Mary and I would have gone bankrupt three or four times over if we did not have good health insurance.
"Enough is enough. Let us say plainly that as a matter of basic morality there are a few things that should not be left to the market to decide, and one is that every man, woman and child will have proper medical care from birth to old age."
Ilhan won her primary in the 5th District of Minnesota. She is the DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor) candidate on the ballot. When she wins, she'll be one of two Muslim women in Congress, Rashida Tlaib running unopposed in Michigan.
Born in Somalia, Ilhan and her family fled the country's civil war when she was eight years old. They lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for four years before coming to the United States, eventually settling in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1997.
Ilhan’s interest in politics began at the age of 14 when she was as an interpreter for her grandfather at local DFL caucuses. Watching neighbors come together to affect change at the treeroots level made Ilhan fall in love with the democratic process and in high school, she became an organizer and has been a coalition builder ever since. She worked as a community educator at the University of Minnesota and has been a devoted progressive activist in the DFL party for many years. Before running for office, Ilhan was a Humphrey Policy Fellow and served as a senior Policy Aide for a Minneapolis City Council Member.
In 2016, Ilhan became the first Somali-American, Muslim legislator in the United States. With the help of her campaign team, they increased voter turnout by 37%. She was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 60B, where she’s lived for the past 20 years with her husband Ahmed and their three children.
Ilhan is an accomplished legislator, policy analyst, community organizer, non-profit leader, public speaker, board member, youth mentor, and an award-winning human rights advocate. If you go to her website, you'll be as blown away as we were by her impressive record! It's definitely too much for this short bio, but well worth your time and we give her extra points for the breathtaking photo on the "Meet Ilhan" page!
Her first line - actually, the first paragraph - on her healthcare page got our vote: "I will fight for a Medicare for All, single-payer healthcare system to guarantee quality healthcare for all Americans. It is unacceptable that millions of people are unable to seek care because they live without or cannot afford insurance. It is horrifying that we continue to fight for the right to seek an abortion and access reproductive freedom. We must hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for price gouging patients who have no other alternative but to pay exorbitantly high prices for drugs."
Though we love her policy, we also can't wait to see to see her bright flashes of orange, yellow, green, and purple into the sea of unimaginative grey, black, navy, and red! Ihan will bring a whole new kind of diversity to Congress!
Randy won the 1st District primary. Originally from Iuka MS, he has an interesting combination of experience. He has taught chemistry at the University of Mississippi for the last 14 years where his research focuses on developing improved antitumor drugs to treat cancer.
In 2015-2016, Randy worked as a Science & Technology Congressional Fellow in Washington, DC where he analyzed healthcare policy for Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN, Memphis). His scientific experience gave him the ability to critically analyze complex issues, a skill that is needed to get a handle on large issues such as healthcare. During this work, he learned about the complex mess of the current US healthcare system and saw that Washington sorely needs representatives who can tackle such issues.
Randy's experience working for Congressman Cohen has inspired him to run for Congress. He wants "to be a representative who reaches out to, and listens to, his constituents, even if we might sometimes disagree. I want to write policy and laws that help improve the lives of all of us." And that includes healthcare. "The only effective long-term solution to the problem is a single-payer system like Medicare for all. The version of “Medicare for all” put forth by Senator Bernie Sanders is sound and workable, but will be fiercely opposed by the health insurance lobby. Making record profits off sick people cannot continue unabated. Though the insurance industry will fight against single-payer insurance, some in the insurance industry are starting to realize that the current system is unsustainable. The CEO of Aetna recently told his employees that “we should have a debate” about single-payer health insurance coverage."
With your help, we can get better representation for North Mississippi. Please donate, endorse, and share!
Kara Eastman (PD)
Kara is running in Nebraska's 2nd District and was a surprise winner in her primary over the DCCC-backed Brad Ashford. Good for you Nebraska voters! Kara escaped our awareness in the primary, but we are now endorsing her for the general.
Kara was raised by her single mom and grandparents and her aspirations to "save the world" became a driving force early. She earned a degree in Soocial Work and, as many do who work in helping jobs, saw up close the struggles families were going thru. She then turned her passion for making things better by founding Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, her small agency that turned into a nationally recognized, award-winning nonprofit that has raised more than $13 million to support green, safe, and healthy housing in Omaha. OHKA has directly served over 4,000 Nebraska families over the last decade.
In addition, Kara was elected to the Board of Governors of Metropolitan Community College in 2014, subsequently to be elected as Vice Chair of the Board. At MCC, she has strengthened the college’s non-discrimination policies, developed contractor training programs that created jobs in the community, and lead the initiative to ban tobacco usage on all campuses.
She will face Republican incumbent Don Bacon who will no doubt have Republican Party money and support, as he is a Trump sycophant. Kara says, "I’m not going to sit on the fence while our political system is assaulted and undermined by those who don’t represent Nebraska’s values. Nebraskans need someone who isn’t afraid of a fight, someone who will take the lead in healthcare, education, and climate change." We think she'll "send home the Bacon"just fine!
Paul Theobald (D)
Paul is running for Congress in Nebraska's 3rd District. He's a strong advocate for people in rural areas and has taught and written about rural life. What caught our eye was his comparison of Medicare for All to the strong community ethic that results in farmers pulling together to bring in a harvest if their neighbor gets sick. That kind of caring for each other is exactly what we need!
Deb Haaland is running for the 1st District. She won her primary over our former endorsee Pat Davis, who has since endorsed her. If she wins in November, she will be the first Native American woman in Congress as an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna..
Deb is a single mom and was raised in a military family. Her father, who was a 30-year career Marine, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery for being awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving the lives of Marines in Vietnam in 1967. Deb's mom served in the Navy, and met and married Deb's dad while they were both stationed at Treasure Island.
Deb is a graduate of University of New Mexico (UNM) and UNM Law School; in 2016, Deb was appointed as an Honorary Commander of Kirtland Air Force Base to help create a better understanding of its missions - and the U.S. Air Force as a whole - among the community at large.
She has a long history of service to Democratic candidates and Progressive causes, including:
Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee of New Mexico in 2014.
Served for one year (2012-2013) as Native American Caucus Chair for the Democratic Party of New Mexico.
Served as Vote manager for the 2012 Obama campaign and volunteered full-time for 2008 campaign.
Has volunteered for dozens of local and statewide Democratic campaigns, and for over a decade has worked to engage the Native American community as voters and active constituents.
In 2005, led passage of SB 482, which she authored, in the New Mexico Legislature, to allow members of New Mexico Indian tribes in-state tuition at higher education institutions, regardless of their residency.
In 2017, partnered with state LGBTQ civil rights leaders to help pass a ban on Conversion Therapy in New Mexico.
Deb is the first Native American Woman in the country to Chair a state party. In her term as state party chair, she led New Mexico to be one of only two states in the country to flip its State House from red to blue.
Deb traveled to Standing Rock and stood side by side with the Standing Rock people. After that, she led the divestment of the Democratic Party of New Mexico from Wells Fargo due to their significant investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline and for-profit immigration detention facilities.
Her experience as a leader and many qualifications to represent the people of NM-1 in Congress are undeniable and she says of healthcare, "It’s time to challenge corporate dominance over our health, and a corporate healthcare system that is inefficient, rocky, and wildly expensive. No American should face bankruptcy, death, or poverty because of a lack of healthcare. We need national public health insurance -- Medicare for All -- a model that has been proven across the world to lower costs, increase efficiency, and ensure the most people have access to care."
Perry won the primary in the 1st District, currently "represented" by Republican Lee Zeldin. graduating from Yale in 1984, andPerry founded one of New York’s first sports bars for fellow Mets, Jets, Knicks, and Islanders fans (and occasional Yankees, Giants, and Rangers fans). He then got his MBA from Berkeley in 1993 and experienced personally the reality of Donald Trump when even then Trump topped the list of untouchable clients he was given by his firm, due to his penchant for reneging on his debt, for suing everyone and stiffing contractors. Perry was also struck by the history of the rise of authoritarian rule in 1930s which led to WWII. iThe demeaning of the press, the denial of facts and science, the scapegoating of immigrants and minority Americans, all stood out as warning signs. Trump in the White House was a defining moment in his life. Now Perry knows that decency is not inevitable unless all of us are willing to fight for it, each in our own way.
Perry’s principles are clear: We depend on our environment for life itself. He won’t let Trump and Zeldin degrade it. You stop a bad guy by taking the assault rifle out of his hands, not by flooding schools with more guns. Control over a woman’s body belongs to her, not to the government. Decent employment, good healthcare, education for our children, and a secure retirement are the rights of every American, not the privilege of a wealthy few.
Perry's tireless work ethic and altruism comes from the influence of his family. Both of his parents have devoted their careers to medical research and teaching. Perry's mom, Anne Gershon, was the lead researcher in the development of the chicken pox vaccine. She was just one of five women in her medical school and at the time, largely dismissed as not likely to make a major impact. Instead she became one of the most respected people in her field.
Perry's dad, Michael, wrote the classic medical text, The Second Brain, which taught doctors and researchers how the GI tract has its own 'brain', and does not need input from our real brain or spinal cord.
Perry settled in Suffolk County more than 22 years ago. He and his wife Lisa, a working mom, live on the South Fork. Their two sons, Logan (21) and Marshall (19), are now in college. He is an avid marathon runner - 21 marathons - who uses his passion for the sport to raise money for charitable causes. Perry also was a former head of his synagogue’s social action committee, where he championed for New York’s SAFE laws in the aftermath of Sandy Hook and he oversaw relief efforts after superstorm Sandy.
On healthcare, he leaves no room forargument - "We need universal healthcare that is both accessible and affordable to everyone. The best way to do this is under a Medicare for All system, such as HR 676, currently pending in the House. I would be a co-sponsor of this or a similar bill. Until we get such a system passed, we must also protect the gains made under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)."
Liuba won the primary in the 2nd District, hoping to unseat Republican Peter King. Liuba holds an MBA with specializations in Management, Economics, and Social Innovation from New York’s University’s Stern School of Business, and a BA in Politics and Russian from NYU.
Liuba and her family have called Long Island home for five generations. Her single mother is a public school teacher. Her grandparents were Russian immigrants who moved to Amityville in the 1940s. Her grandmother, whom she is named after, opened a small wool and yarn business, and her grandfather helped build the first lunar module to land on the moon. Liuba and her husband are now raising their two young children in Amityville.
Liuba has spent her career leading organizations to empower working families both at home and abroad. She has forged partnerships between nonprofits, government, and businesses to tackle issues including economic development, access to health care, paid family leave, and government transparency. She has worked with farmers, diplomats, healthcare workers, government leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Liuba has led delegations to Capitol Hill to lobby for strong American leadership at the UN, has fought to make the use of international aid funds more accountable and less corrupt, and has worked to help restore economically depressed communities around the world.
Liuba has focused specifically on women’s economic empowerment, working with Women Deliver, PL+US: Paid Leave for the US, Vital Voices, Global Health Visions, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Liuba served as a UN Women’s Empower Women’s Global Champion for economic empowerment. Together with UN Women, she launched the #IAmParent campaign for Parental Leave.
Liuba founded a grass[tree]roots group called New York’s 2nd District Democrats to engage Long Islanders in the political process. At first, she thought the group would mostly attract Democrats alarmed by Donald Trump’s policies — but the group has actually welcomed many independents and even some Republicans who want new leadership in NY02.
Her position on healthcare is knowledgeable and personal, having had to navigate our current system for herself and her family, including fighting with her mother's insurance company to get her the treatment she needs after six spinal surgeries. She draws quite a contrast to the current Congressman.
"Rep. Peter King voted to repeal the ACA, which would have left more than 72,000 people in our district without health insurance, and denied three hospitals in our district – Good Samaritan, Southside, and St. Joseph – more than $14 million in funding. Rep. King voted to gut Medicare.
"60% of Americans want to 'expand Medicare to provide health insurance to every American,' and it’s time Congress fight for Americans, rather than the special interest groups that dominate health care in our country.
"I would support HR 676 Medicare for All. Health care is a human right."
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DSA)
If you haven't heard already (and who hasn't?), Alexandria won her primary in the 14th District against entrenched corporate Democrat Joe Crowley. There is no doubt that she's a fighter and will definitely stand up for healthcare for everyone, along with the rest of her platform issues.
Alexandria was born in the Bronx into a proud Puerto Rican family, which motivates her to include in her platform acting in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico to help end the suffering they are still going through thanks to Trump's ignoring their needs. She is a longtime educator, organizer and activist for the people in her community and beyond.
From an early age, Alexandria grew up with a deep understanding of income inequality. The state of Bronx public schools in the late 80s and early 90s sent her parents on a search for a solution. She ended up attending public school in Yorktown—40 minutes north of her birthplace. It was clear to her, even then, that the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny. The 40-minute drive represented a vastly different quality of available schooling, economic opportunity, and health outcomes.
Alexandria went on to study at Boston University, where she earned degrees in Economics and International Relations. While there, she worked for the late Sen. Kennedy handling foreign affairs and immigration casework for constituent families. After graduating, Alexandria returned returned to the Bronx to pursue work in education and community organizing. As an Educational Director, she worked with high school youth to expand their skill-sets in community leadership and social enterprise. She also piloted projects to help improve skills in young childhood literacy and writing for middle-schoolers.
As the markets crashed in 2008, Alexandria's father passed away from cancer and her family was suddenly thrown into financial crisis. As the financial reality caught up to her family, Alexandria stepped up, working two jobs and 18-hour shifts in restaurants to help her family keep their home.
That experience put Alexandria on the other side of laws and policy, as she went from reviewing economic outcomes to having first-hand experiences with struggling families. That gave her a much deeper understanding of how policies impact lives beyond the white papers. It’s one thing to write healthcare policy—it’s an entirely other matter to have to deal with healthcare, housing, and education systems ourselves.
Alexandria decided that the Bronx and Queens could do better than Crowley, who doesn't even live in the state, let alone the district. The 14th District is one of the most progressive in the City. "It’s...one of the most diverse communities in the United States. Here we are homeowners and renters; we live in dense urban areas and peninsular communities, We speak over 100 languages, encompass many different religions, and have two different baseball teams, each with their own rabid fan bases," she says on her website. She believes the district will join her to champion improved and expanded Medicare-for-All, a Federal Jobs Guarantee, tuition-free college and criminal justice reform.
Proof has been in the results for Alexandria. Starting with getting on the ballot in April, she and her supporters have created a cascade of firsts: Alexandria is the first NY-14 Democratic challenger in a generation; the first NY-14 candidate to run without any lobbyist money in modern history; and the first woman of color to *ever* run in NY-14 (a district that’s 70% people of color).:
As fellow Democratic Socialists, we at DUH appreciate her take on the capitalistic approach to healthcare that we all suffer from. "Free market medicine leaves too many Americans struggling, often forced to make impossible choices between medicine and shelter, treatment and food." She goes on to say, "If we are to realize medical justice in our time, we must not only expand the Medicare program to all citizens but also broaden it to include access to vision, dental, and mental healthcare."
Go get 'em, Alexandria!
Dana was the Democratic primary winner in the 24th District and will be facing Republican incumbent John Katko. At am early age, she began fighting for the underdog. Her younger brother, Jonathan, has cognitive disabilities and she credits him with teaching her about the struggle to overcome when she set up a “classroom” in the basement to try to to teach Jonathan how to tell time. When neighborhood children teased and bullied him, Dana stood with him and shut them down. She watched and learned from her parents' advocacy for him year after year, demanding that he have the best opportunities to thrive. From her earliest memories, Dana has been inspired to stand firmly and passionately for dignity and access for all.
Dana began her career in the field of special education, working at a nonprofit organization that provides support services to adults with cognitive disabilities. There she began as a teacher, became the Director of Education, and finally the Director of Marketing and Communications. Through her role in marketing, she met parents of children and adults with disabilities across the country which reaffirmed that no parent should have to face the uncertainty that the services their children needed would be abundant and accessible. Dana decided that she needed to get into policy-making and she went back to school to study it.
She earned her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut and is currently a PhD candidate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, after taking eight years off dealing with a debilitating physical illness that forced her to suspend her studies. She spent those years researching treatments and doing everything she could to get better, fought her way back to good health and re-enrolled at the Maxwell School, determined to earn her degree.. Her academic work has focused on education policy, public finance, and accountability in government. Dana is now also serving as a Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor at the Maxwell School, teaching courses in citizenship, policy, administration, and democracy. Since the November 2016 election, Dana has been working as a community organizer, advancing a progressive agenda for Central New York.
During that journey. Dana faced the threat of not being able to find insurance because of a pre-existing condition; the fear of financial ruin because of healthcare costs; and the obstacles that make accessing public social service supports so difficult. She GETS it because she's been there.
Her statement on healthcare is short and sweet (to our ears, anyway). "We must fight to ensure that every American has both coverage and access to quality healthcare. And we must make fiscally sound choices to bring the skyrocketing costs of healthcare down.
Guarantee coverage for essential health services that protect our families like maternity care, hospital services, and mental health
Protect people with pre-existing conditions so they cannot be charged higher premiums or denied insurance.
Safeguard women’s access to reproductive health care. This includes well-visits, preventive care, and cancer screenings
Negotiate drug prices. The VA negotiates and saves 40%; every American deserves those savings.
Unburden small and family-owned businesses from the overwhelming cost of providing health insurance to their employees.
Liberate entrepreneurs to leave their jobs and start new businesses without the fear of losing their healthcare coverage.
Medicare-for-All will achieve these goals. It will also significantly lower the out-of-pocket cost of healthcare services for individuals and families."
Nate won the primary in the 27th District and aims to unseat Republican incumbent Chris Collins.
Born and raised in North Tonawanda, Nate likes to say he’s got Erie Canal water in his veins. He grew up in a house right on the Canal and spent his summers fishing and swimming in Erie’s waters.
Nate’s father, a construction worker, died of cancer when Nate was four years old, the second youngest of seven children. His mother’s struggles to raise her kids, manage her home, and pay the bills left an indelible impression on Nathan. He learned to work hard. He learned that when the people you love need you, you can’t hold anything back. He learned that even the hardest workers sometimes need a little help to get through the rough times.
After graduating from North Tonawanda Senior High, Nathan enrolled at Erie Community College. Taking night classes, Nate paid his bills by working any job he could find. “I did everything from cleaning swimming pools to running the front desk at a Holiday Inn,” he recalls.
ECC led to SUNY Buffalo, where Nate graduated with honors. He went on to earn a law degree from California’s prestigious Hastings College of Law, continuing his studies with a Master’s Degree in Law from the internationally acclaimed Tsinghua University, in Beijing, China. The U.S. government awarded Nate a Fulbright Scholarship, to study the development of constitutional democracy in South Korea, which led to a position teaching American law at the Judicial Research and Training Institute in Seoul.
Nate’s academic successes led to positions in private law practice, where he ably represented U.S. business interests in Asia. He is an internationally recognized expert on Asian and Asian business and cultural affairs, having been interviewed by NPR’s Marketplace, the Wall Street Journal, and other publications Nate has also appeared at numerous conferences and public forums, including delivering the key note speech at the 2013 Ethics and Compliance Officer Association's annual conference. In 2015, Nathan was chosen as a delegate to the British-American Project in Dublin, Ireland. He's even fluent in Korean and Mandarin Chinese!
Nate is currently Town Supervisor of Grand Island and his energetic, effective leadership has brought millions of dollars in business development to Grand Island. He has championed the State’s plan for a major hike and bike trail along the waterfront, secured Grand Island as the location for the State’s Western New York Visitors’ Center, and spearheaded removal of the much despised toll barriers at the North and South Grand Island Bridges.
We liked his statement on healthcare: "Everyone should be able to access needed health care regardless of income, and the only affordable long-term solution to America's healthcare crisis is a “Medicare for All” national health care program," he says, continuing with, "I therefore support the Medicare-for-All bills that have been introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 676/ S.1804), as well as the New York State Healthcare Bill."
Howie Hawkins will be challenging Democratic machine incumbent Andrew Cuomo for NY Governor. Howie doesn't begin to have the money or "connections" of Cuomo, but he DOES have the historical creds, integrity, and balls to run in full-throated support of the New York Health Act (the NY single-payer bill currently almost passed in the state legislature), which Cuomo seems to have no awareness of as evidenced by his failure to even mention it on his website.
Howie is a contender, one of the few Greens who managed to win enough votes in the 2014 gubernatorial race (184,419) to move the party up on the ballot. And this time, he has added a much-needed element of fierceness to his campaign. His upgraded website declares, ""Demand More!" and ""We are demanding more than piecemeal reforms. We are demanding system change." With all that demanding, it seems only right that DEMAND Universal Healthcare be one of his first endorsers!
His issue page on Healthcare outlines the provisions of the NY Health Act, summarized by, "The New York Health Act will provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance coverage. You and your health care providers work to keep you healthy. New York Health pays the bill." Familiar language to those of us who know H.R 676.
While Cuomo is probably being wined and dined by insurance company lobbyists pouring money into his campaign, Howie is the candidate who knows and can provide what people in the whole state (not just the city) need.
Phillip Price (D)
Philip is running in the Western N Carolina 11th District. Now that he won his primary, he is much stronger in support of Medicare for All. Be sure to check out his updated website where he says, "It’s long past time for health care to be made accessible to all. The only way to do that is to take the profit motive out of insurance. That’s why I support a Medicare for All healthcare system. My chief priority after being elected will be to work to pass a bill such as H.R. 676 Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act."
J. Michael Galbraith (D)
Mike is running in the 5th District, currently the seat of Republican Bob Latta who voted against CHIP and for the draconian AHCA. A financial analyst, Mike obviously understands the benefits of Medicare for All to business and the economy.
Mike grew up in Maumee, Ohio. Despite a busy household, his mother managed to squeeze in a job as a real estate agent. His father owned and ran a construction business in addition to serving as a State Representative in the Ohio Legislature.
After graduating high school in Maumee, Mike went to Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. In 1968, after graduation, Mike began his career in the international financial markets in Europe where he and his wife Ditte met.
They returned to Northwest Ohio in 2003, at which time Mike earned his Master of Business Administration Degree from Bowling Green State University, He then went to work as a financial advisor, first for Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and subsequently for Thriven Financial for Lutherans. He is also an adjunct instructor for the Departments of Finance and Managem ent at Bowling Green State University.
In 2012, Mike started his own business, GALBRAITHselect, setting up and managing a fund investing in real estate lien certificates.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Toledo and serves on its Water Services Committee.
Madeleine is running in PA's 4th District. Born and raised in Glenside, Pennsylvania, Madeleine got her start in politics around the dinner table with her five brothers, and thankfully, one sister. Discussions at the Dean house were never dull: debating politics and being quizzed on current events with the entire family. Soon after graduating from Abington High School, at age 18, she was elected to serve as a local committee-person.
At 19, Madeleine volunteered on her first campaign for Joe Hoeffel’s re-election to the state legislature — a seat she holds currently. While on the campaign trail, she met her future husband, PJ Cunnane, who was also serving as a committee-person.
Madeleine graduated from La Salle University, and earned her law degree at Widener University. Madeleine returned home and practiced law with the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers and went on to serve as the executive director. Mad then opened a small, three-woman law practice in Glenside, and served as in-house counsel for her husband’s growing bicycle business.
While she and PJ were raising three young sons, Mad changed career paths to serve as an assistant professor in the English Department at La Salle University for more than 10 years, teaching persuasive writing and rhetoric, business writing, legal writing and ethics. She continues to write and is a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, Patriot News and other publications.
Madeleine then became a public servant herself. She served as a local township commissioner and soon after, was elected to be a state representative in 2012.
Since elected to the State House, Madeleine has been an outspoken member, championing progressive priorities like public education, combating addiction, equal rights, access to healthcare, ethics, criminal justice reform, and gun violence. Following the shooting at Sandy Hook, Madeleine founded and served as Co-Chair of the PA SAFE caucus. The group is an active coalition of legislators and advocates dedicated to passing legislation to end gun violence.
In a legislature comprised of only 19% women, Mad was appointed to the Governor’s Pennsylvania Commission for Women. The commission was designed to advise the governor on policies and legislation that promote equality and health.
Back home, Madeleine has worked closely with local officials to bring millions of dollars in infrastructure projects that promote safer, more livable, and greener communities to the area she represents.
Madeleine believes every person deserves to be able to have access to affordable, quality, and comprehensive healthcare and she supports "a single payer or Medicare for All bill that is economically balanced to fulfill the promise that our government made in 2010."
Madeleine also "stands unequivocally with women in their right to control their own bodies. She believes safe, accessible, quality reproductive health is a fundamental right and need of our communities. As a member of the Women’s Health Caucus and an appointee to Governor Tom Wolf’s Commission for Women, Madeleine has helped ensure that a woman’s right to choose is protected and will continue to protect any and all attacks to Roe V Wade as a member of Congress."
Mary Gay Scanlon won her primary in the 5th District. She attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School after graduating cum laude from Colgate University. Mary Gay then served as a Judicial Clerk for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Mary Gay began her advocacy for children with the Support Center for Child Advocates where she has served as a volunteer attorney or board member since 1985. This led to her appointment as co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Children at Risk, continuing her fight for better lives for children. She then served as an attorney for the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania where she fought for access to a quality public education and the rights of students with disabilities. At the Education Law Center, she led two class action lawsuits to enforce the rights of students with disabilities. Additionally, she represented parents and students in individual cases to defend and enforce their rights.
Her expertise in education law and policy led to her being appointed to state-wide interagency councils implementing federal special education laws. She testified before the Pennsylvania legislature about the negative effects of zero-tolerance policies, drafted legislative and regulatory proposals and produced training materials about many other areas surrounding Pennsylvania education policy.
From 2007 until 2015 Mary Gay was an elected Democrat on the Wallingford Swarthmore School Board where she was then elected as Vice President and President of the Board. Being involved in local-level government has given Mary Gay a deep understanding of how government works at its most basic level.
Mary Gay has served as the national Pro Bono Counsel at Ballard Spahr for 14 years. In that role, she directs and supervises over 650 lawyers in 15 offices providing more than 43,000 hours of pro bono legal services annually to low income clients and nonprofit organizations. From the beginning, her career has been dedicated to serving others and she has been fighting for progressive values for over 35 years.
Mary Gay has fought to protect the right to vote, serving as Co-Chair of the Voting Rights Task Force of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, a program that combats voter suppression and gerrymandering.
According to her website (we encourage you to read the whole Healthcare issue page!), "Mary Gay supports universal healthcare and believes that every American should have quality healthcare without being subjected to financial hardship. She supports a transition to Medicare for All, but believes that in making that transition, we must protect the Affordable Care Act and support a public option system..." But it went on to say, "Mary Gay wants to reach full universal health care coverage through a single-payer, Medicare for All system. [She] will support Medicare for All legislation that provides a strong safety net during the transition period to single payer coverage. Many Americans received health care for the first time in their lives under the ACA, and many like their employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Rather than eliminating these plans immediately, Mary Gay will support a path to single payer that allows a public option during the transition period. This transition period will expand health care to all people living in the United States, support all-payer rate setting, reduc[ing] health care costs, and eliminat[ing] premiums." We at DUH don't support the public option or Medicare buy-in approaches, but we agree that the transition to singe-payer must include quick implementation and a continuity of care during the transition. We appreciate Mary Gay's thoughtful analysis of the problem and believe it's that kind of thinking that's most likely to get bipartisan votes and thus, pass the law.
Jess King (PD)
Jess King is running from the PA 11th (used to be 16th). We like her slogan, "America is for all of us." Jess is a working mom who is living her Mennonite faith. After graduating Bard College with an MBA, she fulfilled her commitment to a year of unpaid service to the community. But her love of serving the people in her community didn't stop there. She went on to become founding Executive Director of the Union Project, an effort that restored an abandoned church into an arts and social enterprise incubator. Jess has been Executive Director at ASSETS since 2010 and has expanded the organization's impact ten-fold, helping new businesses to start and established ones to flourish, transforming Pennsylvania communities through business.
Marc Friedenberg (PD)
Marc won his primary in the 12th District by a hair - 223 votes! - but he's a solid winner to us! Unfortunately, though he had our endorsement since April, he was dropped from the page mistakenly when PA districts were changed. We're sorry for this error and are set to more actively support him in the general.
Marc Friedenberg is a native of Northeast Philly, the oldest son of Charles and Lori. He is a man of many talents, first earning a Master’s Degree in Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Marc has always had a passion for figuring out how technology could be used to improve people’s lives.
Marc then attended Columbia Law School, pursuing his interest in cyber law and Internet privacy. After graduating in 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession, he worked for two law firms and pursued cases against the Wall Street banks that caused it. His skill with computer technology helped to sift through the data and prove that fraud had occurred.
While suing the big banks, Marc saw firsthand the greed, corruption and carelessness that has taken over our economy and our government, and has never forgotten those experiences while talking to working people out on the campaign trail.
In 2012, Marc was recruited for a teaching position at his alma mater, Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, and returned to State College, excited by the opportunity to give back to the community as an educator. Today, he serves on the Faculty Senate and teaches classes related to cyber law and the global economy.
On healthcare he says, "I’m proud to support the fight for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all insurance program. All of us get sick at one point or another, and all of us get old. It’s time we had a simple, easy to understand national health insurance system in place so that we’re all covered. I will also fight to protect and expand Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Taking care of each other is a moral decision, and our federal budget needs to reflect our moral priorities." Exactly.
Joe Cunningham (PD)
Joe won his primary in SC's 1st District. He brings a rich variety of life experience to his campaign, with fatherhood being recently added with the birth of his first son, Boone. In addition to now learning the process of diaper-changing, Joe earned his Bachelor's degree in Oceanic Engineering from the College of Charleston, working as a runner for a small law firm and as a deckhand on tugs and barges in the summers, saving his money to help pay for his education.
After graduating, Joe worked at a small firm designing, permitting and overseeing the construction of marina and coastline development. During that time, Joe worked with various state, local and federal agencies and environmental groups in acquiring all necessary permits and striving to ensure the development did not negatively impact the marine environment. In addition to having his private pilot’s license, Joe also earned his SCUBA certification.
While earning his law degree, Joe worked several jobs, gaining valuable experience in both civil and criminal areas of the legal profession. At the prosecutor’s office, and with a limited license to practice law, he worked with local and state law enforcement agencies, presenting indictments, arguing motions and prosecuting felonies. He also served as President of the school’s Student Bar Association and was eventually elected as the American Bar Association’s Vice-Chair of the Law Student Division, where he fought to curtail the ever-rising costs of legal education. Upon graduating law school, Joe accepted a position at a small boutique firm in Charleston. Contrary to his Republican opponent's attempts to label him as a "Washington insider," he still practices with the same law firm.
His stance on healthcare is less than perfect, but along with some good information and lobbying by H.R. 676 supporters, his personal experience with the current system may be enough to convince him to go further for the people in SC1 and the nation. "After going through the medical uncertainties of my wife’s pregnancy and the arrival of my son, I understand how stressful—both emotionally and financially—the increasing cost of healthcare can be. In times when your family members are at their most vulnerable, we shouldn’t have to focus on the costs."
Sean Carrigan (D)
Sean is running in South Carolina's 2nd District. He retired from the Army in 2015 after 28 years of service, during which he was selected to run the largest general medicine ward at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We had a dilemna about Sean in that he mistakenly thinks the ACA can be fixed by a Medicare buy-in (how much on top of what we've already paid in?) for 55-year-olds. He also seems to favor the erroneous idea of a long-term implementation (using the establishment language of "responsibly") replacing the ACA with Medicare for All. But his support of Roe v. Wade, his concern for veterans' care and his understanding that M4A "will create a win-win-win scenario for our citizens, our businesses, and our communities," as well as his strong character won us over. Besides, we happen to know that there's a kick-ass advocate down there who can educate him on the realities of the buy-in approach!
James Smith won the Democratic primary for governor and will face Republican incumbent Henry McMaster in the General. Though South Carolina is not yet ready to pursue a state single-payer system, the expansion of Medicaid (refused by McMaster) is the major healthcare issue they deal with there. James won our endorsement by vowing to accept that expansion
James was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. He is married to Kirkland (Thomas) of Mount Pleasant and they have three sons ad a daughter - Emerson, Thomas, Paul, and Shannon.
James is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and University of South Carolina School of Law. He's currently a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, a Major in the South Carolina Army National Guard, a small business owner, and practicing attorney in Columbia, South Carolina.
James can trace the military service of every generation of his family dating back to the Revolutionary War, and his parents instilled in him those values of duty, service and leadership. He had served eight years as a JAG officer in the South Carolina Army National Guard when a 2001 visit to Ground Zero in New York stirred "a profound impact" on him. It motivated him to resign his Officer Commission so that he could enlist as an infantryman, and, at age 37, he begin basic training.
In February 2007, Smith deployed as an infantry officer as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. For a year there, he served as a Combat Advisor to Afghan Security Forces operating in remote areas in southern Afghanistan. Always crediting his infantry for any success and to his very survival, Smith worked side by side with Afghans to enforce the rule of law. His service was awarded the Bronze Star, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Purple Heart.
In the SC General Assembly, James has been a tireless advocate for a variety of issues. He has championed issues facing our veterans and active military. He has been a vocal leader for public education and governmental and ethics reform; fought for increased jobs and economic development across the state; provided protections for the environment, healthcare and the arts – all to make South Carolina the best it can be and a great place to live and raise a family. During his tenure, he has earned the respect of legislators from both sides of aisle and has established a solid reputation as someone who gets things done for South Carolinians.
His public service in the House can be characterized as “service before self.” The needs of his constituency are always first and foremost. He expects and demands holding political figures who care more about their personal future (and wealth) rather than South Carolina’s future.
On healthcare his website says, "On the first day of the job as your Governor, with the stroke of his pen James will expand Medicaid and deliver healthcare to over 150,000 South Carolinians who are being denied access to health care simply because they live in the Palmetto State.
"By not accepting Medicaid expansion, Henry McMaster is sending our tax dollars to other states while our own citizens are using emergency rooms for their own healthcare needs. We need to expand coverage to increase access to high quality, affordable healthcare and keep our hard-earned tax money at home."
We're hoping that South Carolina will start there and then go on, under James Smith's governorship, to join other states in the process of passing single-payer laws.
Marc is the first Republican we endorsed and he's running as an Independent in Tennessee's 2nd District in November. He will face Republican incumbent Tim Burgess.
Like many of the new Democratic candidates, he is focused on fighting the corruptive influence of money in our government and we welcome him, hoping he'll encourage other Republicans to come forward. As he says, "It's time for our politics to be about solving our nation's problems and moving us into the future rather than fighting to gain and maintain power. We have to form coalitions with like-minded people of any party, to lock arms as Americans, and fight to be sure all Americans have access to health care, jobs paying wages that provide an honest living, and the education and training necessary to get those jobs."
Marc is a small business owner himself and will encourage emerging industries to create thousands of new, skilled jobs with good wages. People will need the training and education to pursue them. Marc believes every kid deserves a shot at the American Dream, and will fight to take Tennessee’s promise of a free college education to every citizen nationwide.
Marc takes a pragmatic approach to the benefits of Medicare for All, believing that guaranteeing health care for every American will "free up resources and allow companies to invest in our economy instead of having to spend precious resources on supplying healthcare to their employees," thus being able to hire workers. But he also compassionately understands that "We must provide Medicare-For-All for our citizens. No one should be financially ruined just because they or their child gets sick."
Veronica Escobar (D)
Veronica is running in the 16th District. Beto O'Rourke, the current Rep., is a Democrat who has not signed on to HR 676 and supports the Medicare buy-in notion. Veronica is a former El Paso County judge who has a history of expanding access to care through the hospital system, as well as helping to create the El Paso Children’s Hospital, the only stand-alone children’s hospital on the border.
Since winning her primary, Veronica has improved her stance on healthcare. "The current debate at the national level is focused on cutting care – especially healthcare to women – and giving tax-cuts to the wealthiest Americans. We should instead be focused on fixing a broken healthcare system and covering more Americans, especially those in need of mental health-care and those like El Paso residents, whose states refuse to allow them access to coverage.
I will fight for health coverage for all. The only way to care for everyone is to have a single payer healthcare system, and I will work tirelessly at the federal level as I did at the local level to ensure you have access to quality healthcare."
Beto O'Rourke (PD) SEN
There will be those who accuse us of abandoning our principle criteria for endorsement with this one and indeed, it grieves us that among all the other things Beto has proven to be NOT a party-liner about, he spouts the DNC politispeak about lowering drug cost and creating a public option. Have no fear that WHEN he beats wingnut Ted Cruz, we will be among a torrent (Healthcare for All Texas and Cathy Courtney, get ready!) of groups and individual activists eager to pull him onto the Medicare f or All bandwagon! In Beto, we'd at least have a chance - with Cruz, deaf ears.
Beto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso. After graduating from Columbia University, Beto worked in New York for a few years before deciding to move back to his hometown and start a small technology company, Stanton Street, which was so successful it hired dozens of people in high skill, high-wage jobs that one might not expect to see in a border community.
Outside of work, Beto became deeply involved in the civic, business and community efforts in El Paso. He ran for El Paso City Council in 2005 and served for two terms before running for U.S. Congress in 2012, taking on an eight-term incumbent and winning, a good omen for the race he's now in. As a Congressman, Beto has made it a priority to host monthly town halls in El Paso to hear directly from his constituents. For nearly five years he hasn’t missed a single one. And he’s running his campaign for U.S. Senate by visiting all 254 counties in Texas, some in which a Democrat has not been seen in years.
The fact that Beto cares passionately about Texas and the people who live there can be measured by the number of times he's said "fuck" throughout his campaign (we applaud each one, BTW - THAT'S authenticity!) and like all our other candidates, politician or not, he's a real guy who's written his own story, good and bad, in his own way. And at the end of his healthcare page, he says, "Achieving universal healthcare coverage— whether it be through a single payer system, a dual system, or otherwise – so that we can ensure everyone is able to see a provider when it will do the most good and will deliver healthcare in the most affordable, effective way possible." Fuck, yeah, we can get him!
Lee won his primary in Utah's 1st District. Like many new candidates, he was born and raised in Utah to a working class family. He worked in the agricultural fields, attended the public schools, and has been serving professionally in his communities for over fifteen years.
Since receiving a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah, Lee has served Airmen at Hill Air Force Base’s Family Practice Clinic, helped keep families together through the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, and is currently working for the Utah State Hospital, helping people suffering from mental illness in county jails. He credits these experiences for seeing "first hand that hard times can fall on even the best of us and that Utahns truly are compassionate and believe in second chances."
Lee's policy on healthcare includes learning from other countries. "I support a single-payer, universal healthcare system that would ensure healthcare access for all our citizens. To develop this healthcare system we should study the systems in countries like Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, and France to identify what does and does not work. Using this research we should then create a system that works best for our citizens." We like the idea of of a uniquely American system that includes the wisdom of what works (and doesn't) for other coutries.
James won his primary in the 3rd District. He grew up in Kearns, Utah, a proud Navajo. There were many moments in James' life when he witnessed injustices happening such as his grandparents on Navajo land without running water or electricity, yet living within miles of a hydroelectric dam. After high school and a stint as a missionary for the LDS (Mormon) Church in Argentina, James returned to Utah and attended Salt Lake Community College and then Westminster College in Salt Lake City where he graduated both institutions with honors.
In college, he began working for the Diné Policy Institute, a public policy institution based in the Navajo Nation. After graduating from Westminster College, he moved to Arizona so he could work there full-time.
James returned to Utah to attend the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program at Westminster College. His research focused on poverty and living wage policies. Immediately after, he started a doctorate program in the Sociology of Labor Markets and Social Policy at Utah State University where he is working on his dissertation research. James is a Diversity Fellow in Sociology an Ethnic Studies at Salt Lake Community College and an adjunct professor in the Master of Arts of Community Leadership program at Westminster College where he teaches social change theory.
James is also involved in community work, most notably as one of the co-founders of the Utah League of Native American Voters and the Utah Alliance for American Indian Education. He works on the board of directors for the Rape Recovery Center and the Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance. He is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Pacific Sociological Association, the Democratic Socialists of America, and the American Federation of Teachers.
Then in 2016, James and we all witnessed the atrocities at Standing Rock. Rubber bullets, water canons in freezing temperatures, and arrests and jail for protesters protecting their water and their rights as sovereigns of the land. Sacred sites were bulldozed and a pipeline put in. James saw that the wars against indigenous peoples had not ended, only shifted in how they were waged.
Another major blow was the rescinding of Bears Ears. The project, decades in the making, led by elected tribal leaders and a community effort to manage lands that were sacred and of great cultural importance, was dismissed by the federal government, delegitimizing the voices of Native peoples in Utah again. It is under these circumstances that James knew he had to run for Congress. That's where policy can be formed to solve systemic problems. James understands how systemic problems have root causes that must be addressed. He believes, "Our collective success depends on our ability to work together for a better society for everyone."
And that includes healthcare. "Everyone should be valued and cared for. Our healthcare system in the United States is backwards because it treats health as if it is a commodity that can be bought and sold on a market. Well, healthcare isn't a commodity; it's a right. We can learn from what other countries have done, which is create a system that is freely accessible to all and costs less than what we pay now, then make it our own...We need to examine the cultural and systemic variables for why we have a bloated healthcare system that serves insurance companies better than it serves patients. That's why I will fight to create a universal healthcare system guaranteeing healthcare to all people."
Bernie Sanders (I/DS) SEN
We could just put "LOL" here, but since Bernie is the fuel that lights our fire, we should go on and on and on. But we'll let him tell you about the issues. You'll notice on this campaign website page that Bernie includes several things other candidates hardly, if ever, mention - the creation of an HIV/AIDS-free generation, plans for Puerto Rico and Guam, and the empowerment of Tribal nations and Native Hawaiians. If that's not enough for the people of Vermont, let alone the nation, then, as Mrs. Landingham famously said, "Well, Jed, then I don't even want to know ya."
Leslie Cockburn (PD)
Leslie won her primary in Virginia's 5th District. Leslie's distinguished career in journalism spanned thirty-five years. A producer for CBS News “60 Minutes,” a correspondent for PBS “Frontline,” a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton, a writer and author, Leslie has won two Emmys, two George Polk Awards, two Columbia Dupont journalism awards, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. She has covered major events of our time, from the financial meltdown to nuclear weapons, from radical jihad to the drug cartels. She covered the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, Cambodia and Central America.
Leslie and her husband Andrew bought their farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia in 1999. Rappahannock County hugs the Blue Ridge Mountains, has many more cows than people and has yet to install a stoplight. It is a place where income disparity is acute, where the community services, as fine as they are, must be enhanced to serve all. It is a place where the loss of Medicaid would destroy families and gut the special needs programs in schools. It is a place where stripping disability from Social Security would devastate the lives of older Virginians. It is a place where the proposed massive cuts in the Farm Bill would cripple farmers.
Leslie has done many years of community service on the boards of the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Krebser Fund in Rappahannock, both dedicated to conservation. She has been engaged in battles against unnecessary power lines, pipeline and uranium mining. She is equipped to stand up for the rights of Virginians in the pipeline battles that are raging in several counties. She can see the folly of repealing stream protection and allowing the poisoning of our waterways.
Leslie is a graduate of Yale University. She and Andrew (Washington Editor of Harper’s Magazine) celebrated their 40th anniversary this year and have three children and four grandchildren.
On healthcare, Leslie says she "thinks it is wrong that Congress gets the “Gold Plan” for its own members while legislating deep cuts for others." She supports single payer Medicare for all. Leslie will add her name to the Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act (HR 676). She will fight to reduce the extortionate cost of drugs changed by Big Pharma, in some cases a thousand times what it costs to buy the same drug in Canada. She will fight the fraud and waste in the medical industry.
Anthony Flaccavento (PD)
Anthony is the winner in the primary for Virginia's 9th district. Anthony says,"I ’m running to help level the playing field for the 9th District of Virginia; to put people and communities first. To restore our land and rebuild our livelihoods. To build a strong, diverse and resilient economy from the bottom up." Hehas done that work as a farmer, an entrepreneur, and the author of a book about "building healthy economies from the bottom up, because I know that good work almost always starts with local communities." Anthony, or "Flacc" as he's know, wants to take that work to Washington.
We give him a big gold star for saying out loud, "It’s time for us to move away from incremental steps that do nothing to improve health or challenge the power and profits of the insurance industry and Big Pharma. It’s time to begin the transition to a system of universal health care, or “Medicare for all."
Christine Brown (D)
Christine is running in the 4th District. As a child, her upbringing was in a happy, middle-class environment, her mother a nurse, her father a permanently injured WWII vet and small business owner. She credits their "unabashed determination to defend what they believed in, whether I agreed with them or not" as what sparked her interest in the political debate that she still loves today.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University in 1975, Christine's first lasting work experience was for Yakima County in the Human Services Department, administering state funds that would help the developmentally disabled. I worked with a citizen’s advisory board appointed by the Yakima County Commissioners.
Seven years later, Christine got out of the office and onto TV, where she would find her "niche" at KAPP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Yakima. She worked her way up from part-time host of a daytime, dialing-for-dollars program to the newsroom, first as a reporter, then as an anchor. Over a 30-year television career, she would develop skills as an interviewer, reporter, producer, videographer, anchor, News Director and ultimately Station General Manager. I worked at KAPP-TV for five years before moving to the Tri-Cities where I worked for KNDU-TV (NBC affiliate) for 25 years. We're thinking she'll at least have some good video!
Throughout her TV career, Christine learned or honed skills she'll need in Congress. Being a skilled listener, she believes "to genuinely help people directly affected by an issue, you must have the patience, compassion and empathy to listen with great intent to their concerns. Skilled listeners are better equipped to then ask the right follow-up questions, look for and examine the proof and rely on facts, not fiction, to make informed decisions. We should accept nothing less from our elected officials."
DUH liked her thoughtful and pragmatic examination of the history and controversy of healthcare in this country, as well as her established advocacy for M4A. The energy and enthusiasm with which she participates in marches and rallies is not just political - we believe she really enjoys it! She's the only challenger to Republican incumbent Dan Newhouse and we suspect she's a fighter!
Sarah Smith (PD)
Sarah is running in the 9th District. As she says, "True representation begins with shared experiences." Like millions of Americans, Sarah lives a typical American life, the same as most of her constituents. She's a young working woman, squeezing her small budget to get by, going to work when she's sick because she can't afford to miss a day if she wants to pay that healthcare premium, never seeming to make a dent in her student debt. She knows what her constituents' lives are like because she lives one herself.
Early in her college days, Sarah felt the recession of 2008. Her family was forced to move, leaving her on my own at the age of 17, new to Washington state and rapidly building student debt. She saw the devastation of the economy first-hand as a foreclosure specialist, a paralegal, and a bodily injury insurance adjuster. Witnessing the constant struggle of everyday people drew her to activism, from volunteer work with Planned Parenthood to direct support for immigrant families. She shares Bernie Sanders' vision country where we take care of the students, the elderly, the vulnerable, the easily left behind. Her motto is, "I will never forget where I come from and who I serve: the everyday American people, and nobody else."
Her story about Medicare saving her father's life, as well as her statement on healthcare as a right earns her DUH's endorsement.
Randy Bryce (PD)
Randy is running for Congress from the Wisconsin 1st and our hopes for him increased with the "retirement" (retreat?) of the reviled Paul Ryan, Speaker of the Houset. Randy is a vet, a cancer survivor, and an iron worker. With his now famous announcement video, it could be said that Randy was the first bucketful of the coming Blue Wave, inspiring more and more "real people" candidates to emerge. He was the first one we endorsed from outside our own states and we now have over 118!
Besides that video, he has an extended statement supporting healthcare for women and the transgender community that sealed our endorsement. "Randy believes it’s important that all those who identify as women have the healthcare they need. As a Congressman, Randy would support and advocate for policies that ensure people of all genders identities and expressions – including trans men and non-binary identified individuals and others – have full and equal access to comprehensive, culturally and technically competent and reproductive healthcare."
Tom Palzewicz (D)
Tom is running in the 5th District, the seat Jim Sensenbrenner now occupies. It would be great if a Democrat could replace that Republican! Tom has a variety of experience, including in the Navy on a nuclear sub; as a banker helping people understand investment and financial strategy, and as a small business owner. Though he tends to be brief and to the point in his issue statements, he declares (rightly) that "Universal healthcare is the only logical solution to our country’s healthcare needs."
Margaret Engebretson (D)
Margaret is running in the 7th District of Wisconsin. She joined the Navy right out of high school and credits her 24-year experience there, as well as in the Naval Reserve and Minnesota Air National Guard, with teaching her the values of honor, courage, and commitment which have guided her decision to run for Congress. Margaret has also been a union railroad worker, repairing locomotives and then dispatching BNSF freight trains across the country before deciding to take advantage of her GI Bill benefits to attend college.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2004 with a degree in history. She later attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and focuses much of her work now on guardian ad litem cases to protect children and people with disabilities in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin.
Following the 2016 elections, Margaret joined together with people in Polk County to help organize their local Democratic Party.
About healthcare, she says, "As a veteran of the United States military, I’m fortunate to have never had to worry about my health care. That should true for every American. We need a Medicare for All public health insurance program that guarantees everyone their coverage." She goes further,, "We must also defend Medicaid. Wisconsin’s failure to accept the federal Medicare expansion has had a devastating effect on our rural hospitals. Proposed federal cuts to Medicaid would just make things worse. Rural Wisconsinites need the same access to health care as anyone else."
Gary Trauner (D) SENhttps://traunerforwy.com/about/
Gary is running for the Senate seat currently held by Republican John Barasso. We LOVED the video on his Home page! Gary is a 28-year resident of Wilson, WY. He is a husband, father, businessman, community volunteer, and elected official, He and wife Terry have raised their two sons there and the family enjoys outdoor activities that allow them to revel in the open spaces and uncrowded vistas that make Wyoming so special.
Gary has been an active participant in his community, serving as a past Chairman of the Teton County School District #1 Board of Trustees, a countywide elected position, and as a former Vice-Chairman of the Teton County Pathways Task Force. Gary currently serves as the Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Youth Lacrosse Club, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Aspens Pines Water & Sewer District, a governmental infrastructure utility, and as a Board member for the Charture Institute, a conservation think tank that oversees 1% for the Tetons.
Although he has considerable professional experience with both private and public companies, Gary is, at heart, an organizational and financial entrepreneur. Gary served as the Chief Operating Officer of St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Jackson, WY. Prior to that, he was co-founder and Chief Financial Officer of OneWest.net, a regional Internet service provider, and Vice President – Finance of Teton Trust Company, one of the first private trust investment firms in the State of Wyoming.
Gary graduated from Colgate University and obtained a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Stern School of Business at NYU with a concentration in Finance and Accounting. Terry, Gary’s wife, is an entrepreneur and founder of Trauner Fay Designs, an interior design firm based in Teton County, WY.
Gary has a comprehensive understanding of our healthcare mess. He says, "Even with the advances made through the Affordable Care Act, the current state of health care policy in America is immoral, unacceptable and unsustainable. It must change." Gary lays out correctly and completely the aspects of single-payer healthcare for all on his Healthcare issue page and is careful not to mention H.R. 676 or Medicare for All by name in his deep red state. We're betting on Wyoming voters to look at Barasso's determination to follow Trump's disastrous idea that doing away with the ACA and chipping away at Medicare, and Medicaid would somehow be a good thing. In any case, we want to see him ride a buffalo into the Senate!