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People's Action said that by endorsing these candidates, it is "building on the progressive political revolution ignited by Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign." (Photo: Paulann Egelhoff/flickr/cc)

To Build the Political Revolution, Grassroots Group Endorses 22 "People's Candidates"

People's Action endorses candidates who "represent families in America, not America's corporate elite"

Deirdre Fulton

Offering hope to those who feel "dispirited" by the presidential contest, the grassroots political organization People's Action on Tuesday released its list of 22 down-ballot endorsements for the 2016 election.

"These candidates come from out of the justice movement in America—some as leaders within our own organizations," said LeeAnn Hall, co-executive director of People's Action.

"They know what it's like to not be able to make ends meet," Hall said. "They understand how it feels to have to choose between meals or medicine for your children. They understand what it's like to be targeted for police violence because you are black, or have your family threatened by deportation. They represent families in America, not America's corporate elite."

Observers will notice overlap between the People's Action endorsements and those of Our Revolution, the organization launched to carry on the progressive ideals of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Among the names on both lists are higher-profile candidates like Russ Feingold in Wisconsin, Zephyr Teachout in New York, and David Zuckerman in Vermont; as well as lesser-knowns like Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, Chris Rabb in Pennsylvania, and Jamie Raskin in Maryland. 

That's no coincidence.

In a press statement, People's Action said that by endorsing these candidates, it is "building on the progressive political revolution ignited by Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. We are lifting up grassroots leaders who are committed to fighting for people instead of corporate profits; standing up for racial and gender justice; working for an equitable people's economy, and fighting global warming and for climate justice."

To be sure, such platforms also invite the ire of billionaire-funded super PACs, as Our Revolution warned in a fundraising email sent to supporters just this week. Citing her work to get big money out of politics, Our Revolution's Jeff Weaver wrote that Teachout, along with three other grassroots candidates (Morgan Carroll in Colorado, Rick Nolan in Minnesota, and Tom Nelson in Wisconsin), is "up against millions of dollars from a single super PAC."

"These billionaires want to buy seats in Congress for a pretty simple reason: they want people in office who will fight to expand corporate tax breaks, oppose efforts to raise the minimum wage, and to pass disastrous trade deals," Weaver wrote. "We believe that there's a different way our democracy should work."

The full slate of People's Action candidates is:

Russ Feingold                 

Wisconsin, U.S. Senate

Christina Hartman          

Pennsylvania, U.S. House of Representatives District 16

Pramila Jayapal              

Washington, U.S. House of Representatives, District 7

Zephyr Teachout             

New York, U.S. House of Representatives, District 19

Heidi Brooks                    

Maine, State House of Representatives District 61

Mari Cordes                     

Vermont, House of Representatives, Addison, District  4

Arturo Fierro                    

New Mexico, State House of Representatives District 7

Lauren Freedman            

Michigan, Kalamazoo School Board

Kim Foxx                          

Illinois, Cook County, State's Attorney

LaTonya Johnson            

Wisconsin, State Senate District 6

Denise Lopez                   

Nevada, Sparks City Council Ward 1

Theresa Mah                    

Illinois, State House of Representatives, District 2

Gina Melaragno               

Maine, State House of Representatives District 62

Sara Niccoli                      

New York, State Senate, District 46

Ilhan Omar                        

Minnesota, State House of Representatives District 60B

Chris Rabb                        

Pennsylvania, State House of Representatives District 200

Jamie Raskin                    

Maryland, Congressional District 8

Gustavo Rivera                 

New York, State Senate District 33

J. Alejandro Urrutia          

New Hampshire, State House of Representatives District Hillsborough 37

Andru Volinsky                  

New Hampshire, Executive Council District. 2

Mandy Wright                  

Wisconsin, State Assembly, District 85

David Zuckerman             

Vermont, Lieutenant Governor

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