Now that Joe Biden is the presumptive candidate running against the President, our battle to secure a more equitable and democratic future just got more uphill. In that spirit, I’m focusing on helping candidates committed to progressive policies—universal health care, social justice for all, and fighting income inequality, among others—get elected to Congress. This is the first of a series. 

Kara Eastman is a social worker and community organizer running for the U.S. House in Nebraska’s 2nd District—which chiefly comprises Omaha. NE-02 is the “bluest” part of the state, and this will be the second election in which Eastman has vied for the Congressional seat. In 2018, she lost to the Republican incumbent, Don Bacon, by just 1.9 percent of the vote.

Don Bacon is ex-military, and his campaign his funded by pharmaceutical companies, energy corporations, defense contractors, and the Ricketts Family—the billionaires who own the Chicago Cubs and bought their son, Pete, the Nebraska governorship a few years back. (Of course it’s legal in the U.S. to have the state governor help fund your U.S. representative campaign.)

Eastman rejects corporate PAC money in her campaign. This is why we need more people like her in Congress.

Now—as I imagine I’ll point out every week in this series—committing to reject corporate money puts progressive candidates at a huge disadvantage, because you need money to win elections.

I’ll say it another way: pledging to represent voters over corporations hurts your chances of getting elected to Congress. This is where we are in our elections. And this is why I’ve donated to Eastman’s campaign, and I urge you to give whatever you can as well.

Nebraska is a state I love. I lived there for seven years. I’ve got friends and family and people I care for deeply living there. And Nebraska has a long history of populist/progressive movements. It’s time to bring that ethos, and those policies, back to a state that deserves them.

Given Eastman’s success in 2018, she has a real chance of defeating the incumbent and flipping the district. But she needs help. Here’s a link to donate to her campaign.

Oh, and one more thing about Nebraska—it’s one of 2 states (Maine is the other) that splits its electoral college votes among its congressional districts. Meaning that if Biden wins NE-02, he’ll get 1 of Nebraska’s 5 electoral college votes. In what will likely be another tight election, some are saying this 1 vote could make the difference.