Mark Pocan has a long record as an effective progressive leader. In 2013, Mark took his 14 years of experience in the Wisconsin State Assembly to Congress where he has continued to fight for progressive values. Mark’s political roots took hold in blue-collar Kenosha, Wisconsin where he got his start at age eight delivering campaign literature door- to-door for his father, a long-time city alderman.
Mark came to Madison to attend college and shortly after earning a degree in journalism in 1986, opened up his own small business – a union printing company he continues to own and run today. His active years at UW- Madison in College Democrats led to his election in 1991 to the Dane County Board of Supervisors where he served Madison’s downtown community for three terms. In 1998, he was elected to succeed his long-time friend and ally Tammy Baldwin as the State Representative from the 78th District, when she left for Congress. He again succeeded Tammy Baldwin in the House of Representatives after she was elected to the United States Senate in 2012.
As a small business owner, union member and lifelong advocate for progressive causes, Mark brings his unique experience from both the private and public sector to promote job growth and support the families of south central Wisconsin. Mark currently serves as the Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and the co-founder and Co-Chair of the Labor Caucus, and is also Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC).
In his five terms in Congress, Mark has been a champion for the issues that impact the people of south central Wisconsin and a strong voice for progressive values. He sponsored key legislation to ensure access to high quality public education, invest in clean energy, raise the minimum wage, ensure the right to vote, and close tax loopholes that allow large corporations to avoid paying their taxes in the United States and ship jobs overseas.
Wisconsin’s families deserve an economy that puts workers’ interests first, and Mark supports strengthening the social safety net programs that so many American families count on. These include unemployment compensation, higher education assistance, strong worker rights and pension protections, health care for the most vulnerable in our society, and Medicare and Social Security-to provide dignity and certainty to senior citizens. Mark believes we must embrace the challenge of ensuring that illness, job loss, old age or disability does not mean a life sentence of poverty.
Mark has a strong reputation, even among his opponents, as a legislator who fights hard, but fair. He knows how to bridge political divides and set aside ideology to achieve key victories without compromising his progressive values. This unique combination earned him the Congressional Progressive Caucus Newcomer of the Year Award in 2014.
Mark is a fierce advocate for the common sense values we hold dear in south central Wisconsin. He has fought hard against the entrenched special interests standing in the way of moving our country forward. Mark firmly believes in what the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone famously said, “We all do better when we all do better.” That should be the goal for all progressives as we move forward in this campaign.
Mark and his husband, Phil married in Canada in 2006. They live in the Town of Vermont, Wisconsin.
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