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Catching Up With The Congressional Progressive Caucus


Starting To Lose My Temper-- Pramila and AOC, by Nancy Ohanian


There will be at least 8 new members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus:

  • Nikema Williams (GA-05), taking over for John Lewis

  • Kai Kahele (HI-02), taking over for Tulsi Gabbard

  • Marie Newman (IL-03), taking over for Blue Dog Dan Lipinski

  • Cori Bush (MO-01), taking over for Lacy Clay

  • Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03), taking over for Ben Ray Lujan

  • Ritchie Torres (NY-15), taking over for José Serrano

  • Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), taking over for New Dem Eliot Engel

  • Mondaire Jones (NY-17), taking over for Nita Lowey

Members who are leaving Congress in January include 6 CPC members, New Dem Gil Cisneros (CA), Lacy Clay (MO), Tulsi Gabbard (HI), Joe Kennedy III (MA), Dave Loebsack (IA) and New Dem Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL).

The CPC will be electing caucus leaders soon. The just decided to reschedule from December 3 because of a Democratic caucus meeting scheduled on that day. There are few disputed elections, but most of the offices are already decided because only one person is running. Two Michiganders, Andy Levin and Rashida Tlaib are both running to be vice chair for member services and there are 6 candidates for the 4 at-large vice chairs: Cori Bush, David Cicilline, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Chuy Garcia, Deb Haaland and Mondaire Jones. (Bush and Jones are both freshmen.)

Other than that , there is now only one chair-- not co-chairs and no one is challenging Pramila Jayapal for the job. Katie Porter gets the Deputy Chair job, which is kind of like the First Vice Chair position that Ro Khanna had in the 116th Congress. Ilhan Omar will be Whip again. The vice chairs jobs without challengers:

  • Vice Chair for Policy- Jamie Raskin (MD)

  • Vice Chair for Communications- Marie Newman (IL)

  • Vice Chair for New Members- Joe Neguse (CO)

  • Vice Chair for Inter-Caucus Relations- Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)

  • Vice Chair for Labor- Donald Norcross (New Dem-NJ)

These were the announcements of caucus candidacy from two members whose elections were supported by Blue America and who I thought you might want to keep up with. First is Katie Porter's announcement to the other members that she is interested in the number two position, and after that is Cori Bush's announcement for vice chair at large:


I write to announce my candidacy for the Deputy Chair position for the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the 117th Congress, and I humbly request your support. I am grateful and applaud the bold,

progressive leadership of our current co-chairs, Mark Pocan and Pramila Japayal, and am committed to expanding on their work if elected your Deputy Chair.

As a progressive representing a Republican district, a member of the CPC Executive Board in the 116th Congress, and tireless campaigner for both Frontliners and newly elected CPC members, I have the unique combination of commitment and experience to succeed in this new leadership role. I will work to support and sustain the critical work of the CPC as we strive to enact an agenda rooted in the needs of working Americans and our fight for equality, justice, and structural change.

I was elected to the House with the diverse class of 2018. Along with several colleagues who now serve in the CPC, we won our races and flipped the House for the first time in a decade by running campaigns rooted in progressive values. We charted a new course and proved to the establishment skeptics that a progressive agenda is not only the right policy for America but also a winning political message.

In my campaign for Congress, I championed Medicare for All, not a continuation of a private, for-profit, healthcare system, which leaves millions of Americans uninsured. I campaigned on new protections for workers and a historic increase to the minimum wage, not policies catering to corporate America.

I ran a grassroots-funded campaign and called for sweeping anti-corruption reforms, not maintaining the status quo which has empowered wealthy special interests to corrupt our politics. I committed to addressing structural racism and fighting to change the broken systems which have oppressed people of color for centuries in America. From sensible gun safety measures, to addressing the climate crisis, to fighting for a just immigration system, the class I was elected with stood firmly for our progressive values, and the American people sent us to Congress.

To enact these policy goals, it’s critical we make an effective and powerful argument in support of this agenda to congressional Leadership and to President-elect Biden, and ultimately to his administration. It is equally important for the CPC to make this argument directly to the American people. We know the people are with us, but we can’t take their support for granted. I am dedicated to communicating our work in a way that engages Americans in our legislative work. As Deputy Chair, I will work to build public support for progressive priorities and to expand our allies and partners.

I’ll work in close collaboration with the Chair of the CPC to build unity and cohesion in the caucus around our shared progressive policy goals. I’ll develop relationships with other caucuses and foster dialogue both inside and outside the CPC. As a lover of public policy, I’ll work with each of our caucus’ task forces to increase member participation and produce legislation that furthers the CPC's goals for the 117th Congress.

I look forward to speaking with each of you in the coming days, to expand on why I’m ready to take on this role and to learn about your priorities and how we can make the CPC a more unified, effective force for progress.

I would be honored to serve and support the Chair of the CPC, the CPC, and you in this new role and humbly ask for your vote for Deputy Chair.


And this one is Cori Bush's announcement that she is running for one of the 4 Vice Chair at-large seats:

I respectfully write to you in request of your support for my bid for Vice Chair At-Large of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).

As a nurse, single mom, activist, and pastor, my life’s work has been in service of my family and community. In 2014 in Ferguson, I became a leading activist in the fight for Black lives. I have organized and fought for the dignity and safety of my people-- first on the streets of St. Louis and now in the halls of Congress. I don’t simply talk about the challenges facing my communities, I understand them because I’ve lived them too. I’ve been evicted, unhoused, lived paycheck to paycheck and survived sexual assault, abuse, and police violence. Too many Missourians have been through similar circumstances. When you live through what we’ve lived through, everyday can seem like crisis mode. You learn early and often to fight every day likeyour life depends on it-- because it does. I’m packing St. Louis and these shared experiences in my bag because it’s long past time that regular people have a strong voice and partner in Congress. I ran for this seat because I want to do the absolute most for those who have the very least. Serving as Vice Chair At-Large of this esteemed caucus would afford me the opportunity to be an advocate and a voice for not just my constituents but the everyday person all across this country, and I’m asking for your support.

Let’s face it, our country is in crisis mode. This pandemic has robbed nearly 270,000 families of their loved ones and impacted millions more. Far too many of us are struggling to cover rent, feed our families, and pay our bills. The holes in our social safety net have cracked wide open, exposing persistent and structural inequalities that have long devastated so many of our communities. For me and my district, Missouri’s 1st, these fractures in our system are not new nor the direct result of an uncontrolled and deadly virus. These fractures are the result of disinvestment from and neglect of communities that deserve better from their government. In St. Louis, our community didn’t just fall into poverty. Poverty has been the backdrop for generations of St. Louisans. COVID-19 simply poured gas on a slow burning fire further exacerbating issues that millions of us who live in marginalized communities already faced on a daily basis. Like so many communities across this nation, Missouri’s 1st needs us to champion a bold progressive agenda, and as Vice Chair At-Large I will handle that responsibility with thoughtfulness and care.

This is such an important moment for our progressive movement, and we must not squander it. Like you, I came to Congress to lead and legislate and advocate for policies that meet the urgent needs of my community. That means fighting for progressive policies, including: raising the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, affordable housing, universal childcare, quality education for all, including debt free college, guaranteed comprehensive health care, breathable air, clean drinking water, green job creation, and protecting and empowering workers. It means fighting to end systemic racism and violence by shifting away from militarized policing and incarceration to community organizing and social services. It means fighting to eliminate the racial health gap that is disproportionately impacting Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Most of all, it means fighting for those among us who have the very least.

We are entering the 117th Congress with a clear mandate: to fight for a better, more just America. As progressives, the work ahead won’t be easy. We are battling through a historic crisis, but some of us have been in crisis mode all of our lives. It is this unique perspective and lived experience that can help advance policies that meet the needs of the many people and communities living at the margins of our society. It is my ardent wish to work in partnership with you as a Vice Chair At-Large to deliver the kind of transformative change that everyday people across our country deserve. I hope to earn your support for this position so that together we can fight for the dignity, safety, and prosperity of every community.

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