Photo by Marie Newman for Congress, Marie Newman with Gloria Steinem
Illinois’ canvassers are out in full force this weekend as we draw closer to the Illinois Democratic Primary election on March 20th. Each district has its races to keep an eye on, but a particular race in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional district has been in the national eye and resonates with many critiques of Nancy Pelosi as Minority Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Progressive Marie Newman will challenge incumbent Dan Lipinski, whose views on abortion (voting YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion in 2011, and sponsored prohibiting abortion information at school health centers in 2013,) and gay marriage (voting to protect anti-same-sex marriage opinions in 2013,) have drawn criticism nationwide.
Pelosi has come out in support of Lipinski in the last week, an unsurprising decision for some who have considered Pelosi’s stance on this issue in the past. According to Mother Jones, when progressives criticized the DCCC for refusing to apply a reproductive rights litmus test to 2018 candidates—it never has—Pelosi insisted there was room in the party for anti-abortion candidates. “This is the Democratic Party, this is not a rubber-stamp party,” she told the Washington Post.
Lipinski voted against Obamacare when it was first introduced, which he admits in a Press Release on his website when asked to clarify his stance with regards to the recent ACA repeal vote. According to the Tribune, Lipinski also was one of the few votes against the DREAM Act to protect young undocumented immigrants come at a time of broader polarization within the party.
The Tribune also points out that Service Employees International Union Illinois State Council has thrown its support to Newman, who has pledged to work for a $15 minimum wage.
“He also is on an absolute mission against women. He has voted to restrict a woman’s right to choose somewhere upwards of 50 times and several times tried to take funding away from Planned Parenthood,” Newman said.
— Marie Newman (@Marie4Congress) February 26, 2018
“I’ve been watching Lipinski’s votes for the entire time he’s been in Congress, which is 14 years, and he always votes against the district,” Newman said in an interview with WGN Radio. “Whether it’s against immigration rights, against DACA, against working families, against expanding the middle class, and saying that he’s working on infrastructure and there being absolutely no evidence that he is, so with that as I watched that unfold, it’s what’s happening in the Democratic Party. We’re speaking up, this guy who should be in the Republican Party should go to the Republican Party, and we need a Progressive voice.”
Daniel Johanson (he/him) is a journalist and digital media specialist living in Chicago, Illinois. He serves as Editor-in-Chief at Scapi and in that capacity manages all things content, including writing and editing articles and producing digital content. His most recent work includes the docuseries Heart of a Nation: Tracking Socialism in the Midwest and co-hosting the podcast Scapi Radio. He spends his free time with cats.