Maria Cantwell

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Maria Cantwell

Maria Cantwell is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing the state of Washington. She was originally elected to the position in 2000.

Before her career in the Senate, Cantwell was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Washington's 1st district. She was elected to that position in 1992 and served one term.

Cantwell was born on October 13, 1958 in Indianapolis, Indiana. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration from Miami University.[1]

She also pursued an academic course at the Miami University European Center, Luxembourg.

Political career

Cantwell moved to Seattle, Washington in 1983 to campaign for far left Senator Alan Cranston in his unsuccessful bid for the 1984 Democratic Presidential nomination. She then moved to the Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace because it reminded her of Indianapolis, and led a successful campaign to build a new library there.

n 1986, Cantwell was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives at the age of 28. In her campaign, she embarked on an extensive door-knocking effort in her district. As a state representative, she helped write Washington's Growth Management Act of 1990, which required cities to develop comprehensive growth plans.

Cantwell was Washington State representative 1987-1993; elected as a Democrat to the 103rd Congress (January 3, 1993-January 3, 1995); unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the 104th Congress; elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate on November 7, 2000, for the term commencing January 3, 2001; reelected in 2006 for the term ending January 3, 2013.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Maria Cantwell in her successful Senate run as candidate for Washington.[2] She has also been previously supported by the Council.[3]

NEXT AGENDA Conference

NEXT AGENDA was held at the National Press Club, Main Ballroom, Feb. 28,2001.

At Feb. 28 Conference on NEXT AGENDA, progressive activists, Congressional leaders will unite to forge strategy for "working families" agenda -- the day after President Bush delivers his plans to joint session of Congress.
-- Calling themselves the real "democratic majority," organizers and thinkers, led by the Campaign for America's Future, to release new book outlining an agenda for changes they insist most voters endorsed in 2000 elections.
On Feb. 28, a national conference on the NEXT AGENDA, will bring together progressive activists, intellectuals and allies in the Congress for the first time since the disputed election and battles over President Bush's cabinet nominees. It will frame the next two year's debate.
Sponsored by the progressive advocacy group, the Campaign for America's Future and its sister research organization, the Institute for America's Future, the Conference on the Next Progressive Agenda has been endorsed by a who's who of prominent leaders from the labor unions, women's organizations, civil rights groups, environmentalists and individual members of the House and Senate. Their goal: to forge a progressive movement to fight for the "working family" agenda they insist was endorsed by a majority of the voters in the 2000 election.

Organizers of the conference would release a new book, THE NEXT AGENDA: Blueprint for a New Progressive Movement, edited by Robert Borosage and Roger Hickey and published by Westview Press.

Special Guests were:

Cuban business conference

Seated from left: Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington, President Castro, and Kirby Jones (Juanita Vera, translator, standing) at February, 2003, U.S.-Cuba Business Conference in Havana

On February 19, 2003, Cuban President Fidel Castro met with participants of the U.S.-Cuba Business Conference at Palacio de Convenciones in Havana, participants included Raul de la Nuez, Cuban Minister of Trade; Ricardo Alarcon, President of Cuba's National Assembly; U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell; Juanita Vera; President Fidel Castro; Kirby Jones, President of Alamar Associates; U.S. Senator Kent Conrad; Pedro Alvarez, Chairman of Alimport; John Moore, Lt. Gov. of Kansas.[5]

Apollo Alliance

Maria Cantwell was a founder of the Apollo Alliance.

From Common, Apollo Alliance press release January 14, 2004.[6]

An unusual alliance of labor, environmental, civil rights, business, and political leaders today laid out a vision for a "New Apollo Project" to create 3.3 million new jobs and achieve energy independence in ten years. Named after President Kennedy's moon program, which inspired a major national commitment to the aerospace industry, the Apollo Alliance aims to unify the country behind a ten-year program of strategic investment for clean energy technology and new infrastructure.

The Alliance also announced that it has received support from 17 of America's largest labor unions, including the United Auto Workers, the Steelworkers and Machinists, as well as a broad cross section of the environmental movement, including the Sierra Club, the NRDC, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Greenpeace.
The press conference was held as President Bush is expected to make a final push for his energy agenda, which was defeated under widespread criticism last November. The press conference was attended by co-chairs of the Apollo Alliance, Senator Maria Cantwell (by phone), Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers of America, Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, as well as by California State Treasurer Phil Angelides, Congressman Jay Inslee (by phone), John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress and Bracken Hendricks, executive director of the Apollo Alliance.

Dr. Ray Perryman, a corporate economist from Texas who prepared a detailed economic analysis of the proposal for a New Apollo Project said, "If economists agree on anything it's that inventing new technologies and creating whole new industries is what America does best. We are a creative economy, not a commodity economy. The New Apollo Project would keep us on the cutting edge of manufacturing emerging technologies and secure our long-term prosperity."

Perryman concluded that the proposed tax credits and investments would create 3.3 million new, high-wage jobs for manufacturing, construction, transportation, high-tech, and public sector workers, while reducing dependence on imported oil and cleaning the air. Perryman's analysis shows that a New Apollo Project would also position the U.S. to take the lead in fast- growing markets, dramatically reduce the trade deficit and more than pay for itself in energy savings and returns to the U.S. Treasury. Perryman's study was based on an input-output analysis of impacts on key industry sectors, using a highly regarded economic model and extensive survey data.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said, "At the time of Kennedy's moon shot, we were in space race with the Soviet Union. Now we are in an economic race with the Europeans and Japanese. Bush is focused on the past, the New Apollo Project for energy independence is focused on the future. America led the electronic and communications revolutions. Now we must lead the clean energy revolution if we are to maintain our global economic leadership."

In 2006, Senator Maria Cantwell served on the National Advisory Board of the Apollo Alliance.[7]

Communist Party support

Seattle Post Intelligencer, November 8, 2006

Communist Party USA member Irene Hull, a supporter of U.S. Senate candidate Maria Cantwell, keeps her fingers crossed, one for the U.S. Senate and one for the U.S. House, to fall into Democratic control during an election return party on Tuesday November 7, 2006 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle.

Irene Hull was there, crossing her fingers, watching returns projected on a screen at the Sheraton and telling the story of many of her comrades within the Democratic Party. [8]

Fair Elections Now Act

In 2010 Senator Maria Cantwell signed on as a Senate co-sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act (FENA), S.752 - joining Senator Dick Durbin (original sponsor) and other Senate colleagues for a total of nine.

In the Senate, others were Sens. Barbara Boxer, Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tom Harkin, John Kerry, and Arlen Specter. [9]

Change is in the air in D.C. for working families

In her keynote address at the August 2998 session of the Washington State Labor Council's 2008 Convention in Vancouver, Sen. Maria Cantwell told more than 400 assembled union delegates and guests that change is in the air in Washington, D.C., as the Bush presidency draws to a close and there's a real opportunity to set a new agenda for working families under a Barack Obama presidency.

"I just know that after all our efforts to fight the Bush Administration's anti-worker agenda, I can't wait to have a president who's going to sign the Employee Free Choice Act into law," Cantwell said, referring to labor law reform restoring the freedom to choose unions.

Cantwell, who has been a leading congressional advocate for consumers on energy issues, said that skyrocketing gas prices are just another example of the Bush administration failing to regulate industry while they run roughshod over American citizens. She drew attention to a new report finding that gas price increases in recent months were not based on supply-and-demand issues, but instead were caused by manipulation from certain industry players. Meanwhile, the Bush administration and federal regulators have done nothing.

"It's time to have a policeman on the beat," Cantwell said

"Organized labor has one of the best tools to move forward on a 21st Century energy policy -- apprenticeship programs," she added. "The U.S. is now 70 percent dependent on foreign oil, but if we would use programs like apprenticeships, we could have wind, solar and wave power."[10]

Washington Public Campaigns banquet


Senator Maria Cantwell gave the keynote address for Washington Public Campaigns Fourth Annual Awards Banquet June 19, 2010, in the Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College. The Washington Democrat had been selected by The Nation magazine as "Most Valuable Senator" in 2009 for 'her effort challenging fellow members of Congress to get serious about financial services reform. As this year's guest speaker Cantwell lend her voice to the call for fair elections nationally".

The awards banquet generated financial support for Washington Public Campaigns to support their efforts to achIeve voter-owned elections (public funding of election campaigns) in Washington State. Writing about the Awards Banquet, WPC Director Craig Salins, a one time Democratic Socialists of America leader stated:

At the 4th Annual Awards Banquet June 19th - with guest speaker Senator Maria Cantwell - Washington Public Campaigns will celebrate our progress in the past year, and recognize individuals and groups who have contributed mightily to our work...[11]

EMILY's List

Cantwell has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.


  • Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
  • Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
  • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
  • Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
  • Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Innovation
  • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
  • Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
  • Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Energy
  • Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
  • Subcommittee on Water and Power
  • Committee on Finance
  • Subcommittee on Health Care
  • Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-Term Growth
  • Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
  • Subcommittee on International Trade, Customs, and Global Competitiveness
  • Committee on Indian Affairs
  • Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship


The following are past and present staff:[12]

External links