Wisconsin congressional candidate Kelly Westlund’s family has been on unemployment benefits. Today, she stepped up on this issue and sent an email to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee’s nearly one million members — telling her story, saying that Republicans who oppose extending unemployment benefits are out of touch, and asking people to contact their senators in every state.

Westlund is running in one of the House seats Democrats need to take back the majority, Wisconsin’s Seventh Congressional District. She announced for Congress last month on a theme of economic populism. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) proudly endorsed her on Day One of her campaign.

Read Kelly Westlund’s email to PCCC members here:



My name’s Kelly Westlund, and my family’s relied on unemployment benefits before.

My husband is a carpenter. When Wall Street banks tanked our economy and crashed the housing market, there just wasn’t a lot of demand for the homes my husband specialized in building.

We needed unemployment benefits for several months to make ends meet.

Today, I’m on my local City Council and I’m running for Congress in Wisconsin. The issue of unemployment benefits is personal for me.

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote today on whether to extend unemployment benefits.

I’ll be calling both of my senators today. Can you call yours and tell them to vote “yes” today?

Republicans in Congress may block unemployment benefits.

My Tea Party Congressman, Sean Duffy, says he “struggles” to get by on $174,000 a year. That’s how out of touch they are.

I know that when that check comes in, families immediately use it to buy groceries and pay utility bills and put gas in the car. They’re reinvesting those dollars in our communities.

Protecting these earned benefits (and, I’d add, increasing the minimum wage) would create real economic growth that just doesn’t happen when rich people get more tax cuts.

Progressives know this. So do the majority of the American people, according to multiple polls.

The only question is whether Republicans hear loudly enough that the public is paying attention — and Democrats in Congress get enough encouragement to keep fighting until they win.

So, can your senators today? Click here for the number.

Families in the same position that mine once was will thank you. I do too.

– Kelly Westlund


Message from PCCC co-founder Adam Green:

Kelly is one of us. A bold progressive and a regular person who understands what issues matter to everyday working people.

I donated to her last week, and hundreds of other PCCC members donated too. If you agree we need more people like Kelly in Congress, please donate $3 to her campaign.