Organize today so we win tomorrow

Join us for this pivotal moment as the Brand New Congress announces its slate of candidates running for House and Senate seats in 2018.

November 6th marks one year to get in gear. Dozens of BNC candidates will stand side by side on the Capitol Steps and on this day they will organize and strategize along with volunteers and supporters nationwide.

Meet working people who have dedicated their entire lives to service in healthcare, education, business and non-profit work. They are community leaders and activists made up of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents who believe in the post-partisan mission of bringing democracy back to the people.

The Brand New Summit is for you if….

You are seeking ways to be an active participant to elect non-establishment candidates who refuse corporate PAC and lobbyist money.

You are inspired to run for office and would like to learn first hand about what the experience has been like working on a grassroots campaign and develop a support network.

You want to participate in panel platform discussions led by our candidates and leaders within political organizations to figure out where we go from here.

You want to play a major role in the RESIST movement alongside the future leaders of this country.

Participating Organizations


Cori Bush

The people of Missouri’s 1st district need a representative who understands their struggles and will fight for real solutions. Cori Bush is a former teacher, a registered nurse and a pastor. She’s a single mother and an engaged citizen. More importantly, she’s a fighter.

Cori BushMissouri’s 1st
Letitia Plummer

Letitia Plummer has watched the middle class and working families get squeezed from every side by a political process that’s left their lives hanging in the balance. She has struggled as a small business owner to give my employees fair wages and good benefits. Letitia understands that it’s time for policies that empower working families and small business owners — the engine of the American economy.

Letitia PlummerTexas 22nd
Chardo Richardson

Chardo Richardson has worked to improve the lives of Floridians, educators, workers, and students as President of the ACLU of Central Florida chapter and as Director of the Seminole UniServ labor organization. Chardo says its time to do more, and he is working to be an advocate for every Floridian in his bid for Congress. Chardo’s experiences as a veteran and civil rights advocate prepared him to safeguard the civil liberties of others.

Chardo RichardsonFlorida - 7th
Paula Jean Swearengin

West Virginia coal powered a nation. Paula Jean Swearengin believes it’s now time for West Virginians to invest in themselves. She’s leading the fight for Medicare for all, universal pre-K, free tech schools and colleges, and advocating for multi-billion dollar investments in West Virginia to rebuild infrastructure, boost industry and spark innovation.

Paula Jean SwearenginWest Virginia Senate
Sarah Smith

A congressperson represents their people—at least, they’re supposed to. Congress today works to protect the bottom line of powerful multinational corporations, not people like us. She believes she is the candidate who can represent the loud, resistant, beacon of social change that is the 9th and will fight for social and economic change against a system rigged for normal people like us to fail.

Sarah SmithWashington 9th
Marc Whitmire

Marc Whitmire is a veteran and small business owner fighting to end the corrupting influence of money in politics. He believes in guaranteeing health care for every American with Medicare for All will help entrepreneurs by freeing up capital to grow their business and hire more workers.
Marc is fighting to take the Republican party back to its roots; one that is focused on the needs if it’s constituents encourages small business and helps to grow the middle class. 

Marc WhitmireTennessee 2nd
Robb Ryerse

You know what Robb Ryerse is interested in? A Republican party that’s consistent and true to its values. That cares not just about big corporations but small businesses. That doesn’t just say it supports life but backs it up by making sure people have healthcare. That supports policies for average people.
That’s why Robb signed on to Brand New Congress as its first endorsed Republican and is working every day to restore the Republican party and to truly listen to the voices in his district. 

Robb RyerseArkansas 3rd
Anthony Clark

Born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois, to a working-class family, Anthony Clark is a high school special education teacher, active community organizer and a veteran who has witnessed and lived through the struggles so many Americans face.

He believes it’s time this country lives up to its promise of liberty and justice for all. Anthony is working with his fellow Brand New Congress candidates to fight for criminal justice reform, public education funding, and responsible job creation.

Anthony ClarkIllinois 7th
Dorothy Gasque

Dorothy Gasque is a third generation public servant who served eight years in the U.S. Army. She believes in leadership through action. Dorthy has worked with the non-profit startup Concerned Humans Against Poverty (CHAP) she helped organize dozens of volunteers that are making immediate positive changes for their houseless neighbors.
Dorothy not only recognizes, but reflects the true values of a leader; courage, integrity, compassion, and public service and is bringing those values to her run for Congress in Washington’s 3rd district.

Dorothy Gasque Washington’s 3rd
Vanessa Adia

Vanessa Adia’s work in ministry, community advocacy, and the non-profit sector has led her to work closely with hundreds of individuals in her community. She is now motivated to serve her community in a new way by running for U.S.
Congressional District 12. The foundation of her entire campaign and position on issues is to give every
the person in our great nation equal access and opportunity to pursue liberty, health, and happiness.

Vanessa AdiaTexas 12th
Linsay Fagan

Linsay Fagan believes it’s time for genuine leadership that puts the lives and livelihoods of everyday Texans first. It’s time for leaders who serve the people of Texas, not the special interests.

She is running for U.S. House of Representatives because, for too long, Texans have been without accountable leadership in Washington. Linsay says Americans are no longer confident that our elected officials determine policy by its effects on the people they represent, not the size of their bank account.

Linsay Fagan Texas 26th
J. Darnell Jones

J. Darnell Jones is a recently retired naval officer with 24 years of service and who has dedicated his life to the service of the country.
Darnell believes it  is important to remember that members of Congress don’t just make decisions for their districts, but for our country as a whole. His training of the law, leadership experience as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and the familiar challenges of growing up as a child in poverty gives him a wealth of knowledge along with an unmatched level of empathy and determination to help guide TX CD-02 and the country forward.

J. Darnell Jones Texas 2nd
Alex Ocasio- Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a veteran organizer, advocate, and entrepreneur. In her career, she has helped women in the developing world obtain small business loans, trained Latino youth to be future business leaders, and advocated for working people.
Alexandria understands New York’s 14th congressional district urgently needs access to more reliable jobs, increased access to family support services like parental leave and free childcare.

Alex Ocasio- CortezNew York 14th
David Benac

David doesn’t believe the Federal Government is working in the best interests of the American people, and we face too many serious challenges today to let this continue.  He is running based on what he believes to be human rights and dignity. Clean water, air, soil, and food free from toxins, safe workplaces, healthcare, and equality under the law are human rights. These rights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but he believes they are fundamental to the continuation of human society. In the United States, we must commit to ensuring the human rights of all people.

David BenacMichigan 6th
Rick Treviño

Bernie Sanders Delegate Rick Treviño has served as a public school teacher for 5 years and is a member of the teacher’s union (AFT). He is running as a congressional candidate for the 23rd District of Texas to fight for healthcare as a right, minimum wage, free college tuition and renewable energy.

Rick TreviñoTexas 23rd
Adrienne Bell

Native Houstonian Adrienne Bell is a mother and grandmother who rose from humble beginnings to become her family’s first generation college graduate. She went on to obtain a Masters degree and is currently pursuing a PhD in Education Administration.

Adrienne BellTexas 14th
John Heenan

I believe in a better Montana. Montana deserves a representative who will be honest with them, and won’t resort to lies and deception. Montana deserves a representative who will follow the law, instead of placing him or herself above it. Montana deserves a representative who holds the best interest of everyone they serve, not just the rich and powerful.

John HeenanMontana At Large
Michael Hepburn

Michael is a School of Business Senior Academic Advisor, who grew up in the district, lives and works in the district and who currently serves as a City of Miami Park & Recreation Board member; Miami Police Citizen-On-Patrol. He is the Co-Founder of the Allapattah Neighborhood Association and is a youth mentor.

Michael HepburnFlorida 27th
Amy Vilela

Amy Vilela in Nevada’s 4th District is a fighter and will never stop advocating for Medicare for All, a $15/hour living wage, a Green New Deal, and democratic and electoral reforms that remove Big Money from politics.

Amy VilelaNevada 4th
Wendy Reed

Wendy Reed has been a community advocate in her region for 30 years, engaging people in government processes from voting to land use planning. She has always been the person who stands up against bullies, who serves on boards and committees to achieve community goals, and who steps up when someone is needed.

Wendy ReedCalifornia 23rd
Roza Calderon

As a scientist, activist, and single mother, Roza Calderon knows that we need leaders who represent real people’s needs over party interests.

Roza Calderon California 4th


Judge Arthur Burnett

The Honorable Arthur L. Burnett, SR, Retired Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia,  Vice President of Administration,  National Executive Director and National Spokesman for the National African American Drug Policy Coalition Inc. was selected as Top Judge of the Year for 2017 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP).

Judge Arthur Burnett
Dr. Merelyn Bates-Mims

Merelyn’s endearing and genuine nature coupled with her eloquent speech gives her a truly commanding presence that has the power to educate and inspire in order to create more sustainable communities. Of her many accomplishments, Merelyn has a Ph.D. in Linguistics, was a Fulbright scholar, was the Director of Diversity at Xavier University, and worked as a deputy director in Ohio state government. She recently headed a racial profiling project through the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio. She is the mother of three children. She is also a grandmother and a great-grandmother.

Dr. Merelyn Bates-Mims
Marques Banks

Marques Banks joined the Washington Lawyers’ Committee in September 2017 as an Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellow sponsored by Covington & Burling, LLP. Mr. Banks will challenge the criminalization of poverty, through direct representation and policy advocacy for individuals subject to overly onerous fines, fees and jail time for minor offenses. Has a background in community organizing and coalition building.

Marques Banks
SNAP PAC: Jacob Malinowski

Students for a New American Politics (SNAP) was founded in 2006 to give underrepresented students a chance to participate in progressive politics. Often, entry-level positions in politics are low- or non-paying. This means many amazing students never have the chance to get involved in politics. Through our fellowship program, we hope put progressive candidates in office while giving outstanding students the chance to learn hands-on and transform into successful leaders.

SNAP PAC: Jacob Malinowski
Guillermo Creamer

Pay Our Interns is bipartisan, non-profit organization that advocates for an increase in the amount of paid internships within our government, for-profit, and nonprofit sector. POI serves as a research platform, advocacy guide, and internship database for students across the country. Paid internships should be available to all students in every sector, whether private or public. A student’s socioeconomic status should not be a barrier to getting real-world work experience.

Guillermo Creamer
Justin Strekal

Justin Strekal is the Political Director for NORML, where he serve as an advocate to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and to reform our nations laws to no longer treat marijuana consumers as second class citizens. Before working on drug policy, Justin worked on tax, wage, and campaign finance policy and for campaigns throughout the country at every level of government.

Justin Strekal
Raaheela Ahmed

As a young, first generation, head-covering Muslim woman of Indian and Pakistani descent, Raaheela oversees the NALP elected official programming as Manager of Leadership Programs. She has broken stereotypes and expectations across the board of what it means to be a service leader by dabbling in entrepreneurship for the public good, serving on public education boards, facilitating numerous leadership and diversity programs, working for elected officials…and even running for office herself.

Raaheela Ahmed
Ron Stubblefield

Ronald Stubblefield is a current Baltimore Corps Fellow; where he serves as the Enhanced Services Manager for the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership.

Ronald is originally from Washington DC. He is a graduate of Morehouse College, Stanford University, and NYU Law. He is currently a Baltimore Corps Fellow; where he serves as the Enhanced Services Manager for the South Baltimore Gateway Partnership.
Ron Stubblefield
Eean Logan

As the baltimore democracy fellow, Eean works to develop skills and leaders around democracy issues, building community among coalition members, recruiting and onboarding new members seamlessly, developing a planning and training program for institutional voter engagement leads, and communicating coalition messages citywide.

Eean Logan
Shana East

Shana East is a grassroots organizer living in Chicago, Illinois. She began her foray into electoral politics in early 2015, when she took a position on Chuy García’s mayoral campaign team during a historic runoff election. She then went on to be a founding member of People for Bernie, before co-founding the volunteer-run Illinois for Bernie. In 2016, she became a staff member on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and was also a lead organizer of The People’s Convention, which took place in Philadelphia the same week as the DNC Convention. By day, Shana now works full time at a non-profit benefiting older adults — and is a Board Member of Our Revolution Illinois and a member of Chicago Democratic Socialists of America by night!

Shana East

What to Expect

Capitol Photo (Candidates and Campaign)

 Candidates and Campaign meet near the Capitol for Photo

8:30am – 9:30am  


Guest Registration at Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

9:00am – 10:00am

Opening Remarks

10:00am – 10:30am

Brand New Congress and Participating Organizations

State of American Politics: Getting ready for the New Wave of Leadership

Featured Speaker: Raahella Ahmed, New American Leaders Project

10:30 – 10:45

Candidate Speeches Round I

Candidate Speeches from the Great States of Illinois, Michigan, West Virginia and Tennessee

10:45 – 11:00

Panel Discussions

Connecting with Voters:
From social media to knocking doors; how to win without spending millions

11:00 – 11:30

Crossing the Divide:
How post-partisan politics can help candidates relate to voters

11:30 – 12:00

   Catered Lunch

12:00pm- 1:00pm

People First Policy Now: The Continuing Fight for Social Justice and Human Rights

Panel Discussions

Poverty in America:
Bringing back the middle class

1:00 – 1:30

Criminal Justice Reform and Ending the War on Drugs:
Moderator: Justin Strekal of NORML and Dr. Merelyn Bates-Mims

1:30 – 2:00

People First Policy Now:
The continuing fight for social justice and human rights

2:00 – 2:30

Candidate Introductions Round II

Candidate Speeches from the Great States of Texas and Arkansas

2:30 – 2:45

Panel Discussions

Veterans’ Issues:
Years of broken promises

2:45 – 3:15

The fight for single payer

3:30 – 4:00

Candidate Introduction Round III

Candidate Speeches from the Great State of Washington, California, Montana

4:00 – 4:15

 Next Steps and Closing remarks

Ron Stubblefield: Organization on Procedural Justice

Keynote Speaker: Judge Arthur Louis Burnett, Sr.

Thank yous

4:15 – 5:00

Join us after the conference for a brainstorming happy hour on How we win together.

Welcome to the AfterParty

6:00 – 9:00

Join candidates and organizers for networking and the movement going forward!

Town Hall

2340 Wisconsin Avenue NW

Washington DC 20007