3rd Congressional District Democratic candidate: Marie Newman

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Democrat Marie Newman is a candidate for the 3rd Congressional District in Illinois. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

On Jan. 24, Marie Newman appeared before the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. We asked her why she’s running for the Democratic seat in the 3rd Congressional district of Illinois in the March 2018 primary:

I’m Marie Newman. I’m running for Congress here in the 3rd district in Illinois in the democratic primary. My background is quite a blend of things. I’m a former business person. I’ve owned a couple of small businesses, a ran a national non-profit called Team Up to Stop Bullying and I’ve worked on behalf of rights frequently, I’ve worked on gun violence as well as cancer clinical trials, bullying, several other activities under the rights umbrella.  

It will be working families and expanding the middle class, and what I mean by that is I believe in a minimum wage, paid leave, affordable childcare, expanding jobs, building infrastructure, healthcare for all, as well as expanding everybody’s rights. Right now, reproductive rights is under jeopardy, we have issues against many of our groups including immigrants. I believe in a clean DREAM Act, I believe in keeping families together. I also believe that our LGBTQ brothers and sisters have had a very tough time and I would work tirelessly to protect everyone’s rights.

The Chicago Sun-Times sent the candidates seeking nominations for Congress a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois. Marie Newman submitted the following answers to our questionnaire:

QUESTION: As a member of the House from Illinois, please explain what your specific cause or causes will be. Please avoid a generic topic or issue in your answer.

ANSWER: As a member of the House from Illinois, my top causes/issues will be:

Working Families and Rebuilding the Middle Class: Ending wage suppression, create a livable wage, paid benefits, affordable childcare and creating re-training programs

Healthcare for All: passing Medicare For ALL

Immigration rights protection

Infrastructure and transportation projects that rebuild failing structures and empower communities

Protecting and advancing everybody’s rights: Women, LGBTQ, People of color,

Advancing rights of super-small business via community lending empowerment, fair taxes and stronger SBA programs

Marie Newman

District running for: 3rd Congressional district (Illinois)

Political/Civic Background: Marie Newman is results-driven and progressive. As a small businesswoman, entrepreneur, national nonprofit executive, author and human rights advocate, Marie Newman has spent her life embracing challenges and working with others on solutions.

Born in Beverly and raised in Palos Park, Marie graduated from Carl Sandburg High School and the University of Wisconsin. After years of working for the largest ad agency in the U.S., where she became a partner at age 31, Marie left to start a successful consulting business. Over the course of more than a decade, Marie consulted for a diverse array of firms: from Fortune 1000 companies like Humana, Discover Card and Advocate Healthcare as well as small businesses and tech startups.

When one of her children was severely bullied in school, Marie founded a nonprofit group to address the problem — eventually expanding it nationwide. Partnering with Sears Holdings Inc., Marie created and became the Managing Director of Team Up to Stop Bullying, a coalition of 70 nonprofits dedicated to anti-bullying solutions. She worked directly with state and federal legislators to make anti-bullying policies a priority and wrote a book with solutions used by schools and parents across the country. She has also served as a state and national advocate for cancer research with the Gateway Foundation and common-sense gun safety with Moms Demand Action.

Marie and her husband Jim have been married for 21 years, and they live in La Grange with their two children.

Occupation: Congressional Candidate

Education: BA, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1986

Campaign website: marienewmanforcongress.com

QUESTION: Please list three district-specific needs that will be your priorities. This could be a project that is needed in your district, or a rule that needs to be changed, or some federal matter that has been ignored.

ANSWER: Building a re-training and training center near Midway airport that would support middle skills, labor and automation jobs training

Creating affordable childcare using existing infrastructure

Obtain funding for an overpass/underpass project near Midway Airport, better transportation connectivity to downtown for Bridgeport, the far southwestern suburbs and other key areas through Southwest Chicago

QUESTION: If you are running as a Democrat, what is your best idea for getting any initiative you may propose advanced if the House continues to be controlled by the GOP after the 2018 elections?

Advancing Democratic Ideas:

Stop building caucuses and committees that cannot get anything done.

Elect more women. As many studies over decades demonstrate, women collaborate better, are far more inclusive, find effective solutions faster and manage stress better than men.

What is missing today in the current Congress is not a lack of caucuses and committees, but real coalition builders. I have spent my life bringing people together from disparate positions based on an initial foundation or one idea we share. I believe Democrats, Republicans and Independents believe working families are not getting a fair shake. This is where we start.

Agree on the objective

Find folks with mutually agreed upon strategies and tactics to support

Build the coalition

Create an agreed upon input process

Stick to a schedule of drafting legislation


TOPIC: President Donald Trump

QUESTION: What do you make of President Trump?

ANSWER: I believe Donald Trump is a danger to democracy, is reckless internationally and is against all basic and civil rights

QUESTION: Which three actions by the Trump administration do you support the most? Which three do you oppose the most?

ANSWER: I cannot name three items with which I agree with Donald Trump. I would work with him on infrastructure, however, the top three actions I disagree:

His immigration policies

His tax plan and trickle down economics policies

His civil rights policies

QUESTION: What is your view of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian tampering in the 2016 election, including possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Does Mueller have your support?

 ANSWER: I believe Robert Mueller is working hard to uncover the Russian involvement. He is running a methodical, thoughtful and thorough investigation. I look forward to his ongoing revelation of evidence. I support Mueller, his team and the investigation whole-heartedly

TOPIC: Terrorism

QUESTION: What should Congress do to reduce the threat of terrorism at home, either from ISIS or from others?

ANSWER: While there is no easy answer to reducing terrorism, there are many efforts Congress can put forth: Creating understanding, demonstrating good faith and decreasing poverty and corruption will help create platforms to reduce terrorism.

Instead of reducing the number of diplomatic outposts, increase the footprint

Significantly increase culture-specific public relations and community outreach on the ground in challenged regions and trouble spots to gain understanding and build bridges

Help countries with strong terrorism ties to break down corruption and build real government supports that are culture-specific

Provide humanitarian assistance in countries whether we provide military intervention or not

Develop economic development counsel and support to challenged countries

TOPIC: Guns and violence

QUESTION: What is the single most important action Congress can take to curb gun violence in the United States?

ANSWER: The most important actions can take to curb gun violence are to

Create universal background checks

Ban assault weapons and bump stocks

Prevent purchase of and keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, criminals and terrorists

TOPIC: America’s Growing Wealth Gap

QUESTION: As an editorial board, our core criticism of the tax overhaul legislation supported by the Republican majorities in the House and Senate is that it lowers taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans at a time of historic inequalities of wealth and income in the United States. We believe in free markets, but it does not look to us like the “silent hand” of the market is functioning properly, rewarding merit fairly. We are troubled that the top 1 percent of Americans own 38.6 percent of the nation’s wealth and the bottom 90 percent own just 22.8 percent of the wealth. Tell us how we are right or wrong about this. Does the growing income and wealth gap trouble you?

ANSWER: I do find our polarizing economy quite troubling. We can do better.

The income continues to grow because we have allowed corporations to continue gaining profits while not expanding their employee base or increasing wages and salaries. Similarly, we continue to reward this behavior through ongoing loopholes and now clear tax cuts for large businesses. Most large companies pay less than 20% in taxes, while small businesses often pay 38%. The current tax plan will make that divide even wider and create a larger income gap

Further, the breakdown of unions, increase in right-to-work states and constant de-legitimization of the right to organize and collectively bargain, takes wealth away from the middle class.

Create Federal renewable energy infrastructure jobs program with corresponding training programs

Drive middle skills training programs through community colleges

In order to rebuild the middle class, we need to:

Require companies include Labor on each board (advisory or director –based)

Stop right-to-work laws

Incentivize companies that have a full re-training and training program for employees who are phased out due to automation or job role elimination

Incentivize companies who have strong profit sharing programs

Create guidelines on ratio of executive pay versus all salaries and wages

Pass a livable wage and paid leave acts

Include affordable and accessible childcare as a paid benefit

Build in-school before and after childcare programs nationwide

TOPIC: International affairs

QUESTION: Do you support the Trump administration’s decision to move the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? How will this help or hinder efforts to secure a lasting peace between Israel and its Middle East neighbors?

ANSWER: I disagree with moving the embassy to Jerusalem. It signals to the Muslim world that we are taking a stronger stance with Israel and are no longer capable of mediating or being facilitator during peace talks between Palestinians and Israel.

This will likely slow the progress toward peace talks and prevent key parties coming to the peace table.

QUESTION: Is military action by the United States a plausible response to the nuclear weapons threat posed by North Korea? How might a U.S. military response play out for South Korea, Japan and China? What alternative do you support?

ANSWER: North Korea continues to become more and more troubling. As always, military force should be the absolute last resort because of not only the endangerment of our own troops, but the clear danger for South Korea particularly, but also Japan and China. Given South Korea’s proximity, its citizens are in jeopardy regularly, but now given the antagonistic posture of the Trump administration, they are in daily danger.

If we did have a military interaction, it would be impossible to full protect South Korea from harm given its location. South Korea has been an ally and good partner who does not deserve to be the victim of the ridiculous game Trump is playing with North Korea. The Trump administration’s behavior is reckless, dangerous and upsetting

I support further sanctions working with China and Japan. I also believe creating a peace table mediated by our partners could be effective as well.

TOPIC: Immigration

QUESTION: The Supreme Court has ruled that the third version of the Trump administration’s travel ban on eight countries with predominantly Muslim populations can go into effect while legal challenges against the ban continue. What is your position on this travel ban?

ANSWER: I disagree vehemently with Trump’s travel ban. His religious test-style travel ban is wrong on every level.

We are a country of immigrants. America is at her best when she opens her doors to folks with different cultures and ideas. While there need to be rules to prevent issue, we need to streamline immigration and create a stronger immigration system that both protects us from the very small number of potential threats, but brings new folks in to help grow our culture mosaic, fill jobs and expand our economy.

QUESTION: Has the United States in the last decade been accepting too many immigrants, and does this pose a threat to the American way of life?

ANSWER: We are not accepting too many immigrants. Immigrants fill jobs that frequently stay open, provide diversity, create great understanding of the world and alternately help the world understand us better.

QUESTION: Should the “wall” between the United States and Mexico be built? What might it accomplish?

ANSWER: The “Wall” should not be built. It would create mistrust, project disrespect to our neighbors as well as being completely ineffective. This is a solution without a problem. Immigrants from Mexico fill jobs, help the economy and expand small businesses. Further, there are fewer and fewer coming in illegally each year.

TOPIC: Affordable Care Act

QUESTION: The tax reform plan created by Republican majorities in the House and Senate would eliminate the Obamacare “individual mandate” that most Americans must have health insurance or pay a fine. Does this threaten the viability of the Affordable Care Act? What more on this, if anything, should be done?

ANSWER: Yes, the elimination of the individual mandate will have a strong impact on the ACA. It takes away necessary funding and will defund some benefits of and possibly access to Obamacare for a significant number of potential recipients.

Given this, Congress needs to do whatever it can to protect other funding sources and bring back the mandate through other legislation

Finally, if the Democrats can take back the House in 2018, Congress should act immediately to bring back all funding and bolster the ACA while planning for the passage of and implementation of Medicare For All.

TOPIC: The opponent

QUESTION: What is your biggest difference with your opponent(s)?

Marie NewmanDan Lipinski
Non-profit leader, businesswoman and rights advocateEntrenched, inactive career politician
Believes healthcare is a rightBelieves Healthcare is a privilege


Support working families’ needsIs against $15/hr, affordable childcare and paid leave
Support all civil and human rightsIs anti-women’s healthcare, anti-LGBTQ
Support immigrants rightsAnti-DACA, anti-path to citizenship
Support small businessPro Big Business

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