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Marie Newman-- 3 Months In

When you look at the ProgressivePunch rankings of voting records, Marie Newman (D-IL) is tied for first place-- a perfect 100% score, along with Cori Bush (D-MO), Andy Levin (D-MI), Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and 4 others. If you were one of the several hundred Blue America contributors to her campaigns in 2018 and 2020... time to feel good. With your help, Marie ousted one of the worst Democrats in Congress, Blue Dog Dan Lipinski and... well, look what she's doing.

Today she officially introduced her first bill, America’s Clean Future Fund Act, which she wrote in order top help spur jobs by investing in a green economy and renewing America’s leadership in technology and innovation. It addresses the climate crisis while investing in clean energy projects and a green, zero-carbon emissions economy with an eye on creating new good-paying jobs across the nation.

This is how Rep. Newman explains dit to her Chicagoland constituents: "Each and every day, we continue to see the effect of climate change on our communities-- massive wildfires out west, strengthening hurricanes in the Atlantic, widespread inland flooding, and soaring record temperatures across the country. If we want to ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a habitable planet, we need to start investing in our future. Through America’s Clean Future Fund Act, we can invest in clean energy projects and green technologies that will truly lift up local labor, create new good-paying jobs and build a more efficient and sustainable future where no American gets left behind."

She worked on the bill with her state's senator, Dick Durbin to present a comprehensive plan to achieve "critical reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while providing workers in declining energy sectors with a fair transition into new good-paying jobs. By investing in clean energy and embracing economy-wide carbon pricing, the plan will renew America’s leadership in technology and innovation while also building a sustainable future for all communities."

These are the main components of the bill:

  • Invest in Clean Energy Projects: Establishes an independent federal agency to provide grants and loan guarantees to support clean energy projects, climate mitigation, and job creation.

  • Support Impacted Communities and Job Transitions: Provides grants to communities that historically rely on carbon-intensive industries to support their transition to becoming frontline and environmental justice communities.

  • Provide Rebates and Refunds for Carbon Capture: Helps the agricultural sector improve carbon-reduction practices, provides payments and refunds to low- and middle-income individuals that capture, store, and/or utilize carbon, as well as to farmers that adopt verifiable carbon sequestration or reduction practices.

  • Institute a Carbon Fee 2023: Establishes an onset fee on carbon starting in 2023 to meet the goals set forth in the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

Newman further informed her constituents and supporters that "Exactly 100 days ago, I was honored with the opportunity to represent the hundreds of thousands of residents on Chicago’s Southwest Side and suburbs. Make no mistake, the ongoing pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have not made the past three months easy for any American, but in this short period of time, we have shown that government can truly work for the people. From passing comprehensive relief for America’s small businesses and residents to expanding vaccine access and funding across our district, I am proud of all we have accomplished together in these first three months. While we have much more work ahead, we will build on this success by continuing to fight for progressive policies that not only truly invest in our future but help build good-paying jobs, a fairer economy, a more affordable health care system and equitable economy for all Americans."

Meanwhile, she and her staff have hosted 23 virtual town halls and in-person meet-and-greet events, hitting every corner of her district. A number of these events focused specifically on some of the district’s highest priorities, including ensuring COVID-19 vaccines were reaching communities of color, addressing ongoing postal service delays in the Chicagoland region, and providing small businesses with resources to access critical relief during this pandemic. She also "launched a first-of-its-kind mobile site initiative where staff came directly to IL-03 communities to meet with residents and ensure they had access to district services, enabling her district staffers to safely meet in-person with constituents. You might want to suggest that innovation to your own Rep.

So far, Marie has co-sponsored 119 bills, including what she calls "big and bold legislation" such as:

  • The PRO Act, which protects workers’ rights to organize and help rebuild the middle class.

  • The For the People Act of 2021 which expands voting rights for all Americans and takes dark money out of elections.

  • The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, a historic bill that will ensure background check procedures are followed for all gun sales.

  • The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which reduces and prevents violence against women by authorizing funding for victim services grants, prevention, training, education, among other programs. Two amendments proposed by Congresswoman Newman passed with the legislation, including one which would establish the first-ever grant program dedicated to supporting LGTBQ+ women and separately, an amendment to provide targeted resources for women survivors in small businesses.

I'm including the Blue America 2022 worthy incumbents thermometer here... just in case you'd like to let Congresswoman Newman know you appreciate her work and will continue supporting her as she builds credibility and power inside Congress and moves into position to off viable alternatives to the status quo mentality most of the members never get beyond. Blue America has every intention of working to elect more solid, progressive members like Marie-- and, yes, more often than not, it takes more than one cycle to oust an incumbent. While Republican knee jerk obstructionists label the new Infrastructure and Jobs Act, a slush fund, progressives like Marie and working to expand the bill and use into help America families and build a competitive America for the 21st Century.

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