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:

Agricultural mission to Cuba

Two months after U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell's (D-WA) agricultural mission to Cuba, Cantwell today announced that Cuba will purchase 20,000 tons of peas and 1,000 tons of apples from Washington state growers.

"With this purchase, Washington state growers will sell about $4.5 million of peas and apples to Cuba," Cantwell said. "Today's announcement is a first-step in our effort to expand exports of Washington state agricultural products to Cuba."

In a letter to Cantwell, Pedro Alvarez Borrego, Director of Alimport, the Cuban import agency, said "We are intending to purchase medium-to-large red apples as juicy as the ones we had the opportunity to try and enjoy while in your visit."

In mid-January 2002, Cantwell visited Cuba on an agricultural mission with the University of Washington's Center for Women in Democracy, during which she encouraged Cuban leaders, including President Fidel Castro and the Director of Alimport, Cuba's Import Agency, to purchase Washington state peas and apples. Since then, she has continued working with Cuban officials to sell Washington state agricultural products in the country.[5]

More than 40 Washington state women, led by U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., went to Cuba in 2002 to explore the political, social and economic structure of the country. Many met Castro.

The trip was arranged by the University of Washington’s Center for Women & Democracy and included leaders in the state’s political, technological, business, health-care, transportation and educational arenas.

Political consultant Cathy Allen went on the advance trip in which the meeting was set up. Allen said she was struck by the friendliness of the Cuban people.[6]

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.[7]

Trade with Cuba

In 2009 Sen. Mary Landrieu joined four other senators to push for more small business opportunities with Cuba.

Landrieu, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner requesting that changes in American telecommunications policy toward Cuba include access to new exports and opportunities for U.S. small businesses.

In April, President Barack Obama announced of a series of changes to limits on travel and gifts from the U.S. to Cuba, as well as the authorization of greater telecommunications links between the two countries.

The letter was also signed by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

"As the administration negotiates with the Cuban government and comes up with new regulations, we would respectfully request your consideration to make U.S. small business interests a priority in these discussions," the senators wrote. "Small businesses are the engine of the American economy and, now more than ever, deserve a level playing field for new opportunities in Cuba. "

Specifically, the senators asked about five specific administration policies relating to small business participation in telecommunications activities in Cuba:

  • Whether U.S. Small Business Administration and Export-Import Bank loans would be eligible to be used for authorized small business activities with Cuba;
  • The specific roles that federal agencies such as the Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank and SBA could play in promoting U.S. small business exports/activities in Cuba;
  • Whether the administration, as provided by the Regulatory Flexibility Act when a trade is likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small companies in an industry sector, will work with the SBA Office of Advocacy to seek streamlined rules and licensing requirements for U.S. small business activities to Cuba;
  • Whether the administration plans to issue an online accessible step-by-step small business guide on doing business with Cuba under the new guidelines; such a document could outline banking procedures, business travel, claims, regulatory licensing and other relevant issues; and - Whether the administration plans to encourage the Cuban government to support joint ventures between Cuban and U.S. small businesses on these projects.[8]

Agricultural exports to Cuba

In March 2009 legislation was expected to be launched to open the door to expanded agricultural exports from the US to Cuba.

It was expected that US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) will this week introduce legislation to congress that would open the door to more agricultural exports to Cuba.

Co-sponsors on the deal comprised Democrat senators Jeff Bingaman, Maria Cantwell, Tom Harkin, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, Debbie Stabenow and Ron Wyden.[9]

Apollo Alliance

Maria Cantwell was a founder of the Apollo Alliance.

From Common, Apollo Alliance press release January 14, 2004.[10]

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.[11]

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. [12]

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. [13]

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."[14]

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...[15]

Senate New Democrat Coalition members

The following Senators currently belong or belonged to the Senate New Democrat Coalition.[16][17][18]

ARA endorsement, 2012

The Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Maria Cantwell in 2012.[19]

EMILY's List

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

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and several Senators. Walter Kloefkorn, was assigned as contact for Sen. Cantwell.[20]

JStreet endorsement, 2012

In 2012, the the JStreet PAC endorsed seven Senatorial candidates, all of whom emerged victorious. The Senate slate, which has more than doubled in size since 2010, included pro-Israel leaders Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA), Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI). The PAC also backed winning candidates in some of the most competitive Senate races in the country, raising more than $100,000 each for Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (WI), Governor Tim Kaine (VA) and Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM).[21]


The socialist infiltrated, anti-Israel "two state solution" JStreet PAC endorsed several "off cycle" Senators in 2014, including Maria Cantwell. [22]


JStreet endorsed Cantwell in 2016.

Since then she has been a leader in the Senate on a wide variety of issues, including promoting economic development in the Middle East. JStreetPAC is proud to endorse Sen. Cantwell, a principled ally of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.[23]

Muslim connections

Senator Cantwell has ties to two radical Muslim organizations.


As a firm advocate for civil rights, I salute CAIR for empowering American Muslims nationwide in political and social activism thought our country.”[24]

MSA intern

Areesa Somani, a Muslim Student Association activist interned in the office of Senator Cantwell.

MSA press intern

Samir Junejo of the Muslim Student Association was a Communications Intern, Friends of Maria. Sep 2012 – Nov 2012.

  • Monitored and tracked daily press coverage, focusing on news stories of interest to the campaign to re-elect U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.
  • Researched and transcribed statements/speeches of opposition candidates.

He was also a Press Intern for Senator Cantwell, Jun 2012 – Aug 2012, Washington D.C. Metro Area.

  • Drafted statements and press releases on behalf of U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell.
  • Compiled daily media coverage reports of state and national issues relevant to Washington state.

Resolution to Honor Civil Rights Hero Fred Korematsu

February 6, 2017, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a resolution honoring Fred Korematsu, who challenged the internment of Japanese Americans.

Wyden and Merkley said the resolution honoring Korematsu’s work and advocacy of the civil rights and liberties of all people is timely, given the president’s executive order establishing a Muslim ban.

"Fred Korematsu’s brave advocacy for the civil rights of 120,000 Japanese Americans remains a timeless example of courage that resonates today and every day,“ Wyden said. “I am committed to fighting for the continued advance of civil rights he spent his life defending, and against those who would betray both the law and our history to impose an unconstitutional religious test on immigrants."

"Heroes like Fred Korematsu demonstrate the importance of fighting fiercely for our core American values, even when it is hard,” said Merkley. “His story reminds us that the time is always right to stand up for what is right. We must keep fighting for the freedom and equality that define our nation, and ensure that the Statue of Liberty continues to stand as a beacon of hope around the world."

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Cantwell, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Tim Kaine , Patty Murray, Chris Coons, and Dick Durbin.

A broad coalition of advocacy organizations support the resolution, including the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, Restore the Fourth, The Yemen Peace Project, and Fight for the Future.[25]


  • 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:[26]

External links


  1. About Cantwell
  2. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  3. CLW website: Who We've Helped Elect
  4. [, Common Dreams, Morning After Bush's Speech, Progressive Activists to Unite Feb. 28 for Conference on 'Working Family' Agenda, WASHINGTON - February 26 - News Advisory]
  5. Press Release of Senator Cantwell March 07,2002
  6. Seattle Times, Washingtonians who’ve visited Cuba ponder its future Originally published February 20, 2008
  7. Alamar Associates website, accessed December 15, 2010
  8. [New Orleans CityBusiness (New Orleans, LA) May 11, 2009 La. Sen. Landrieu seeks to grow U.S. small business' opportunities with Cuba BYLINE: CityBusiness Staff]
  9. Trade Finance March 2009
  10. Common, Apollo Alliance press release January 14, 2004]
  11. Democratic, Jan-01-06
  12. Post Intelligencer, How to meet an 8:15 deadline on election night, November 8, 2006
  13. WashBlog, Free Speech for People moves forward in Washington State, By chadlupkes, Thu Feb 04, 2010
  14. WSLC blog, THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, Cantwell: Change is in the air in D.C. for working families
  15., Cantwell to be guest speaker at upcoming awards banquet, June 3, 2010, By: Chad Shue
  16. NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (August 2000)
  17. NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (July 2001)
  18. NDN: Senate New Democrat Coalition Members (August 2002)
  19. PAF
  20. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  21. Street Blog, JStreetPAC Scores Big in 2012 Election NOVEMBER 7TH, 2012
  22. J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
  23. JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
  24. CAIR website, What They Say About CAIR, 25 OCTOBER 2017 MODIFIED DATE
  25. [1]
  26. 12/17/2011