Stalwart progressive Mark Pocan has represented Madison and the surrounding suburbs since 2013, taking over his close friend Tammy Baldwin’s house seat when she successfully ran for Senate.
Pocan was driven to political activism following a violent gaybashing in his twenties. Two men followed him after he left a gay bar and beat him with a baseball bat while yelling homophobic slurs, leaving him bloodied and unconscious in the street. He become deeply involved in local LGBTQ+ and HIV advocacy groups, eventually running for local office and then the House, where he serves as co-chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.
Pocan is also known as one of the most progressive members of the House on foreign policy. He backed legislation to end US support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, has supported a decrease of the overall US military budget, and been sharply critical of right-wing efforts by the Israeli government to demolish homes, expand settlements and entrench the occupation.
Rep. Pocan is a steadfast J Street champion.
He demonstrates that strong support for Israel’s security and US military assistance is entirely consistent with strong and meaningful support for international law, human rights and an end to the occupation. Pocan was one of the earliest cosponsors of H.Res. 326, reaffirming congressional commitment to a two-state solution and opposition to settlement expansion and annexation.