Meet the Progressive Candidates Bernie Is Sharing His Donations With

Supporters of Bernie Sanders love his progressive views and outsider appeal, but the Democratic establishment isn’t nearly as impressed. They’ve frequently criticized the presidential candidate for not being a team player. While top Democratic figures use their prominence to help raise money for down-ticket candidates, it’s fair to say that Sanders hasn’t done a lot to raise money for the DNC at large.

By Sanders’ own admission, the progressive revolution he’s hoping takes hold in America is not a one-man job. In order to transform politics, progressive candidates need to be elected at all levels of government, particularly in Congress.

This week, Sanders began sharing his knack for fundraising with three far left candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives on the Democratic ballot. Sending out emails to his supporters commending each of these three candidates, Sanders encouraged his donor base to contribute to their respective campaigns in addition to his own.

From the looks of their backgrounds and stances, we’d be lucky to have all three of these women representing us in Congress:

1. Pramila Jayapal


Jayapal immigrated to the United States as a teenager, subsequently becoming a citizen in 2000. She is a community activist who cares deeply for the environment, reproductive rights and reforming the justice system.

Her activism is multi-faceted. She was a leader in Seattle’s successful quest for a $15 minimum wage and paid sick days for all workers. After the September 11 attacks, she founded “No Hate Zone,” now called “OneAmerica,” a nationally recognized and influential group designed to protect immigrants and Muslims from bigoted assaults.

Though Jayapal did work in Wall Street for a while, it’s fair to say she’s disillusioned by that experience. She makes no bones about her unwillingness to work for the 1% as well as her desire to crush the income inequality that runs rampant throughout the country.

If elected to U.S. Congress, Jayapal says the first bill she’ll submit is one that guarantees Americans a debt-free college education. She also promises to expand Social Security and Medicare rather than cut them at the request of corporate interests.

Jayapal currently serves as a member of the Washington State Senate. She stands a good chance of winning a spot in the U.S. House of Representatives since the Democrat currently representing the district she is running for is retiring. Though both constituents and fellow politicians seem to adore Jayapal, she does face some stiff competition in her August primary for the Democratic nomination.

2. Zephyr Teachout

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Teachout is a law professor and author, someone who as Sanders puts it, “literally wrote the book on political corruption.” She understands the problems of D.C. inside and out, including the various loopholes that permit politicians and lobbyists to pervert the system.

As such, her self-appointed role in Congress would largely be to clean it up. Her top priority is to overturn Citizens United, while also pushing for public financing in elections and putting a stop to legislators taking high-paid lobbyist jobs after leaving office.

Another of Teachout’s chief concerns is strengthening laws and regulations that enable small businesses to thrive, including enforcing antitrust laws, blocking the TPP and requiring bailed out banks to offer loans to small business owners and farmers. Meanwhile, from an environmental standpoint, she wants to do more to keep water clean and put major investments into developing renewable energy.

Teachout previously ran for Governor of New York in 2014 against incumbent Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo, who declined to debate or even greet Teachout publicly, was poised to cruise to a victory given his name recognition, as well as having political allies and massive money at his disposal. Still, Teachout ran an amazing underdog primary campaign in which she called out establishment politics and took a surprising 35 percent of the vote from Cuomo. With the odds stacked against her, she proved she has a strong message that resonates with voters.

3. Lucy Flores

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When Flores, a lifelong Las Vegas resident, was abandoned by her mother at a young age, she took on the responsibility of raising her younger siblings while her dad worked multiple jobs. Without guidance, she dropped out of school and joined a gang, winding up in juvenile detention before turning her life around. She eventually got her GED, earned a law degree from UNLV and later was elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2010.

Because of her upbringing, Flores understands how the odds are stacked against lots of Americans. She’s committed her life to helping people – particularly women – to have more control over their own economic and reproductive choices, and access to affordable higher education to improve their lives.

In Congress, Flores would like to take on Wall Street and unfair labor laws, while pushing corporations away from Washington by instituting campaign finance reform and instituting changes in tax policy to make these companies pay their fair share.

As a survivor of the criminal justice system, Flores wants to eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline that so many impoverished youths go through, and help imprisoned people to be rehabilitated and start their lives anew once free.

Coming from an immigrant family, Flores is a vocal advocate for immigration reform, hoping to offer more pathways to citizenship to families currently living in the United States.

Regardless of whether Sanders wins his bid for the White House, putting more progressives into Congress is an important step forward. Here’s hoping that Sanders’ growing popularity can help provide these candidates with the money and buzz necessary to start making changes in Washington.

Photo Credit: Jayapal, Teachout, Flores


Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

They are not "progressive", they are socialists! Do we really want to live in a socialist society? Look at Cuba and Venezuela!

Susan T.
Susan T2 years ago

These are not "far left" candidates. They represent values and the platform the Democratic Party had before Corporations and billionaires took it over. We all need to support them NOW.

Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

S Gardner
sandy Gardner2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

caroline lord
caroline lord2 years ago

thank you

Janet B.
Janet B2 years ago


Eric Lees
Eric Lees2 years ago

"Denmark Tells Bernie Sanders It’s Had Enough Of His ‘Socialist’ Slurs "
"While speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the center-right Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was aware “that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism.”

“Therefore,” he said, “I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

Rasmussen acknowledged that “the Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens,” but he also noted that it is “a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish.”

Janet B.
Janet B2 years ago