Issue One welcomes five new former members of Congress to its ReFormers Caucus

Issue One is pleased to welcome five new members to our ReFormers Caucus, the largest bipartisan coalition of its kind ever assembled to advocate for sweeping reforms to fix our political system and build an inclusive democracy that works for everyone.

Joining the ReFormers Caucus are Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL), John Katko (R-NY), Ron Kind (D-WI), Elaine Luria (D-VA), and Kathleen Rice (D-NY). Today’s announcement brings the total number of ReFormers Caucus members to over 200.

Former Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) represented Illinois’s 17th Congressional district from 2013 to 2023, and was the first woman elected to Congress from her district. Growing up, Bustos learned the value of public service from her father, a longtime chief of staff to former Sen. Alan Dixon (D-IL). She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor’s degree in political science, and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Illinois Springfield, which led to a seventeen year tenure as a reporter with the Quad-City Times. Bustos is also a member of Issue One’s Council for Responsible Social Media and has become a proponent for social media reforms that will create a healthier democracy for our digital age.

Former Rep. John Katko (R-NY) represented New York’s 24th congressional district from 2015 to 2023. Prior to that, he was an Assistant United States Attorney who led the organized crime division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Syracuse. During his time in Congress, Katko was routinely ranked among the most bipartisan members of the House. In May 2021, Katko became one of 35 House Republicans who voted to support legislation establishing an independent January 6th Commission. He was also one of 47 Republicans to vote for the Respect for Marriage Act, which codified same-sex marriage into law. Katko graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Niagara University and earned his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law.

Former Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) represented Wisconsin’s 3rd congressional district from 1997 to 2023, a seat previously held by fellow ReFormers Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-WI). Before serving in Congress, Kind was an assistant district attorney in La Crosse, Wisconsin. While in the House of Representatives, Kind was frequently listed among the most bipartisan members. He co-founded the Upper Mississippi River Congressional Caucus and the Congressional Wildlife Refuge Caucus, while also chairing the New Democrat Coalition and serving as the House Democrat’s Chief Deputy Whip. Kind graduated from Harvard College in 1985 and later received a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Former Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) represented Virginia’s 2nd congressional district from 2019 to 2023. She most recently served on the bipartisan January 6th Select Committee to investigate the events leading up to and on January 6, 2021 and make recommendations to prevent future assaults on American democracy. Prior to being elected to Congress, Luria graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1997 and served as a naval officer for 20 years.

Former Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) represented New York’s 4th congressional district from 2015 to 2023. She began her career as an assistant district attorney in Kings County, New York, and in 1999 was appointed assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia. Rice was elected to the office of district attorney for Nassau County, New York in 2005, becoming the first woman to hold the position. She was reelected in 2009 and 2013 before running for Congress. During the 2022 midterm elections, Rice was critical of her party for boosting election denier candidates running in competitive GOP primaries.

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