Newsflash:
Elizabeth Warren Ilya Sheyman Ilya Sheyman’s Progressive Run
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 00:39

Ilya Sheyman’s Progressive Run

Written by  Katrina vanden Heuvel | The Nation

Update on Ilya, March 19:

Heading into Tuesday’s Democratic primary, a new poll shows Ilya Sheyman now leading conservative Democrat Brad Schneider by eighteen points. Looks like Sheyman’s smart approach to campaigning is paying off—speaking directly to voters about his commitment to economic opportunity and fairness, and how government and community support helped his own family find success after immigrating to this country. Representative Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has asked people to join him and all voters in the district.

“We don’t need another Democrat In Name Only in Congress—they’ve done enough harm killing the public option and watering down Wall Street reform. We need Ilya Sheyman as a strong progressive ally. If Ilya wins it will send a national message to all Democratic candidates that if you campaign boldly on progressive principles, you can win,” said Grijalva.

* * *

The fight to win back the House—just like the fights to hold the White House and Senate—will not be easy. In order to not only win but to move any kind of agenda that addresses tax equity, environmental policy, immigration reform, housing, you name it, simply reinforcing the current Democratic narrative while being pulled further to the right by the Blue Dogs just isn’t enough. We need a more democratic—note small “d”—House.

We need to elect progressives.

Former Senator Russ Feingold recognizes that need and was moved to make his first endorsement in a Democratic primary since leaving the Senate. On Tuesday, Feingold pledged his support and that ofProgressives United—his recently formed group focused on opposing corporate power—to Ilya Sheyman, a 25-year-old community organizer running in Illinois 10th District for a shot at the incumbent, Republican Representative Robert Dold.

While some Democratic candidates might look to co-opt the spirit and convictions of the Occupy movement, Sheyman is authentically of, by and for the 99 percent, ready to go to Washington and work with a strong grassroots to rebuild economic opportunity and fairness.

“Ilya knows that being a true progressive is more than a slogan. His campaign has mobilized and united hundreds of volunteers demanding a fresh, strong voice in Congress,” said Feingold. “This is exactly the type of candidate we as progressives must support, and with the primary almost here, now is exactly the time to step up and take action.”

Sheyman and his family came to Illinois from the former Soviet Union as Jewish refugees when he was 4 years old. His family worked its way up from living in a motel on the north side of Chicago, to eventually owning a home in the town of Buffalo Grove. His dad worked as a pizza deliverer before finally starting two small businesses with Sheyman’s mom.

In high school, Sheyman became involved in progressive politics. He was an outspoken leader against the war in Iraq from the outset. He led a walk-out from his school and founded a local chapter of Patriots for Peace.

After college he worked as a community organizer to address a broken public education funding system and help citizens gain access to government and social services. He later served as the national mobilization director at MoveOn, where he led their campaign for healthcare reform with a public option.

Sheyman told me his own story wouldn’t be possible without the assistance of core public programs.

“From the public schools and federal Stafford Loans that allowed me to get a world class education, to the Medicare and Social Security benefits my 94-year-old grandmother depends on every day—it’s clear that my own story is only possible because alongside our hard work, at every step of the way, my family received the support of our community and government. That’s why I’ll fight to defend the safety net that built the middle class in this country,” he said.

Sheyman’s endorsements reflect his progressive authenticity. In addition to Feingold’s support, the Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs, Representatives Raul Grijalva and Keith Ellison, have both endorsed. He’s the only candidate to receive endorsements from members of the Illinois delegation, with the backing of Representatives Danny Davis and Jesse Jackson Jr.; former Democratic National Committee Chairman, Governor Howard Dean, has also endorsed. Other notable supporters include Democracy for America, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and Citizen Action/Illinois; and the vast majority of labor support including AFSCME Council 31, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Sheet Metal Workers Local 73 and the International Longshoremen’s Association-AFL-CIO.

The March 20 primary is shaping up to be a real bellwether for what happens when a truly progressive candidate runs against a so-called “moderate” Democrat endorsed by the party establishment. In this case, Sheyman’s main competition is businessman Brad Schneider, endorsed by House minority whip Steny Hoyer.

Schneider is struggling mightily to re-brand himself as “a solid progressive” after giving thousands of dollars to Republicans including Illinois Senator Mark Kirk, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns, Utah Senator Robert Bennett and Representative Mark Kennedy of Minnesota.

But according to Daniel Mintz, national director of coordinated campaigns for MoveOn.org Political Action, that record of supporting “hard core Republicans” hasn’t stopped Schneider from sending a slew of direct mail to voters showing “picture after picture” of the candidate with tags like “progressive,” or “experienced progressive” or “progressive Democrat.”

“Clearly that’s how his polling showed him he needs to run to be competitive,” says Mintz. “But what kind of progressive has given thousands of dollars to right-wing, anti-choice Republicans? His strategy has been to pitch himself as a progressive and at debates begin every other phrase with, ‘I really agree with what Ilya just said.’ ”

Indeed, polling in early January indicated that when choosing a Democratic candidate voters in the district were more than twice as likely to pick someone “more progressive” over someone “more moderate” by a margin of 64 percent to 25 percent.

“As a result, this race is being fought all on progressive, 99 percent issues,” says Mintz. “Ilya’s been running on 99 percent issues from the start—talking about the fact that the good jobs have all gone away and the playing field just isn’t level anymore, and that Washington isn’t paying attention to any of that. He’s been talking about putting the American Dream back in reach for the middle-class and those who aspire to it, and protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.”

The district is an economically diverse one—some neighborhoods are suffering 12 to 18 percent unemployment and others are among the wealthiest communities in the country. But polls show that of these four issues—Wall Street and corporate accountability, social issues like choice, jobs and Israel—Wall Street accountability and jobs tie as most important to the district’s voters (37 percent) with social issues (12 percent) and Israel (4 percent) far behind.

Sheyman attributes a shift in the district’s political conversation to the success of Occupy.

“When we started this campaign with house parties and coffees back in March [2010], the first question would invariably be, ‘How do you deal with the deficit? What program do you want to cut?’ ” Sheyman said. “Now the first question is, ‘How do we put people back to work?’ and ‘How do we restore some fairness to the tax system?’ No matter what happens from here on out Occupy Wall Street has already succeeded, they’ve shifted our national dialogue to the conversation we need to have.”

While Schneider got in the race early and had a strong first quarter in fundraising, Mintz says “ever since then, once people realized there was a real progressive in the race, Schneider has been unable to show any fundraising growth.”

On the other hand, Sheyman’s fundraising has grown every quarter and topped Schneider’s fundraising in every report since June. His report for the first two months of this year was his strongest yet, and unlike Schneider, none of his contributions came from his own pocket. He now has over 16,000 individual contributors—one of the largest donor bases of any non-incumbent in the country—and that’s sure to grow with Feingold’s endorsement.

The naysayers are pointing to a recent poll conducted by the Schneider campaign that shows him with a 29 percent to 14 percent lead over Sheyman, and as “lead[ing] Sheyman on being progressive on the issues.” But even this poll shows a plurality of voters undecided and it was conducted right after a massive mail campaign by Schneider to increase his name recognition. Mintz says more recent private polling indicates that any lead of Schneider’s “has evaporated.”

With the March 20 primary less than two weeks away, this is the moment to use new media to contact voters directly in the district, and tap into movement energy to support a progressive candidate who will represent the people without mortgaging himself to the special interests.

Sheyman certainly sees the stakes and the opportunity for a movement win.

“We can send a message that when Democrats stand up with backbone and conviction for the progressive values that built the middle class in this country, we win,” he told me. “This is our moment to send a new generation of proven, progressive leadership to Washington to focus on how we put our people back to work, how we restore fairness to our tax system and how we invest in America again. This election is not just about turning a red seat blue, it’s about rebuilding our middle class and restoring the American Dream.”

Original article on The Nation

Read 5728 times

ERA Legislation in your State

Unratified states Gold - Ratified States Purple

Latest News from the Warren Campaign

  • Will new senators push Democrats to the left?
    Will new senators push Democrats to the left?

    When Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the 2013 class of liberal senators start work this month, they'll have to do more than figure out the byzantine ways of getting things done in Washington.

    They'll also have to decide how seriously to engage a progressive movement that sees their assent a historic opportunity to shift the Democratic Party to the left.

    Written on Saturday, 05 January 2013 19:11 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources
    Elizabeth Warren Wins Senate Banking Committee Seat: Sources

    WASHINGTON -- Nearly two years after Wall Street waged a successful campaign to keep consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren from running the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the incoming senator will be tapped to serve on the Banking Committee, according to four sources familiar with the situation. 

    Written on Tuesday, 04 December 2012 19:22 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Redefines "Balanced Approach"
    Elizabeth Warren Redefines "Balanced Approach"

    Politico recently declared, "The Senate is about to become a liberal lion’s den." 

    In 2012, groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, MoveOn.org, CREDO Action, and Democracy for America worked hard to build progressive power in Congress. This week's iconic photo of Senators-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) walking together down the corridors of power is symbolic of the rising progressive tide. 

    Written on Sunday, 18 November 2012 14:20 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Wins the "Which Side Are You On?" Debate
    Elizabeth Warren Wins the "Which Side Are You On?" Debate

    An overbearing and at times ridiculously aggressive Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown came across as a desperate man Thursday night, as he attempted to gain the upper hand in the first debateof this year's most closely-watched U.S. Senate race and, by extension, in a reelection contest that seems to be slipping away from him.

    Written on Sunday, 23 September 2012 16:27 Read more...
  • Mayor Menino to endorse Elizabeth Warren in Senate race at Roslindale Square rally on Friday
    Mayor Menino to endorse Elizabeth Warren in Senate race at Roslindale Square rally on Friday

    Mayor Thomas M. Menino is expected to endorse Democrat Elizabeth Warren on Friday in her bid to unseat Republican US Senator Scott Brown, according to two people with knowledge of the plan.

    Written on Thursday, 20 September 2012 19:47 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren's DNC Speech: "Corporations Are Not People"
    Elizabeth Warren's DNC Speech: "Corporations Are Not People"

    Bill Clinton may have stolen the show at the DNC last night with his 45-minute, half-ad-libbed barn-burner of a speech, but there were a few other noteworthy speakers as well. After dragging for an hour or two, the night's program picked up when Massachusetts Senate candidate, CFPB creator, and economic realtalker extraordinaire Elizabeth Warren took the stage.

    Written on Thursday, 06 September 2012 18:54 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?
    Elizabeth Warren: Yes She Can?

    It was a grim, sleety day in Chicopee, a gritty postindustrial town in western Massachusetts, where paint flakes off worn-out bridges and boarded-up factories. At a community relations luncheon, kind security guards were opening back doors and holding out umbrellas for the few willing to brave the freezing slush.

    Written on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 04:54 Read more...
  • Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection
    Jonathan Klate: A candidate's connection

    Retired Amherst gentleman John Kick is not known as a political activist. In the Springfield union hall where he ventured last October to hear Democratic senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren, he might have seemed a world-weary citizen with vague curiosity about the professor turned politician.

    But John's sorrowful demeanor and disconsolate eyes betrayed a woefully wounded heart. His son, Gabe, took his own life just a month earlier, at the age of 28. John keeps moving, somehow, in the dreadful private agony understood only by parents who persist in such an aftermath.

    Written on Monday, 26 March 2012 17:09 Read more...
  • The Ascendance of Elizabeth Warren
    The Ascendance of Elizabeth Warren

    If you’re reading this, you probably already know how you feel about Elizabeth Warren. Warren is currently running for Senate in Massachusetts, in the hopes of knocking out Republican incumbent Scott Brown. Very few first-time candidates are so well-known, or so passionately beloved.

    Written on Monday, 26 March 2012 00:00 Read more...
  • NOW PAC Endorses Elizabeth Warren
    NOW PAC Endorses Elizabeth Warren

    NOW/PAC is thrilled to announce its endorsement of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the U. S. Senate from the state of Massachusetts. Warren is the most prominent of the three Democrats vying to run against incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R) in the general election. Recent polls show Warren neck and neck with Brown.

    Written on Monday, 05 March 2012 19:48 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren Says Washington Must Act Now To Help Stem The Tide Of Foreclosure
    Elizabeth Warren Says Washington Must Act Now To Help Stem The Tide Of Foreclosure

    Backs MA Congressmen, Attorney General Coakley Calling on Federal Housing Finance Agency to Take Action To Prevent Unnecessary Foreclosures

    BOSTON – It is past time for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to step up and help prevent unnecessary foreclosures in Massachusetts, said Consumer Advocate Elizabeth Warren, reinforcing calls from members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

    Written on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 07:54 Read more...
  • U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.

    U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern this week endorsed Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren for the United States Senate.

    Written on Friday, 27 January 2012 20:35 Read more...
  • The Woman Who Knew Too Much
    The Woman Who Knew Too Much

    Millions of Americans hoped President Obama would nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the consumer financial watchdog agency she had created. Instead, she was pushed aside. As Warren kicks off her run for Scott Brown’s Senate seat in Massachusetts, Suzanna Andrews charts the Harvard professor’s emergence as a champion of the beleaguered middle class, and her fight against a powerful alliance of bankers, lobbyists, and politicians.

    Written on Wednesday, 16 November 2011 00:00 Read more...
  • Elizabeth Warren's Appeal
    Elizabeth Warren's Appeal

    For a few years now, politicians straining against all of the antigovernment demagogy have been searching for a way to energize public interest and remind voters of the essential government services and protections they rely on and all too often take for granted.

    Written on Sunday, 16 October 2011 00:00 Read more...
  • Berkshire Democrats Want Elizabeth to Run, Run, Run
    Berkshire Democrats Want Elizabeth to Run, Run, Run

    PITTSFIELD, Mass. —  More than a few local Democrats would be ecstatic if Elizabeth Warren decides to run against Scott Brown for the U.S. Senate. Warren is kicking around the idea of running and stopped in Pittsfield on Friday to meet with party members to gauge their support as part of a listening tour across the state.

    Written on Friday, 19 August 2011 00:00 Read more...

Sign the ERA Petition

ERADemandButton

On Friday, September 12th more than 150 activists will go to DC and Demand that their Senators and Representatives support removing the ratification deadline from the ERA (SJ Res 15 and HJ Res 113)

Button-SignERAPetition

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Like Elizabeth Warren

Lori Wallach on the TPP from PDA Progressive Roundtable

Progressive Roundtable with Reps. Ellison and Pocan and Lori Wallach on TPP

TPP: The Biggest Threat to the Internet You've Probably Never Heard Of