Brand New Congress
Brand New Congress is an American political action committee formed by former staffers and supporters of Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign to elect hundreds of new congressional representatives in line with the campaign's political platform.
Brand New Congress is a volunteer-led American political organization that intends to run hundreds of campaigns for United States Congress with candidates of the organization's choosing by the 2018 midterm elections, regardless of party affiliation. The organization plans to make staffing and fundraising decisions for all its candidates at once. About 20 volunteers from Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign formed the group in April 2016 as Sanders conceded the primary to Hillary Clinton. They planned the organization to support Sanders's platform and carry its supporters' momentum into policymaking. Brand New Congress planned to announce 50 candidates by March 2017 and over 400 by July 2017. Of the 535 total seats in the United States Congress (House and Senate), 468 were up for reelection in 2018. The group ran both Democratic and Republican candidates, depending on regional demographics, as well as independents when an incumbent wins the primary. Brand New Congress requires candidates to align with Sanders's presidential platform, regardless of party affiliation. While there are large differences in Republican and Democratic policies, Brand New Congress hopes that people will unify under the goal of reforming Congress.
—Zack Exley, former Sanders advisor and a founding member of Brand New Congress
The group attended the July 2016 Democratic National Convention to canvass for support in protester sites and throughout the city. By then the group had raised $85,000, about 90% of it in small donations. Its email list contained 20,000 addresses. Brand New Congress began a tour of 100 cities in mid-2016. Founding members of the group were encouraged by the success of the Sanders campaign's grassroots fundraising, which surpassed the Clinton campaign's several times in monthly income. As of October 2016, the group was accepting nominations for future candidates and openly developing its economic platform.
In the 2018 primary season, Brand New Congress officially endorsed 30 candidates:
|Candidate||State||Party||Office||Primary date||Primary result||%||General result||%|
|Jessica Scarane||Delaware||Democratic||U.S. Senator from Delaware||September 15, 2020||Lost||21.3%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Kimberly Graham||Iowa||Democratic||U.S. Senator from Iowa||June 2, 2020||Lost||15%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Charles Booker||Kentucky||Democratic||U.S. Senator from Kentucky||June 23, 2020||Lost||42.6%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Betsy Sweet||Maine||Democratic||U.S. Senator from Maine||July 14, 2020||Lost||23.2%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Maggie Toulouse Oliver||New Mexico||Democratic||U.S. Senator from New Mexico||June 2, 2020||Withdrew||N/A||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Paula Jean Swearengin||West Virginia||Democratic||U.S. Senator from West Virginia||June 9, 2020||Won||38.8%||Lost||27%|
|Candidate||State||Party||Office||Primary date||Primary result||%||General result||%|
|Eva Putzova||Arizona||Democratic||Arizona's 1st congressional district||August 4, 2020||Lost||41.2%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Kimberly Williams||California[n 1]||Democratic||California's 16th congressional district||March 3, 2020||Lost||5.7%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Peter Mathews||California[n 1]||Democratic||California's 47th congressional district||March 3, 2020||Lost||11%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Jen Perelman||Florida||Democratic||Florida's 23rd congressional district||August 18, 2020||Lost||28%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Michael Hepburn||Florida||Democratic||Florida's 27th congressional district||August 25, 2020||Withdrew||N/A||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Nabilah Islam||Georgia||Democratic||Georgia's 7th congressional district||June 9, 2020||Lost||12.3%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Michael Owens||Georgia||Democratic||Georgia's 13th congressional district||June 9, 2020||Lost||13.2%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Robert Emmons Jr.||Illinois||Democratic||Illinois's 1st congressional district||March 17, 2020||Lost||10.3%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Anthony Clark||Illinois||Democratic||Illinois's 7th congressional district||March 17, 2020||Lost||13.0%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Rachel Ventura||Illinois||Democratic||Illinois's 11th congressional district||March 17, 2020||Lost||41.3%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Jim Harper||Indiana||Democratic||Indiana's 1st congressional district||June 2, 2020||Lost||10.1%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Shelia Bryant||Maryland||Democratic||Maryland's 4th congressional district||June 2, 2020||Lost||18.8%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Mckayla Wilkes||Maryland||Democratic||Maryland's 5th congressional district||June 2, 2020||Lost||26.7%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Alex Morse||Massachusetts||Democratic||Massachusetts's 1st congressional district||September 1, 2020||Lost||41.2%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Ihssane Leckey||Massachusetts||Democratic||Massachusetts's 4th congressional district||September 1, 2020||Lost||11.1%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Jon Hoadley||Michigan||Democratic||Michigan's 6th congressional district||August 4, 2020||Won||52.3%||Lost||40.2%|
|Rashida Tlaib (inc.)||Michigan||Democratic||Michigan's 13th congressional district||August 4, 2020||Won||66.3%||Won||78.1%|
|Cori Bush||Missouri||Democratic||Missouri's 1st congressional district||August 4, 2020||Won||48.6%||Won||78.8%|
|Kara Eastman||Nebraska||Democratic||Nebraska's 2nd congressional district||May 12, 2020||Won||62.1%||Lost||46.2%|
|Zina Spezakis||New Jersey||Democratic||New Jersey's 9th congressional district||July 7, 2020||Lost||14.9%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Melanie D’Arrigo||New York||Democratic||New York's 3rd congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||25.5%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Shaniyat Chowdhury||New York||Democratic||New York's 5th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||23.1%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Mel Gagarin||New York||Democratic||New York's 6th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||21.2%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Isiah James||New York||Democratic||New York's 9th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||9.4%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Lindsey Boylan||New York||Democratic||New York's 10th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||25%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Lauren Ashcraft||New York||Democratic||New York's 12th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||13.3%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (inc.)||New York||Democratic||New York's 14th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Won||72.6%||Won||71.6%|
|Tomás Ramos||New York||Democratic||New York's 15th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Lost||2.6%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Jamaal Bowman||New York||Democratic||New York's 16th congressional district||June 23, 2020||Won||55.5%||Won||84.0%|
|Morgan Harper||Ohio||Democratic||Ohio's 3rd congressional district||April 28, 2020||Lost||31.7%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Nick Rubando||Ohio||Democratic||Ohio's 5th congressional district||April 28, 2020||Won||51.4%||Lost||32.0%|
|Albert Lee||Oregon||Democratic||Oregon's 3rd congressional district||May 19, 2020||Lost||16.8%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Doyle Canning||Oregon||Democratic||Oregon's 4th congressional district||May 19, 2020||Lost||15.4%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Mark Gamba||Oregon||Democratic||Oregon's 5th congressional district||May 19, 2020||Lost||22.9%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Corey Strong||Tennessee||Democratic||Tennessee's 9th congressional district||August 6, 2020||Lost||14.8%||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Michael Siegel||Texas[n 3]||Democratic||Texas's 10th congressional district||March 3, 2020
|July 7, 2020
|Adrienne Bell||Texas[n 3]||Democratic||Texas's 14th congressional district||March 3, 2020||Won||61.8%||Lost||38.4%|
|Peter Khalil||Washington[n 1]||Democratic||Washington's 3rd congressional district||August 4, 2020||Withdrew||N/A||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Chris Armitage||Washington[n 1]||Democratic||Washington's 5th congressional district||August 4, 2020||Withdrew||12.1%[n 4]||Did not qualify||N/A|
|Rebecca Parson||Washington[n 1]||Democratic||Washington's 6th congressional district||August 4, 2020||Lost||13.5%||Did not qualify||N/A|
- California and Washington use a jungle primary system, where all candidates run on one primary ballot, regardless of party affiliation, and the top two finishers advance to the general election.
- Ran unopposed
- Texas uses a two-round primary system. If a candidate receives above 50% of the vote in the first round, they become the party's nominee; otherwise, the top two finishers advance to a second round.
- While Armitage withdrew prior to Washington's primary election date, he still remained on the ballot, and, thus, still received votes.
- Rebuild the economy through infrastructure and community investment.
- Fix the healthcare system with Medicare for All and increased access to medical services.
- End mass incarceration by ending the War on Drugs and demilitarizing police.
- Fight for families through fixing schools and family leave.
- Clean up Washington D.C. by cutting taxes for middle and low income people and removing money from politics.
- Reform our immigration system with employment verification systems and global legal immigration centers.
- Stop fighting reckless wars and instead support economic development as with the Marshall Plan.
- Address climate change through building a green economy and a 100% renewable energy system.
Summer for Progress
Several progressive organizations, including Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, Democratic Socialists of America, National Nurses United, Working Families Party, and Fight for 15, announced in July 2017 a push to encourage House Democrats to sign on to a #PeoplesPlatform, which consists of supporting "eight bills currently in the House of Representatives that will address the concerns of everyday Americans." These eight bills and the topics they address are:
- Medicare for All: H.R. 676 Medicare For All Act
- Free College Tuition: H.R. 1880 College for All Act of 2017
- Worker Rights: H.R.15 - Raise the Wage Act 
- Women's Rights: H.R.771 - Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017 
- Voting Rights: H.R. 2840 - Automatic Voter Registration Act
- Environmental Justice: Climate Change Bill - TBD
- Criminal Justice and Immigrant Rights: H.R. 3227 - Justice is Not For Sale Act of 2017
- Taxing Wall Street: H.R. 1144 - Inclusive Prosperity Act
- Our Revolution – the official political action organization spun out of the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign
- Justice Democrats – a PAC dedicated to replacing corporate-backed Democratic Congressional representatives
- "Political Group 'Brand New Congress' Modeled After Bernie Sanders". YouTube. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- Stein, Jeff (May 30, 2016). "The Bernie Congress: meet the insurgents trying to recreate Sanders's movement down ballot". Vox. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- Mahler, Jonathan; Alcindor, Yamiche (May 22, 2016). "Bernie Sanders Makes a Campaign Mark. Now, Can He Make a Legacy?". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- Mahler, Jonathan; Corasaniti, Nick (May 5, 2016). "Bernie Sanders's Online Foot Soldiers Weigh Their Next Campaign". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- "Bernie Won't Get the Nomination. But His Online Army Isn't Done". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- "Brand New Congress: 535 progressive candidates, 1 ticket". April 26, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- "FAQ". Brand New Congress. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "The Plan". Brand New Congress. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
- "What's next for Sanders backers? Replace the entire Congress". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- SCHMIDT, PETER. "What's Next For College Students Who Backed Bernie Sanders." Chronicle Of Higher Education 62.41 (2016): A13. Education Source. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
- Sanders also announced his own organization to run progressive candidates, Our Revolution.
- "Still Feeling the Bern." CQ Magazine (July 25, 2016). http://library.cqpress.com/cqweekly/weeklyreport114-000004934438.
- GUTTENPLAN, D. D. "The Future Of Bernie Sanders's Grassroots Army." Nation 302.25/26 (2016): 12. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
- GUTTENPLAN, D. D. "Clean Sweep." Nation 303.9/10 (2016): 22-24. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
- Lachman, Samantha (April 27, 2016). "Former Sanders Staffers Want To Elect A 'Brand New Congress'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- SMITH, DALLAS, et al. "Letters." Nation 303.15 (2016): 2-34. Academic Search Complete. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
- "Brand New Congress". brandnewcongress.org. Archived from the original on November 20, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
- Tom McKay (January 23, 2017). "Cenk Uygur, Bernie Sanders staffers team up to take over the Democratic Party". Mic.com. Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "Brand New Congress Official Candidates". Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- "Brand New Congress Official Platform". Archived from the original on June 18, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
- "Summer for Progress Petition". Retrieved July 23, 2017.
- 115th Congress (2017) (January 24, 2017). "H.R. 676 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act
- 115th Congress (2017) (April 4, 2017). "H.R. 1880 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
College for All Act of 2017
- 115th Congress (2017) (May 25, 2017). "H.R. 15 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Raise the Wage Act
- 115th Congress (2017) (January 31, 2017). "H.R. 771 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017
- 115th Congress (2017) (June 8, 2017). "H.R. 2840 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Automatic Voter Registration Act
- 115th Congress (2017) (July 13, 2017). "H.R. 3227 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
To improve Federal sentencing and corrections practices, and for other purposes.
- 115th Congress (2017) (February 16, 2017). "H.R. 1144 (115th)". Legislation. GovTrack.us. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2017
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