Marie Newman

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Marie Newman was a Democratic Party prrimary candidate in 2018 and 2020 in Illinois’s 3rd Congressional District.

Education

  • University of Wisconsin.

Family/activism

After graduation, Newman went into marketing and advertising, where she eventually became an executive. She was also involved in advocacy work that was deeply personal. She and her husband, Jim Newman, got married in 1996 and have two children, Quinn, 21, and Evie, 18. When Quinn was in middle school, he was viciously bullied. Marie Newman said she did everything she could to support her son but nothing helped. So she started talking openly about what Quinn was experiencing and was flooded with phone calls from parents whose kids were enduring the same thing.

“I remember distinctly that the onus was on me to solve this,” she said. “No one else is going to be able to do this. I’m not necessarily the most qualified, but I’m going to do this because I’m willing, so I put together a task force.”

In 2011 she founded the national nonprofit Team Up to Stop Bullying and cowrote a guide called “When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions for Parents, Educators & Other Professionals.” A few years later she became her state’s spokesperson for Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group that lobbies for gun law reform, and she has been an outspoken advocate for trans rights, largely because of her daughter. Evie was born Tyler, and when she was a preteen, she became deeply depressed. The Newmans were worried she would self-harm and found a nearby therapeutic program she could attend as an inpatient, which helped her come out as transgender.

Newman said that was the happiest day of her life because it meant her daughter could be her authentic self. “My daughter is trans, and over my dead body will anything happen to roll back her rights,” Newman said. “She knows what a force I can be and what a loud mouth I have.”

She frequently talks about how Lipinski was “gifted” his seat from his father. In 2004, Bill Lipinski withdrew from a reelection campaign after winning the primary election and urged party leaders to put his son, who lived in Tennessee at the time, on the ballot. Ben Hardin, Newman’s campaign manager, said this exemplifies Chicago politics; she, in contrast, is trying to position herself as an outsider and is not taking corporate, PAC, or lobbying money.

“We are running against a Chicago machine candidate, and the machine is actively working against us,” Hardin said. “He’s trying to actively attack her as part of the radical left. ”[1]

The People's Lobby

According to Will Tanzman, Executive Director–The People’s Lobby, a People's Action the organization played a major role in electing Marie Newman.

According to Will Tanzman, Robert Peters served as Political Director for The People's Lobby and Reclaim Chicago, where he fought as an organizer to end money bail and trained left candidates for Chicago City Council and other offices, work that helped lay the groundwork for the Marie Newman and Kim Foxx wins.

The People's Lobby and other progressive groups knocked out the most right-wing Democrat in the House, Daniel Lipinski. We re-elected progressive Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in the face of vicious attacks by the forces of white supremacy, the Fraternal Order of Police and a private equity billionaire. And we elected to the Illinois Senate Robert Peters, a candidate who came straight from the movement.

Suburban anti-bullying activist Marie Newman challenged Lipinski in 2018 with a campaign that included all of the core elements of the progressive agenda but in practice began to seem to voters like a single-issue campaign focused on reproductive rights. The People’s Lobby had been organizing in the Bridgeport neighborhood since 2011. We fought together with other groups to close a coal power plant, and we pushed the city to reinstate a bus line serving low-income residents on 31st Street. In the 2018 election, we mobilized dozens of members and dialed and doorknocked thousands of voters. We talked about our vision for universal health care and good jobs, and we asked voters to share their issues and concerns, connecting our shared struggles to why we wanted to ask them to vote for Newman and join our movement. That year, Newman lost by just 2,145 votes, 2.2% of the total votes cast.

Neither Newman nor The People's Lobby’s grassroots base in the 3rd District stopped organizing after this loss. The People’s Lobby continued fighting in Bridgeport alongside our local members on various issues including bail reform and a fair Cook County budget that moves money out of the Cook County Jail and into public services that address the root causes of crime and violence.

In this cycle, we learned from one of our mistakes in 2018: Instead of focusing only on frequent primary voters, who in the 3rd District skew older, whiter, more conservative and more connected to the Democratic machine than the district's population, we targeted a wider universe of voters with less extensive primary election voting history. This required narrowing our geographic focus to one ward so we could canvass those voters more deeply in person, by phone and through texting. Newman’s campaign continued to include reproductive rights as a core element but more intentionally embedded that within a broader agenda focused on income inequality and including support for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, universal child care, and more. On March 17, Newman prevailed, with a lead of 2,700 votes. In the combined urban/suburban district, the City of Chicago wards had long served as Lipinski’s base. While he still won a majority of Chicago voters again this year, he lost to Newman by close to 1,000 votes in Chicago's 11th Ward, where we focused our work.[2]

Winning campaign

The political winds of change blew through Illinois on March 17 when Marie Newman defeated incumbent Rep. Daniel Lipinski in the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary. Newman won 47% to 44%.

The 3rd CD is changing both politically and demographically. The district, which covers the Southwest side of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, have been growing more diverse racially. In particular, the Latinx population has increased.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supported Newman, and so did Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, six other members of Congress, including Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes (D-NY), also backed her.

Newman’s support was rooted in an emerging grassroots coalition of progressive groups and activists in the district called Coalition for Change IL 3.

She boasted an army of volunteers from an array of organizations that included Indivisible chapters, the Sunrise Movement, Sierra Club, the People’s Lobby, NARAL, MoveOn, Planned Parenthood, Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, and several unions including National Nurses United, Amalgamated Transit Union, International Association of Firefighters, Unite Here Local 1, and Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Newman is one of many women to emerge as leaders and run for office in response to the election of Trump. She participated in actions to protect immigrant and Muslim communities against hate crimes. The district includes a sizeable number of immigrants, Muslims, and Arab American families.

The daughter of a union airline mechanic, Newman grew up in the district. She is a public relations consultant and founded a nationwide organization, “Team Up to Stop Bullying,” in response to bullying experienced by her son. She also has been a leader of Mom’s Demand Action, an advocate for LGBTQ rights, immigration reform with a path to citizenship, and the Green New Deal.

“Marie is fearless. She is not scared of the machine,” said Jose Torres, an aldermanic candidate in 2019 against Ald. Ed Burke, corrupt leader of the machine on the Southwest side. “When everything is on the line, when our children are being held down in the cages, and when you see the deep sadness of the people of Illinois, it’s wonderful we have a champion like Marie.”

Newman was making her second run against Lipinski. She came up short in 2018, vulnerable to vote-stealing by the entrenched machine alongside an insufficient grassroots voter mobilization in precincts covering parts of Chicago. But Newman drew the bitter lessons and was prepared this time.

The campaign mobilized in every corner of the district, including neighborhoods, considered the heart of Lipinski’s turf. The campaign hosted 318 meets and greets, knocked on 100,000 doors, made 200,000 phone calls, and mailed out 50,000 postcards.

Even though there was a record early vote, the coronavirus pandemic resulted in a lower-than-expected election day turnout across the state. The Newman campaign had suspended door-to-door canvassing days earlier but didn’t stand down. It turned its army of volunteers to phone banking to boost turnout.[3]

Healthcare comrades

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Marie Newman, candidate for the Democratic nomination in Illinois's 3rd Congressional District, speaks at an event on Mar. 1 2020. To her right, are Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D.-Wash., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D.-Ill., and Jan Rudolph, National Nurses United.

CLW

Marie Newman for House (D-IL-03)

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Marie Newman, who founded a national non-profit called “Team Up To Stop Bullying,” is challenging very hawkish Democratic incumbent Dan Lipinski.

Newman ran against Lipinski in 2018, and lost by only 2,145 votes, or about 2%. This year, with a reenergized campaign, the backing of major progressive organizations, and our support, she can win the March primary.

Newman has already won the endorsements of numerous progressive groups, including EMILY’S List, NARAL Pro-Choice America and MoveOn, while Daniel Lipinski remains the last anti-choice Democrat in Congress.

The Council usually does not endorse a primary opponent of a Democratic incumbent. But Rep. Lipinski has been terrible on our issues.

He voted against the Iran nuclear deal and has supported the Trump administration’s plan to build a new generation of more usable nuclear weapons.

Newman, on the other hand, endorsed the Iran nuclear deal and opposes the new nuclear weapons programs proposed by the Trump administration. We feel confident that if she can beat Lipinski, she will be a strong voice for nuclear reductions and saner nuclear policies.

2020 run

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Marie Newman May 13 2019·

I’m honored to share this news—our campaign has been endorsed by Congressman Ro Khanna.

Congressman Khanna is a true progressive champion and we are delighted that he has decided to endorse our movement in #IL03. I look forward to working with Congressman Khanna in Washington to fight for Medicare for All, to address the crisis of climate change, and to push for policies that, at every level, make life better for workers, working families, the middle class, and every constituent in our district.

Campaign chair

Marie Newman August 2019.

I’m always impressed with someone who is as hardworking as Shadin Maali. For almost 2 years now, we have worked side by side on many projects and have watched her drive positive change on multiple fronts. She is a brilliant leader, a coalition builder who has worked in many communities, and consistently produces outstanding results. For those reasons and many more, I’m so excited to have her leadership as campaign chairwoman.

I was so proud to support Shadin in her run for Moraine Valley Community College Board, and I’m incredibly proud to have her on our team.[4]

PDA endorsement

Alan Minsky, Executive Director and Mike Hersh, Communications Director Progressive Democrats of America.

The influential Federal PAC Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has endorsed Democratic Candidate Marie Newman to represent Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. Newman is once again challenging anti-choice incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski.

PDA’s highly-selective endorsement reflects the consensus of local grassroots organizers. Only candidates who support a broad and bold progressive agenda are considered.

Sen. Bernie Sanders also endorsed Newman. PDA was the sole national organization to call upon Bernie Sanders to run for president in advance of the 2016 election cycle.

Marie Newman said, “To have the endorsement of the Progressive Democrats of America, as voted upon by membership in IL-3, is truly an honor. I am running with you, and with all of my district to bring change that will better everyone’s every day.”

PDA Executive Director Alan Minsky said, “We are proud to endorse Marie Newman for Congress to represent southwest Chicago, the suburbs, and the entire 3rd District. Unlike the current incumbent, she is a champion for women’s rights and other progressive priorities including Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, good jobs for all, and so much more.”

Minsky added, “PDA is inspired by Marie’s explicit commitment to ‘drive innovation and invest in our people, infrastructure, mass transportation, jobs, training, and growing an ever greener economy’ and to ‘make the southwest part of the city and suburbs more attractive to workers, working families, the middle class, and small businesses.’ This is the forward-thinking initiative and leadership we need in Congress.”

Minsky concluded, “For all of these and many other reasons, PDA has confidence that Marie will be a great Representative for Illinois’ 3rd District. We look forward to her victory and working closely with her to make long overdue progress.”[5]

Sunrise endorsement

December 10th, 2019 Today, Sunrise Movement announced a cluster of Congressional endorsements for Democratic candidates running in early 2020 March primaries. The endorsements span a range of political newcomers running on the Green New Deal, including Robert Emmons, Jr. (IL-01) and Marie Newman (IL-03) of Chicago, IL, Morgan Harper (OH-03) of Columbus, OH, and Mike Siegel (TX-10), whose district spans between Austin and Houston, TX. With the exception of Siegel — who is running to oust a Republican representative in a purple district — the candidates plan to unseat Democratic incumbents in blue districts. Though this announcement signifies the first bracket of Congressional endorsements, it comes after the separate endorsements of primary challenger, Democrat Jessica Cisneros of Texas’ 28th district, and Republican challenger, Democrat Audrey Denney of California’s 1st district.

“The scientists are telling us that 2020 is our last opportunity to elect climate leaders that can immediately enact bold, transformational action over the course of the next decade to save our planet. Meanwhile, establishment politicians of both parties are complacent. So I think that’s why we’re seeing this wave of candidates joining the urgent calls from young people in launching campaigns across the country boldly championing the Green New Deal. These candidates, such as the four we’re endorsing today, come from communities tired of political corruption and neglect, and vigilantly attuned to the linked climate and economic crises we are facing as a nation,” remarked Evan Weber, Political Director of Sunrise Movement. “These insurgent campaigns are a clear indicator of the appetite for an entire new way of doing things, and a restructuring of our society under a populist agenda that guarantees things like living wage jobs, affordable and safe housing, universal clean air and water, and Medicare for All — all policies which we see bundled into the Green New Deal framework.”[6]

Sunrise

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Marie Newman with the Sunrise Movement April 2019.

Progressive

Newman is running as a progressive alternative. A supporter of Medicare for All and the Fight for 15, she’s racked up a string of endorsements from left-leaning organizations including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Democracy for America, MoveOn.org and Our Revolution, an official organizational offshoot of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

Newman has also received the support of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who recently headlined a Chicago fundraiser for Newman’s campaign. And Newman has been endorsed by two of opponent Daniel Lipinski’s House colleagues, Representatives Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL-4) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9).[7]

“It’s not easy to endorse a challenger over a colleague in the House of Representatives,” Gutierrez said at a press conference on Capitol Hill with Newman and Schakowsky.

“Especially when that colleague is a member of your party. But I think this is a very special and at the same time a very dangerous time,” he said.

Former campaign workers for Pres. Barack Obama and Organizing for Action signaled their support for Newman by denouncing Lipinski’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Lipinski never endorsed Obama.

Newman is one of thousands of women inspired to run for office in the wake of the upsurge of women’s resistance over the past year. She was a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination race. Sanders carried the district by eight percentage points and has endorsed her. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won the 3rd District by 15 percentage points. Newman is a native of Palos Park and a resident of LaGrange, both suburbs in the district—and both mirroring areas Democrats must carry nationwide if they’re to retake the U.S. House this fall.

The former advertising executive is pro-choice, strongly backs the Affordable Care Act, proposes measures to reduce income inequality, and founded and chaired a non-profit coalition working to eliminate bullying in schools, which she started after her children were bullied. She also backs Medicare for All, a key cause of National Nurses United.

Newman also, early on, backed raising the federal minimum wage to $15, a measure finally backed by her opponent Daniel Lipinski Jan. 29, several months after it was introduced in Congress.

Outside of improving infrastructure, Newman told the Sun-Times she “can’t think of three things” where she agrees with Trump. By contrast, she had trouble limiting herself to three disagreements with the GOP. Newman denounced Trump’s “immigration policies, his tax plan, and trickle-down economics policies, and his civil rights policies.”

Emily’s List, the prominent—and effective—group that endorses, trains, and financially backs pro-choice Democratic woman candidates for a wide range of offices, also endorsed her early and enthusiastically. They weren’t the only ones.

Others include the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a grass-roots Indivisible movement that sprang up after Trump entered the Oval Office, Democracy for America—founded by former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean—as well as MoveOn.org, NARAL, and Human Rights Campaign, .

Emily’s List called Newman’s record “unimpeachable… Marie will not back down from a challenge—a trait that will serve her well when fighting for the families of the 3rd District in Washington.”

“Lipinski may have a D next to his name—but he isn’t a Democrat, and his record proves it. Lipinski opposed the Affordable Care Act, voted with Republicans to gut Wall Street regulations, and voted against student debt relief,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.[8]

NNU backing

Marie Newman also has the support of National Nurses United (NNU), a progressive union that backed Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign. NNU, which coordinates its Chicagoland canvassing through the community organization Reclaim Chicago, is a vocal supporter of single-payer campaigns.

“We see real potential in Marie Newman,” says Jan Rodolfo, NNU’s Midwest director. “She really believes in the public sector and the common good. We also feel it's important to send a message to incumbents that if they fail to act as progressives, there's consequences for them electorally.”

Newman has also received the endorsement of other unions in the state including the SEIU State Council and the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

Rodolfo says that Newman is “committed to co-govern” with Reclaim Chicago and NNU, “and while you can't physically force somebody to be in a room if they break that promise, we can mobilize our base to put significant pressure on her. At the end of the day, I believe that she’ll care what her constituents think."[9]

“Americans trust nurses and nurses trust Marie Newman to be deeply committed to nurses’ values of caring, compassion, and community,” said Martese Chism, RN, a board member of NNU’s Illinois affiliate. “Medicare for All can make the difference between life and death for millions of our patients.”

Newman, accepting their nod, praised nurses for their care and for being “on the front lines of the fight to expand Medicare coverage for all Americans, negotiate collective bargaining rights for hardworking RNs everywhere, and fight for legislation and protections that will keep us all safe and healthy.”[10]

“Lipinski’s refusal to support a $15 minimum wage for working people shows how deeply out of touch he is with the working families of his district,” said SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff, who also heads Local 1. “Whether it’s voting against Obamacare or voting for restrictions on a woman’s right to choose, it is clear Lipinski does not share the progressive values of his constituents.”

Democracy for America

Marie Newman, U.S. House, Illinois, was endorsed by Democracy for America in 2018.

Justice Democrats

Marie Newman IL 03 was endorsed by Justice Democrats for 2018 and 2020.

Supporting Rashid

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Marie Newman supported Abdelnasser Rashid in 2018.

References