People for the American Way Action Fund

PFAW Action Fund Announces 2015 Endorsements of Young Elected Progressives

 

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse the following young progressive candidates running for public office across the United States. These endorsees are a diverse mix of candidates 35 and under who are marking a new generation of progressive leadership. These candidates and officials have visions that will benefit communities around the nation as they fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and equality for all.

 

darryl brackeen

Darryl Brackeen

Darryl Brackeen is running for reelection as Alderman on the New Haven Connecticut City Council. He is a lifelong New Haven resident, a community organizer for a state-wide educational reform organization, and a graduate of Fairfield University. Brackeen was the first elected African American and youngest alderman to serve Ward 26. He is one of the leading progressive legislators on the New Haven Board of Alders, notably having championed the passage of New Haven’s "Clean-Air Act" resolution and a resolution to support Connecticut's first domestic workers bill of rights. He is endorsed by the city of New Haven Democratic Party, Mayor Toni Harp, State Senator Gary Winfield, State Representative Patricia Dillon, and a host of other elected officials around the state. He serves on the Living Wage Commission and Affirmative Action Commission. Learn more about Darryl Brackeen at http://www.darrylbrackeenjr.com.

 
john taylor chapman

John Taylor Chapman

John Taylor Chapman, a fourth generation Alexandria native, is seeking re-election to the Alexandria, Virginia City Council. Chapman grew up in Alexandria’s public housing communities in the north Old Town and Quaker Hill communities, graduating from St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes High School in 1999 and earning his bachelor’s degree from Minnesota’s St. Olaf College in 2003. Since 2006 he has been employed in the Fairfax County Public School System. Serving on the Alexandria Public School Board’s Budget Advisory Committee and the Alexandria Public Schools’ Special Education Advisory Committee, Councilman Chapman has worked tirelessly to help find opportunities to improve the city’s schools. As Vice Chair of the Youth Policy Commission, he participated in the Alexandria City Public Schools strategic planning process and was integral in establishing the city’s Children, Youth and Families Collaborative Commission. He serves on the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Public Safety and Human Services Committee, Eisenhower Partnership Board of Directors, and is a member of the Taylor Run Citizens Association executive board. Chapman served as the President of the NAACP Alexandria branch as well as various organizations, boards and commissions. Learn more about John Taylor Chapman at http://www.chapman4council.com.

 
christian diaz

Christian Diaz

Christian Diaz is running for the Mountain View, California School Board. Diaz is a lifelong resident of El Monte, CA, and the son of two hard-working individuals who emigrated from Mexico in the pursuit of a better future for their children. He attended Mountain View School District Schools, Mountain View High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA as well as a master’s degree from USC. He serves as a member of the Rio Hondo College Community oversight committee and the board of directors for Hope House for the Multiple Handicapped, Inc. Diaz is endorsed by the City of El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, Rio Hondo Community College Trustee Norma Garcia, Mountain View School Board Member Adam Carranza and the Sheet Metal, Air Rail, Transportation Worker’s Local Union 105. Learn more about Christian Diaz at https://www.facebook.com/diaz4schoolboard.

 

Maria Dickmann

Davenport, Iowa, School Board Member and full-time mom Maria Dickmann is running for Davenport 2nd Ward Alderman. Dickmann put down roots in Davenport five years ago after graduating with honors from Illinois State University with a bachelor of science degree. She was drawn to the area originally by her now husband's job and has developed deep ties with the Davenport community and the Quad Cities region. In 2013 Dickmann was inspired to run for the school board by her passion for education and her love for children. She has served on the Davenport School Board since September 2013, where she has been busy advocating for the state to properly fund schools and considering community input to make hard decisions about policy in the district. Dickmann is running for Alderman to have an increased impact on education policy and to improve the community’s commitment to public education. Learn more about Maria Dickmann at http://www.mariadickmannfor2ndward.com.

 

Samuel Fein

Sam Fein is running for Legislator in Albany County, New York’s 6th District. Fein has amassed a record of progressive activism through his experience working on several congressional campaigns for progressive candidates throughout the northeast, including Elizabeth Warren (MA), Annie Kuster (NH), and Ed Markey (MA). He is running a grassroots campaign and has have received the support of many activists in the community. Learn more about Sam Fein at http://www.feinforalbany.com.

 

Jamal Fox

Greensboro, North Carolina Councilman Jamal Fox is running for reelection to the Greensboro City Council. Fox is a former North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University political science adjunct professor, a community advocate, a youth mentor, and a political leader. When elected to represent District 2 on the Greensboro City Council in November 2013, he was the youngest official ever elected in the city. He serves on the boards of numerous civic and government organizations that includes North Carolina Rail-Trails and East Market Street Development Corporation. Fox was born in Fredericksburg, VA and raised in Greensboro. A product of the Guilford County Schools, he holds a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and a master’s degree from Capella University. He is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He continues to give back to the Guilford Schools through guest lectures, substituting and motivational talks to k-12 students. Learn more about Jamal Fox at http://www.jamalfoxgso.com.

 

Robert Gignac

Born and raised in the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, Robert Gignac has been involved in bettering the city since he was first able to vote. He is currently running for reelection to the Lowell School Committee, to which he was first elected at the age of 21. As one of the youngest elected officials in the city's history, Gignac was active in ensuring student issues were prioritized by the committee. Gignac has also served on the Lowell Taxi & Livery Commission, Immigration Assistance Commission, Lowell Youth Development Collaborative and Lowell Telecommunications Corporation Board of Directors. He is the founder and former chairman of the Merrimack Valley Young Democrats. Gignac is currently employed as a nonprofit school business manager. Learn more about Robert Gignac at http://www.gignacforlowell.com.

 

Taylor Gravett

Taylor Gravett is currently the City Council President in Weir, Kansas. At age 22, Gravett was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the council. He was elected to a full term in April of 2015 and was elected President of the Council by his colleagues shortly thereafter. During his time on the council, Gravett advocated for new programs and events that help engage and promote the city of Weir. He believes that being responsible with city resources is a pillar of building a successful city. Outside of his duties representing Ward 1 in Weir, Gravett is the Chair of the Cherokee County Kansas Democratic Party, and he sits on the local USD 247 Foundation Board. Learn more about Taylor Gravett at http://www.facebook.com/taylorgravett.

 

Anders Ibsen

Anders Ibsen is running for reelection to the Tacoma, Washington, City Council. Councilman Ibsen is a dedicated progressive with a track record of success. During his first term on the city council, Ibsen led the effort on policies like paid sick and safe leave, closing wasteful tax loopholes saving public safety services, and championing sustainable energy. He is also a strong LGBTQ ally, having supported local services like a proposed youth homeless shelter. When he's not working at the city, Ibsen also works as a real estate appraiser. Learn more about Anders Ibsen at http://www.andersibsen.com.

 

Janelle Mendez

Janelle Mendez is running for a seat on the Wappingers Falls, New York, Town Council. A retired U.S. Marine and currently a licensed financial advisor, Mendez has achieved a lot in her 25 years of life. After leaving the military and entering civilian life, she went from being a bank teller to a financial services professional, earning her Series 7, Series 66, and Life, Accident & Health insurance licenses. She is currently attending Post University, working towards a corporate finance degree, and will soon begin classes at Bryant University to attain her Certified Financial Planner certification in order to better assist her clients with more complex financial issues. She settled in Wappingers Falls at the age of 20, and has been involved in many community activities, including becoming a certified therapy dog trainer for Delta Dogs and participating in fundraising activities for the March of Dimes, Ronald McDonald House and the Susan Komen Foundation. Mendez participates in the Dutchess County Young Democratic Committee, the Dutchess Democratic Women's Caucus, and the Dutchess County Democratic Committee, and she recently co-founded PoliFi, an organization focusing on Millennial involvement in politics. Mendez also recently became an aunt, three times this year! Find out more about Janelle Mendez at http://www.janellemendez.com.

 

Walter Muneton

Walter Muneton is running to become a board member representing Area 3 on the Garden Grove, California, Unified School District Board. A Garden Grove native, Muneton is a product of Garden Grove Unified School District schools. For the past five years, he has worked as a youth mentor and case manager at the Garden Grove Boys and Girls Club, providing access to critical health and education programs to children, and serves as a mentor for high school students, helping them to achieve their highest potential and preparing them to apply for college. He serves as a member of the Garden Grove Neighborhood Improvement and Conservation Commission, working on projects to enhance and beautify the community. He also volunteers on the Bond Oversight Committee with the Garden Grove Unified School District to help provide transparency and maintain public confidence in the use of Measure A bond proceeds. Earlier this year, Muneton was honored by the California State Senate, Assembly, and Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance with a “Community Impact Award as an Emerging Leader” for his work within the Asian & Pacific Islander community. Learn more about Walter Muneton at https://www.waltermuneton.com.

 

Andrew Sarpolis

Andrew Sarpolis is an at large candidate for the Novi, Michigan, City Council. He is a lifelong Michigander and a community activist in the metro Detroit region. He graduated from Grand Valley State University in Michigan with a degree in political science and a degree in international economics from the Cracow University of Economics, and has worked as an intern in the office of State Representative Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Michigan legislature and only the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any state legislature in America. He has been a community organizer in metro Detroit for the Sierra Club, was appointed by the city council to serve on the beautification commission, and helped create a group called Sustainable Novi which advocates for green infrastructure, recycling, and wildlife corridor projects in the city. Sarpolis is endorsed by council members Laura Marie Casey, Gwen Markham, and Andrew Mutch. He has also been endorsed by Craig Covey, prominent LGBT activist and former mayor of the city of Ferndale, State Representative Kristy Pagan, State Representative Christine Greig, the Greater Detroit Building and Construction Trades Council, the Michigan Political Committee for Animals, and many others. Learn more about Andrew Sarpolis at http://www.andrewsarpolis.com.

 

Katrina Shankland

Wisconsin State Representative and Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader Katrina Shankland is running for reelection for her third term representing Wisconsin’s 71st Assembly District, which covers Portage County in central Wisconsin. Rep. Shankland was born in Wittenberg, WI to parents who are both public school teachers. She graduated from Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School and earned a degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rep. Shankland started out in the nonprofit world, where she managed an international development nonprofit and worked for two years managing solar programs at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), an organization that promotes renewable energy and energy efficiency. At MREA, she managed the Midwest Solar Training Network, a seven-state partnership of technical colleges and universities tasked with building solar training capacity throughout the Midwest. In the Assembly, Rep. Shankland serves as the ranking Democrat on the Committee on Workforce Development, and also serves on the Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage, the Governor's Council on Domestic Abuse, the Governor's Council on Workforce Investment, the Committee on Assembly Organization, the Committee on Rules, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, the Joint Committee on Legislative Organization, and the Joint Legislative Council. Learn more about Katrina Shankland at http://www.voteshankland.com.

 

Michael Stinziano

Representative Michael Stinziano, a Democrat running for the Columbus City Council, knows the meaning of public service. Rep. Stinziano is a proven leader in creating jobs that grow Ohio’s economy. He has championed legislation that fosters small business growth to create, retain, and sustain good paying jobs in central Ohio. Stinziano is a pragmatic and innovative leader who works in a bipartisan manner to find effective, common-sense solutions that build a better and brighter future for all Ohioans. He has been endorsed for election to the council by a diverse group of community organizations, elected officials, and labor and business leaders, including the Central Ohio Labor Council AFL-CIO; Teachers For Better Schools; Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio; the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District Council 6; Sheet Metal Workers Local 24; Sprinkler Fitters Local 669; Teamsters Local 284; and the Franklin County Democratic Party.

 

Nathan Triplett

Nathan Triplett is running for reelection as mayor of the city of East Lansing. He was first elected to the city council in 2007. Triplett began his service to East Lansing as a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission and Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee.  During his tenure on the East Lansing City Council, Triplett has been a prolific and progressive legislator. He authored East Lansing’s first-in-the-state ordinance conditioning economic development incentives on the use of green building practices, a local purchasing preference policy, the city’s Other Eligible Individual (OEI) benefits policy, an equal benefits ordinance, and an ordinance mandating that landlords distribute voter registration forms and information to tenants in East Lansing, another first for Michigan. Most recently, Triplett championed a “Percent for Art” public art ordinance, making East Lansing the only municipality in Michigan with a “Percent for Art” program. Triplett currently serves as vice president of the Michigan Municipal League (MML) and is a member of the MML's Elected Officials Academy Board.  Triplett also serves on the board of directors of the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) and Haven House, a shelter providing emergency housing and support services to families with children.  He is a past president of the Rotary Club of East Lansing and a recipient of the Governor’s Service Award, the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce’s “10 Over the Next 10” Award, the Michigan State University Distinguished Young Alumni Award, and the inaugural Civic Leadership Award from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing. Triplett graduated from Michigan State University’s James Madison College in 2006 with degrees in political theory/constitutional democracy and social relations. He holds a master of public policy degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and a juris doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. Learn more about Nathan Triplett at http://www.votetriplett.com.

 

Gregory Young

Gregory Young is running for reelection as the Fifth Ward Supervisor for the city of Gloversville, New York. Young was born and raised in the city of Gloversville, attending city schools and graduating from Gloversville High School with a Regents Diploma with Honors in 2003. Young then graduated from the College of Saint Rose in Albany with a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree in 2007, and completed doctoral-level coursework at the University at Buffalo, where he received a Certificate of Advanced Study in Canadian studies in 2009. He currently serves as an adjunct professor of political science at the community college level, where he specializes in teaching courses in state and local government. When not in the classroom or serving his constituents, Young holds volunteer and leadership positions in a variety of community and political organizations as well as issued-based campaigns, with a focus on environmental and economic sustainability and community capacity-building. He volunteers for local groups, such as 4-H, and serves on the Gloversville Advisory Board of the Fulmont Community Action Agency and the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, as well as on the Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. Young served as a 2014 Capital District New Leaders Council Fellow and has consulted on a variety of campaigns, including Elected Officials to Protect New York and the “No to Fake Redistricting Reform” Committee. Learn more about Greg Young at http://www.gregforgloversville.com.

 
   

 

PFAW Action Fund Announces New Endorsements of Young Elected Progressives

People For the American Way Action Fund announced today a third round of endorsements of dynamic young progressive candidates running for public office across the United States. The four endorsees are a diverse mix of candidates 35 and under who are marking a new generation of progressive leadership. These candidates and officials have visions that will benefit communities around the nation as they fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and equality for all.

The endorsements are part of People For the American Way Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program. YEP evaluates and endorses young progressive candidates ages 35 and under in their bids for elected office around the U.S. at all levels. They join a slate of 31 previously announced YEP endorsees, bringing the total number of YEP endorsees for the 2014 election cycle to 35.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse these YEP candidates for 2014:

Darcie Green is a running for reelection as vice president and trustee of the Santa Clara County Board of Education, Area 6, and serves as a current member of the California Latino School Boards Association’s statewide board of directors. For more than 15 years, Green has dedicated her life to community service, having worked to build a pipeline of leadership for women, people of color, youth, and working families in the Silicon Valley. Earlier this year she received the Barbara Jordan Leadership Award from our affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network (YEO). In 2013 she was included in Silicon Valley Latino Magazine’s “40 Under 40 To Watch” list, named as a “Top Woman of Influence” by Silicon Valley San Jose Business Journal, and honored as an Emerge America Trailblazer Honoree. Visit www.darciegreen.com for more information.

Mo Khan is running for Illinois House District 20, with policy priorities including improving the quality of public education, growing the economy, and increasing the public’s confidence in Illinois state government. Currently studying for his law degree at Loyola University, he holds a B.A. in accounting from the University of Iowa and is a lifelong District 20 resident. In 2008 Khan worked as a traveling campaign aide to Hilary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, and he served as special assistant to former Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulious in his 2010 U.S. Senate campaign. Visit www.votemokhan.com for more information.

Veekas Shrivastava is a running for governing board member of the Tempe Union High School District in Arizona. He is a graduate of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Front Line Leaders Academy and Arizona Leaders for Change, and is the youngest graduate of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. A financial database entrepreneur, Shrivastava also teaches financial literacy as a classroom volunteer for Junior Achievement and has been a leader in city commissions and high school site councils. Shrivastava is committed to helping ensure every TUHSD student has access to a quality education. Visit www.veekasmeansprogress.com for more information.

Mark Spreitzer is running for Wisconsin State Assembly District 45. Currently president of the Beloit City Council, Spreitzer won the August 12 primary election to succeed current State Representative Janice Ringhand, who is running for the Wisconsin State Senate. With no Republican opponent in the race, he is running unopposed for the general election. In additional to his duties as an elected official, Spreitzer is assistant director of alumni & parent relations and annual support at Beloit College. He volunteers for the Welty Environmental Center, the Hands of Faith homeless shelter, and the Youth2Youth coalition combating underage drinking and drug abuse. Visit www.markforassembly.com for more information.

PFAW

Young Progressive Leaders Win Primary Races in Michigan, Show Payoff of Investing in Youth

A successful movement begins with a plan for change. People For the American Way’s plan is simple: identify people with an interest and a passion for service who represent the diversity of their communities, equip them with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for success, and offer long-term support and access to a network of like-minded leaders.

This summer’s primary elections prove this plan is not just theoretical. It stands up to the test. Its success can be seen last week in the state of Michigan — a prime battleground for state and national issues ranging from marriage equality to workers’ rights to women’s rights — where a group of young, progressive leaders won their primary elections.

One candidate for a Michigan House of Representatives seat is Jon Hoadley. He’s an openly-gay man, 30 years old, who is running for office for the first time. He’s also an alumnus of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Youth Leadership Programs – Young People For and the Front Line Leaders Academy. Last week Hoadley won his primary race for the District 60 seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives and, if he wins the general election in November, will become a member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network.

And Hoadley is in good company. Last month PFAW Action Fund endorsed a slate of young progressive candidates through the Young Elected Progressives endorsement program. Together they represent a progressive direction for the state. PFAW is proud to support these leaders as they move towards the general election in November or toward future efforts to advance progressive values in Michigan.
                               
If the 2014 primary elections and the slate of candidates, including Hoadley, running for office this year are an indication of the payoff of PFAW’s investment in young leaders, then we are off to a great start. It shows that what we have works. We’ve made real change. But it also proves the necessity of continued investment in progressive infrastructure to make a difference on these critical issues, now and in the long term.

We’re at a time when the influence of money in politics goes unchecked, access to the ballot box is challenged, and the far Right is becoming increasingly extreme, intolerant, and out of touch. The individuals endorsed in PFAW’s Young Elected Progressives campaign are standing up to defend and lead with the values of freedom, fairness, and equality for all.

PFAW

PFAW Action Fund Announces Young Elected Progressive Endorsements

People For the American Way Action Fund announced today the endorsements of a slate of dynamic young progressive candidates running for public office across the United States. The endorsees are a diverse mix of candidates 35 and under who are marking a new generation of progressive leadership for the future. These candidates and officials represent a vision that will benefit communities all over the country, as they fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and equality for all.

The endorsements are part of People For the American Way Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program. YEP evaluates and endorses young progressive candidates ages 35 and under in their bids for elected office around the U.S. at all levels.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse these YEP candidates for 2014:

James Albis – CT House District 99
James Albis is running for reelection to the Connecticut House of Representatives 99th District, representing East Haven. Albis has advocated consistently on behalf of the families of East Haven for better jobs, better schools, and better opportunities. In his second term as Representative, Albis worked to protect the environment, serving on the Speaker’s Task Force on Shoreline Preservation. Dedicated to supporting children and families, Albis has sponsored and voted for numerous laws that would expand family and medical leave, as well as healthcare, and to protect East Haven’s share of state education funding. Visit James Albis’s campaign website for more details.

John Paul Alvarez – FL House District 100
John Paul Alvarez is running for Florida House of Representatives District 100, representing Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Alvarez, a true Floridian born and raised in South Florida, knows first-hand about the issues facing his community and is dedicated to making Florida prosper. As a teacher, mentor, and community leader, Alvarez is a fierce advocate for public education. By fighting for the issues that matter most to students, working families, retired citizens, taxpayers, and South Florida’s most vulnerable citizens, Alvarez is determined to improve his community by creating more jobs, lowering the cost of living, and promoting equality for all. Visit John Paul Alvarez’s campaign website for more details.

Nelson Araujo – NV Assembly District 3
Nelson Araujo is a candidate for Nevada’s Assembly District 3, representing Clark County and Las Vegas. He is a native Nevadan that was born to struggling immigrant parents. Araujo, a determined leader, fought to help his family out of poverty and became the first in his family to graduate high school. As a community leader and elected official, Araujo is dedicated to stimulating job growth, providing greater healthcare access, and making higher education more accessible to everyone. We believe that with his leadership, Nevada will thrive. Visit Nelson Araujo’s campaign website for more details.

Mandela Barnes – WI Assembly District 11
Mandela Barnes is running for reelection in Wisconsin’s State Assembly District 11, representing central Milwaukee. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes has done important work for Milwaukee as a community organizer and youth and development specialist. His dedication to creating jobs, reforming public education, and modernizing public transportation will serve the people of Milwaukee and strengthen the community. Visit Mandela Barnes’s campaign website for more details.

Jonathan Brostoff – WI Assembly District 19
Jonathan Brostoff, lifelong resident of Milwaukee’s East Side, is running for Wisconsin State Assembly’s 19th District representing central Milwaukee. Brostroff’s dedication to Milwaukee and experience as a legislative aide will help him lead Wisconsin toward a brighter future. Brostoff is determined to promote equal rights for all, to reinvest in public education, and to improve public transit in Wisconsin. Brostoff is a capable leader, devoted to making Wisconsin thrive for generations to come, whose real-world solutions will create progress in the state. Visit Jonathan Brostoff’s campaign website for more details.

Marina Dimitrijevic – WI Assembly District 19
Marina Dimitrijevic is running for the Wisconsin State Assembly District 19. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Dimitrijevic made history in 2004, when she became the youngest woman to be elected to the Milwaukee County Board. During her 10 year tenure, she has championed legislative victories on equal rights for the LGBT community, environmental sustainability, public transit, and workers’ rights. Dimitrijevic’s experience, leadership, and commitment to winning on progressive issues are exactly what the community of Milwaukee needs.  Visit Marina Dimitrijevic’s campaign website for more details.

Justin Chenette – ME House District 134
Justin Chenette is running for reelection to the Maine House of Representatives’ 134th District , representing Saco. Before being elected as state Representative, Chenette served on the Maine State Board of Education, and has carried his passion for education into the state legislature. Chenette sponsored several education-related bills including legislation to promote community service in school and require internship experiences for high school students. Chenette, who was 22 years old upon his election to the House, has already proven himself to be a tireless and dedicated advocate and an important member in the next generation of leaders. Visit Justin Chenette’s campaign website for more details.

Luke Diaz –WI Verona Alder District 3
Luke Diaz is seeking reelection to the Verona City Council’s 3rd District, representing central Verona. Diaz has made it his mission to celebrate the city’s culture by cultivating a thriving downtown in Verona, working to expand jobs, improve transit, and provide important services to the community. An experienced city councilman, Diaz is an accessible leader that is dedicated to listening to the needs of his community. Visit Luke Diaz’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Zachary Dorholt – MN House District 14B
Zach Dorholt is running for reelection the Minnesota House of Representatives’ District 14B, representing St. Cloud City, and Haven and Minden Townships. Previously elected in 2011, Dorholt has been a champion for progressive values during his time in the House. He is an advocate for women’s rights and has sponsored bills to equalize pay in Minnesota and lengthen paid maternity leave. Dorholt has also fought for public education funding and is dedicated to creating a pathway to higher education for young Minnesotans. A proven leader, Dorholt will continue to make Minnesota a better and more prosperous place for the entire community. Visit Zach Dorholt’s campaign website for more details.

Crisanta Duran – CO House District 5

Crisanta Duran is running for reelection in the Colorado House of Representatives’ 5th District, representing Denver. As chairwoman of the joint budget committee, Crisanta guided the passage of a state budget that helped protect the environment, boost investments in education and job training, provide better women’s health services, help survivors of abuse, and create a better state economy for all Coloradoans. In her position as an elected official, she will continue to build a strong progressive foundation for the state’s future. Visit Crisanta Duran’s campaign website for more details.

Daneya Esgar – CO House District 46
Daneya Esgar is a candidate for Colorado State House of Representatives’ District 46, representing Pueblo. A dedicated public servant and product of Pueblo’s public education system, Esgar has dedicated her career as a television news producer and a community organizer to improving this community. Esgar has a clear vision for the future of Pueblo, and will continue to work toward job growth and improved public education as an elected official. Visit Daneya Esgar’s campaign website for more details.

Ryan Fecteau – ME House District 11
Ryan Fecteau is a Biddeford native running for Maine House of Representatives’ District 11, representing his hometown. Fecteau has a fresh and progressive perspective on the issues affecting Maine today. As representative, Fecteau will bring strong support of public education, women’s rights, and equal opportunity for all Americans by championing for middle-class workers, seniors, and college graduates of his district. Visit Ryan Fecteau’s campaign website for more details.

Joe Fitzgibbon – WA House District 34
Joe Fitzgibbon is running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives’ District 34, representing Burien, West Seattle, White Center, and Vashon and Maury Islands. Fitzgibbon has been a fierce advocate for undocumented students, voting for both the DREAM Act and for in-state tuition for undocumented students. A champion for equality in Washington, Fitzgibbon has le d efforts to legalize gay marriage and expand healthcare and Medicaid to help ensure safe abortion procedures. Fitzgibbon is a true progressive and will continue to work toward equality for all Washingtonians. Visit Joe Fitzgibbon’s campaign website for more details.

Chris Larson – WI Senate District 7
Chris Larson is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Senate’s 7th District, representing Milwaukee County. In Larson’s first term as senator, he served as the Minority Leader and worked tirelessly to end marriage discrimination in Wisconsin, to promote public education, and to protect the environment. Larson has worked to stimulate job growth and to increase access to health care, proving that he is truly in-tune with the needs of his community. “Larson is a true progressive leader,” PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager said. “He is clearly dedicated to his community and determined to help each person and his community as a whole.” Visit Chris Larson’s campaign website for more details.

Eric Luedtke – MD House District 14
Eric Luedtke is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 14, representing Montgomery County. Luedtke, who was first elected in 2010, has already made his mark as a progressive representative for Maryland. Luedtke, a teacher by profession, has advocated for public education reform, especially advocating for equality for students with special needs. Committed to families and children, Luedtke has worked on a variety of issues, from promoting easier access to healthcare to sponsoring bills that provide greater aid and support for survivors of sexual assault. Visit Eric Luedtke’s campaign website for more details.

Stefanie Mach – AZ House District 10
Stefanie Mach is running for reelection to the Arizona House of Representatives’ 10th Distric , representing Tucson. Since she was elected in 2012, Mach has proven herself to be a fighter, both professionally and personally. In her time as representative, Mach has worked to improve public education, to make higher education more affordable, to encourage job growth and the expansion of local businesses. An advocate for women and minorities, Mach has demonstrated she is dedicated to making Arizona a prosperous community for everyone. Visit Stefanie Mach’s campaign website for more details.

Marcus Madison – OH Senate District 13
Marcus Madison is a candidate for the Ohio State Senate’s 13th District, representing Huron and Lorain counties. Madison, currently serving as a city councilman in Elyria, has already proven that he is a dedicated public servant. He is the former student body president of Lorain County Community College, and previously served as deputy field officer for Obama for America, as well as Communications Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lorain County. A determined advocate, Madison is committed to improving public education, protecting workers, and providing sustainable jobs that will strengthen the middle class. Visit Marcus Madison’s campaign website for more details.

Aaron Marquez – AZ Senate District 27
Aaron Marquez is running for Arizona State Senate District 27, representing Maricopa County. Marquez, a captain with the U.S. Army Reserve, has been a courageous public servant both overseas and at home. Marquez is a fearless advocate for women’s rights, strong supporter of veterans, and a fighter for public education. A dedicated leader, Marquez will be a force for good in the Arizona legislature. Visit Aaron Marquez’s campaign website for more details.

Andrew McLean – ME House District 129
Andrew McLean is running for reelection to the 129th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing North Gorham, White Rock, Little Falls, the Village and South Gorham. McLean was previously elected in 2012 and has worked tirelessly to support legislation that would protect the environment, expand healthcare, and reform gun laws in Maine. A resilient advocate, as representative McLean will continue to work on behalf of children and families in his next term and for years to come. Visit Andrew McLean’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Matt Moonen – ME House District 118
Matt Moonen is running for reelection in the 118th District in the Maine House of Representatives, representing part of Portland. Moonen has been dedicated to improving healthcare in Maine by sponsoring bills that would prohibit smoking in public places and that would expand Medicaid coverage and eligibility. Additionally, Moonen has been a fierce advocate for raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, and reforming campaign finance. A true progressive candidate, Moonen will continue to make Maine an accepting and thriving place for all. Visit Matt Moonen’s campaign page on Facebook for more details.

Joe Neguse – CO Secretary of State
Joe Neguse, who is running for Colorado Secretary of State is the right choice for Colorado. Neguse brings with him knowledge and experience as a business attorney, member of the University Of Colorado Board Of Regents, and as a public servant. As secretary of state, Neguse will perform his duties with integrity and transparency, and will work to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to vote in Colorado. Neguse will advocate for everyone, regardless of wealth, age, or social standing. Visit Joe Neguse’s campaign website for more details.

Kesha Ram – VT House District 6-4
Kesha Ram is running for reelection to the Vermont House of Representatives’ District 6-4, representing Chittenden. Ram has worked to promote green job creation, affordable housing, and expanded access to healthcare. Both personally and in her capacity as a representative, Ram has worked to support survivors of domestic violence and is an active advocate for women’s rights. Ram is forward-thinking and dedicated, and her service will help Vermont flourish. Visit Kesha Ram’s campaign website for more details.

Laurie Anne Sayles – MD House District 17
Laurie Anne Sayles is running for Maryland’s House of Delegates District 17, representing Montgomery County. Sayles is a committed parent who has overcome obstacles to become a dedicated public servant in Maryland. A smart and capable leader, Sayles is a determined advocate for affordable healthcare, stronger public education, and accessible public transportation. As an elected official, Sayles will be a truly progressive leader for years to come. Visit Laurie Anne Sayles’s campaign website for more details.

Katrina Shankland – WI Assembly District 71
Katrina Shankland is running for reelection to the Wisconsin State Assembly, representing Stevens Point and its neighboring counties. In her one term as representative, Shankland has become a dedicated advocate for women’s rights and workers’ rights in Wisconsin. Shankland has worked to improve public education opportunities, and has been a fighter for environmental preservation and clean and sustainable energy practices. Visit Katrina Shankland’s campaign website for more details.

Alonzo Washington – MD House District 22
Alonzo Washington is running for reelection to the Maryland House of Delegates’ District 22, representing Prince George’s County. Washington, who has served in the House since 2012, already made a name for himself as a fighter for progressive values. He has sponsored and voted for bills that will increase the minimum wage, expand access to higher education, and strengthen public schools. As an important leader for Maryland’s future, Washington has and will continue to support progress in Maryland. Visit Alonzo Washington’s campaign website for more details.

Faith Winter – CO House District 35
Faith Winter, running for the Colorado House of Representatives’ 35th District to represent Westminster, is the right choice for Colorado. Winter has dedicated her life to public service, previously serving as a city councilwoman, mayor pro tem, and as the Emerge Colorado’s Executive Director, supporting women running for public office. In these capacities, Winter worked to create long-term jobs, expand affordable housing, and increase usage of sustainable energy in Colorado. Visit Faith Winter’s campaign website for more details.

PFAW

PFAW Action Fund Endorses Young Progressive Candidates in Michigan

People For the American Way Action Fund today endorsed a slate of young progressive candidates running for the Michigan State Legislature. The endorsements are part of PFAW Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program that supports progressive candidates age 35 and younger. The Michigan candidates endorsed today are a diverse mix of progressive leaders who are positioned to make Michigan’s legislature be more inclusive and accountable.

“These candidates are the best and brightest young progressive candidates running for the legislature in Michigan,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “They are people-oriented folks from all walks of life who will fight for social, economic, and environmental justice, and promote equality for all. Their leadership in their communities demonstrates a progressive vision that will benefit all Michiganders.”

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse the following Michigan YEP candidates for 2014:

•         Stephanie Chang – MI House District 6
•         Jon Hoadley – MI House District 60
•         David Knezek – MI Senate District 5
•         Kristy Pagan – MI House District 21
•         Rebecca Thompson – MI District 1
•         Robert Wittenberg – MI House District 27

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People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Young Progressive Candidates in Michigan

People For the American Way Action Fund today announced its endorsements of a slate of young progressive candidates running for the Michigan State Legislature. The endorsees include a diverse mix of 35-and-younger candidates running for the Michigan state House of Representatives and state Senate, representing a new generation of progressive leaders who will put Michigan’s legislature back-on-track towards a common sense, inclusive, accountable public policy agenda for the state’s future. Their leadership represents a progressive vision that will benefit all Michiganders as they fight for social, economic, environmental justice and equality for all.

The endorsements are part of People For the American Way Action Fund’s Young Elected Progressives (YEP) program. YEP evaluates and endorses young progressive candidates age 35-and-younger in their bids for elected office around the U.S. at all levels.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to endorse these Michigan YEP candidates for 2014:

Stephanie Chang – MI House District 6

Running for Michigan’s House of Representatives District 6, Stephanie Chang is a Michigander whose dedication to the community has benefited many. Chang has worked around the state advocating for Affirmative Action, serving as a mentor for Detroit Asian Youth Project, and promoting a fair justice system. Chang’s knowledge and breadth of experience in Michigan make her an important leader for the state as she fights for social, economic, and environmental justice. Visit Stephanie’s page for more details.

Jon Hoadley – MI House District 60

Jon Hoadley is the clear choice to represent Michigan’s 60th District in the state House of Representatives. Hoadley, a small business owner and member of several advocacy organizations in Kalamazoo, is deeply ingrained and in tune with the needs of his community, which makes him the ideal representative. He has already worked to better Kalamazoo advocating for full LGBTQ equality, creating strong and sustainable public schools, and protecting the environment. Visit Jon’s page for more details.

David Knezek – MI Senate District 5

David Knezek is running for Michigan state Senate’s 5th District and has proven that he is the ideal candidate for the position. Knezek is a true leader, having been promoted to the rank of Sergeant during his time in the U.S. Marine Corps. At the University of Michigan-Dearborn, he was elected Student Government President, and in his senior year of college he was elected to be a Michigan state representative. Knezek has proven that he will advocate for his community and improve education, public safety, and job opportunities for Michigan citizens. Visit David’s page for more details.

Kristy Pagan – MI House District 21

Born and bred in Michigan, Kristy Pagan is the ideal candidate for the 21st District of Michigan’s state House of Representatives. She has worked in Washington, D.C. as a legislative aide and a national grassroots organizer. Her determination to serve coupled with her knowledge of and dedication to Michigan will serve the state well. Pagan is a true progressive, and has both the resolve and the passion to reform Michigan’s educational system, advocate for women and children, and improve job growth. Visit Kristy's page for more details.

Rebecca Thompson – MI District 1

Rebecca Thompson is running for election to the 1st District of the Michigan state House of Representatives. Thompson was born and raised in Detroit, and overcame experiences with poverty and homelessness to become a leader in the community. She has worked tirelessly to better Detroit for everyone, using her own experiences to positively impact those around her. Thompson is passionate about affordable education, improving safety, protecting women’s rights, and advocating for her community. Visit Rebecca's page for more details.

Robert Wittenberg – MI House District 27
                                                                                                                     
Robert Wittenberg is running to represent District 27 in the Michigan state House of Representatives. After being inspired by his parents’ and brothers’ work, he is determined to follow in their footsteps and serve his community. As a public servant, he advocates for full equality for the LGBTQ community, increased public transportation, and access to healthcare for all. Visit Robert's page for more details.

PFAW

People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Ariana Kelly for Delegate in MD-16

Today People For the American Way Action Fund announced its endorsement of Ariana Kelly for delegate in Maryland’s 16th Legislative District.

Ariana Kelly currently serves Maryland’s 16th District in the House of Delegates. She is one of six primary candidates for the three delegate seats. First elected in 2010, Kelly is the former national campaign director for MomsRising.org. Prior to that she served as executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, and served on the board of directors of the Democratic Women’s PAC of Maryland. A lifelong Democrat and native of Bethesda, Kelly is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

As delegate, she has been a strong advocate for women’s rights, education, and access to healthcare. She serves on the health and government operations committee, the insurance subcommittee, and the bi-county agency committee. Kelly was named Legislator of the Year by the Mental Health Association of Maryland, won the Young Woman of Achievement Award from the Women’s Information Network, and is secretary for the Women Legislators of Maryland.

“Ariana Kelly is a committed champion for women, survivors of domestic violence, and children, who has established herself as a true leader,” said Randy Borntrager, PFAW Political Director. “She is a true progressive leader who will fight for a better future as delegate.”
               
Visit Ariana Kelly’s campaign website for more details.

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People For the American Way Action Fund Endorses Lucy Flores for Nevada Lieutenant Governor

Today People For the American Way Action Fund announced its endorsement of Nevada State Assemblywoman Lucy Flores for Lieutenant Governor.

Flores, one of the first Latinas to serve in the Nevada legislature, rose rapidly into leadership. By 2013, she was already serving as Assistant Majority Whip, and she now serves as vice chair of the Nevada Hispanic Legislative Caucus.

“Lucy Flores is exactly the kind of young, dynamic, progressive leader that Nevada needs,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “Her story of overcoming adversity puts her in a unique position to fight for women’s rights and minority rights from a place of personal experience. I am confident she will continue to fight for equal protection under the law for all Nevadans.”

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Flores grew up as one of 13 siblings and struggled as a teenager, ultimately dropping out of high school. But with encouragement and support, Flores put her troubled years behind her, received a GED, and became the first in her family to go to college. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and later a law degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

In 2008, Flores served on the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs, where she was an advocate for the renewal of the state’s ombudsman for minority consumer affairs, ensuring equal protection under Nevada’s consumer protection laws. In the legislature, she passed landmark legislation improving high school testing, protecting consumers from predatory unauthorized practice of law, and protecting survivors of domestic violence from their abusers.

People For the American Way Action Fund is proud to support Flores’ quest to “bring a vision and voice to Nevada that hasn’t been heard before.”  Learn more about her campaign for Lieutenant Governor at http://www.lucyflores.com.

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PFAW Action Fund Endorses Derek Cressman for California Secretary of State

People For the American Way Action Fund has announced an endorsement of Derek Cressman’s candidacy for California Secretary of State.

“Derek Cressman has been a consistent progressive leader, standing up against big money in politics and for fairness and the people’s voice,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “He will serve the people of California well as Secretary of State.”

Cressman is one of five primary candidates for Secretary of State.  He served as director of the Democracy Program for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the state PIRG organizations, fighting for the environment, open government, and fair elections.  He subsequently founded Earth Tones, an environmentally friendly communications company that donates 100 percent of its profits to environmental groups.

In 2006 Cressman began working with Common Cause on its groundbreaking voting rights and elections programs, eventually directing the organization’s Citizens United information campaign. While at Common Cause, Cressman led 35 state chapters as vice president for states. During his tenure, Common Cause expanded its coordination of grassroots organizing and advocacy on money in politics across all of its local chapters, pursuing local ordinances and referenda as a strategy to draw more attention to the issue.

Derek Cressman’s positions on women’s health, comprehensive immigration reform, public education funding, equality for all Americans, and money in politics – among other issues – distinguish him as quality progressive candidate for California Secretary of State.  His campaign website is http://www.derekcressman.com.

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PFAW Action Fund Endorses Will Jawando for MD-20 Delegate

People For the American Way Action Fund has announced an endorsement of William Jawando’s candidacy for Maryland District 20 Delegate as part of PFAW’s Young Elected Progressives program.

Jawando, age 31, is one of eight primary candidates for the three delegate seats, including incumbent Sheila Hixson. He grew up in the Long Branch community of Silver Spring, and currently resides in White Oak with his wife and three daughters. A former White House and Congressional staffer, he currently serves on the Montgomery County Public School’s African American Student Achievement Action Group. He also has served on the Montgomery County Commission on Juvenile Justice, the Montgomery County Nighttime Economy Taskforce, and the Montgomery County African Advisory Group.

“Will Jawando is a committed progressive leader who stands for fairness, equality, and justice for all,” said PFAW Political Director Randy Borntrager. “He will be a strong progressive voice in Annapolis.”

While serving on Capitol Hill in the offices of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Sherrod Brown, and then-Senator Barack Obama, Jawando crafted and negotiated legislation to expand early childhood education programs and make college more accessible and affordable. As an associate director in the White House Office of Public Engagement he worked on pay equity legislation, voting rights, and justice policy. He then served as deputy director of strategic partnerships at the US Department of Education.

Previously, as director of government relations at Discovery Communications, he organized advocacy efforts among government and non-government stakeholders, national and local nonprofits, and advocacy groups. Notable achievements included a Montgomery County program to bridge digital divides in its communities and encourage more young people to study science, technology, engineering, and math. He currently is of counsel at The Raben Group, a public policy advocacy firm.

Will Jawando’s positions on women’s health, comprehensive immigration reform, public education funding, equality for all Americans, money in politics – as well as his expressed positions on a range of other issues – distinguish him as a standout young progressive candidate for Maryland District 20 Delegate.

His campaign website is http://www.jawandofordelegate.com.

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