Two weeks ago, Marianne Williamson suspended her presidential campaign. She told us that while she was on the road-- talking day after day for all of last year with people about the issues that motivated her campaign, from her plan for reparations for the descendants of slaves and her plan to create a department of peace, to her comprehensive whole health plan, she campaigned became aware of and campaigned with dozens of congressional candidates.
Some she came to know personally, like Betsy Sweet in Maine, Jill Carter in Maryland and J.D. Scholten in Iowa, while others she got to see in action or hear about from her own supporters. Almost as soon as she decided to end her own campaign, she made this and she told us she would like to help the campaigns of some of these congressional candidates whose ideas and energy she had been admiring as she criss-crossed the country.
"Betsy Sweet," she told us, "has been a heart centered advocate for the people of Maine for the last 40 years. I remember back when her work to help write and pass the first public financing of state elections through the Clean Elections Act was ground breaking (1996). Betsy's outlook and capacity is needed more than ever now at the federal level if we are going to break the corporate hold on our government. We need her leadership in the U.S. Senate." Out of that, and her eagerness to help her friend, state Senator Jill Carter's campaign for Elijah Cumming's old seat in Baltimore-- "Jill’s track record as a supporter of reparations as a critical part of a civil rights agenda and Jill’s long-standing independence from party leadership, her track record of fighting to eradicate lead, enhance school funding formulas, hold police accountable, and guarantee healthcare for all are deeply inspiring and a testament to the conviction of a progressive who is guided by faith, as well as ideology"-- is what brought Marianne and Blue America together (again) to help raise awareness of and funds for-- candidates that have been endorsed both by Marianne and by Blue America.
She wants to share the names of the candidates who impressed her most. Even before he had decided to run, Marianne had gone to Iowa to do an event with J.D. Scholten, a benefit for the anti-poverty non-profit he was working for, Working Hero. "The synchronicity between what I was talking with people about in regard to endemic childhood poverty," said Marianne, "and what J.D. was doing in the field helped us form a bond that transcended electoral politics."
So we created an ActBlue page for the candidates Marianne would like to help. You can go through it-- and use it to contribute to any or all of the candidates-- by tapping on the thermometer on the right.
"I ran for president to help forge another direction for our country. I wanted to discuss things I felt needed to be discussed that otherwise were not. Now I hope the ideas my candidacy stood for will find seed in other campaigns."
She said she knows not every candidate is running on every one of her ideas and not every candidate has an identical platform but she said that these are "all progressive candidates who are carrying messages that matter. In the suburbs north of Atlanta, there's an exciting young woman running for Congress, Nabilah Islam. We all know that Congress lacks diversity, not only externally, but of mindsets, attitudes, and perspectives. It's the reason our government only works for the few and not all of us. This is why I am endorsing Nabilah. She brings a fresh voice and fresh perspectives to the table and the country needs more people like her in office."
Similarly she said she endorsed Will County Board member Rachel Ventura for congress because "she isn’t afraid to take on entrenched, powerful interests and can be counted on to fight for everyone in her community, for the environment, and because she is committed to opposing systemic racism and perpetual war. What I've learned about Rachel is that throughout her life, whenever she has encountered a corrupt system, she has fought it head-on... And there's a young man, Robert Emmons Jr., running for a seat just to the east of Rachel's in Chicago. Robert is a National Gun Violence Prevention Organizer and Social Innovator running for Congress to make this the last generation to be faced with everyday gun violence, an issue I talked about to audiences from coast to coast. He understands the interconnectivity of the problems, and more importantly knows how to address them in his community. Chicago needs Robert in Congress; we all do."
Texas is where Marianne grew up. She's excited to see Texas turning more and more away from the Trumpist ideology and close-mindedness and embracing ideas that were once not even given a hearing in the state. Mike Siegel, whose district stretches from Austin to close to where she was raised in Houston, is a candidate she hopes to go all out for. Mike's a stir-it up Texas civil rights lawyer and a former public school teacher, and he brings the heart of a teacher to everything he does. He's working for a Green New Deal in oil and gas country; he's speaking out for peace with Iran; he's fighting for universal healthcare to keep rural hospitals open and make sure everyone has the care they need. Texas and America need more leaders like Mike."
"Eva Putzova, an immigrant herself," said Marianne, "is a candidate who can’t be bought; we have to fundamentally change what kind of policymakers we send to Washington. When she ran for her local city council seat in 2014, her main agenda was to raise the minimum wage and in 2016, she did just that. She put people first then and she will do that when elected to Congress."