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In Our Own Backyard: Marie Newman challenging Lupinski for US House of Representatives

Kay Bolden | 8/30/2017, 3:47 p.m.
Marie Newman, a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives from IL-3, says she’s “Done with Dan” Lupinski, and ...

Marie Newman, a Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives from IL-3, says she’s “Done with Dan” Lupinski, and she thinks the voters are, too. U.S. Representative Lupinski, a socially conservative Democrat, has a voting record that sometimes mirrors that of the GOP.

“I think our district is hungry for change,” Newman says. IL-3 comprises a long swath through Will, DuPage and Cook counties, including Crest Hill, Lockport, and Homer Glen up through Western Springs, Brookfield and into Chicago. “Support for working families and small businesses have to be our priorities. Our communities need bridges—opportunities for growth, fair trade deals, livable wages, benefits and paid leave, affordable child care and health care for all. We need to invest in renewable energy and environmental education at all levels.”

According to her official bio, Newman grew up in Palos Park, graduated from Carl Sandburg High School and the University of Wisconsin. After years of working for the largest ad agency in the U.S., Marie started her own successful consulting business, working with Fortune 1000 companies as well as small businesses and tech startups.

She created and became the Managing Director of the nonprofit, Team Up to Stop Bullying, a coalition of 70 nonprofits dedicated to anti-bullying solutions. She has also served as a state and national advocate for cancer research with the Gateway Foundation and common-sense gun safety with Mom’s Demand Action.

Newman’s extensive experience in both the business and nonprofit worlds gives her a unique perspective on what is needed for growth and stability in the district. She points out that 80% of businesses in this district are super small, and family-run. “We have to make it possible for small, community banks to invest in their own communities. This is an important way to create economic growth.”

Congressman Lupinski has held the House seat since 2005, more or less inheriting it from his father Bill Lupinski, who had served 11 terms before deciding to retire. The elder Lupinski—a loyal Ward committeeman--convinced local party bosses to let the younger Lupinski replace him on the ballot. He is now serving his sixth term.

Given the current state of the Democratic Party, with the Sanders and Clinton factions still grappling with how to unite and find a way forward, some may think the timing is wrong to challenge a sitting Democrat for the House seat. But Newman views it differently.

“Ordinarily I’d say, absolutely, this is a time for Democrats to put aside differences and work together to protect Americans from President Trump’s destructive policies,” says Newman. “But Lupinski isn’t really a Democrat; he’s actually a Republican pretending to be a Democrat.”

“He stands shoulder-to-shoulder with President Trump on immigration policy. He voted against the ACA (Obamacare), and voted with the GOP to repeal it during the Obama administration. He votes consistently to defund Planned Parenthood—to literally strip away health care services for women who need mammograms, birth control and pre-natal care.”

“How can you call yourself “pro-life” if you want to make it difficult for women to have healthy pregnancies?” she asks.