Ayanna Pressley launches leadership PAC

Ayanna Pressley launches leadership PAC
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Trump campaign aide says president 'a compassionate man' and 'not a racist' Trump campaign aide defends tweets: Congresswomen made 'very disturbing statements' MORE (D-Mass.) will launch a leadership PAC to boost both incumbent Democratic candidates and challengers, according to WBUR.

Pressley’s committee, Power of Us PAC, will also bankroll civic engagement and community activism and organization to give local activists better access to national politics to help offset the disadvantages political newcomers must contend with, according to Pressley.

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“During my congressional campaign I said that this was not about any one person,” Pressley said. “The only way that we would be able to effectuate change in a deep, meaningful, sustainable way is to build a movement.”

Pressley defeated longtime incumbent Rep. Michael CapuanoMichael (Mike) Everett CapuanoEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Progressives face steep odds in ousting incumbent Democrats Ayanna Pressley launches leadership PAC MORE (D-Mass.) in the 2018 Democratic primary and has been a vocal critic of new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) rules that restrict vendors from working with challengers to Democratic incumbents. However, she told WBUR the PAC was not intended as a response to the DCCC rules but as a way of building on community work she did as a Boston city councilor before her election.

In addition to supporting candidates, Pressley said, the PAC will work to ensure the 2020 U.S. census is accurate and fund training programs for aspiring federal campaign and legislative workers to improve diversity within the federal policy and messaging apparatus.

"I’m focused not just on who puts their name on the ballot, but again the people behind the people and diversifying that bench,” she said. “I think there are so many people that are already leading, that have the natural abilities or the professional transferable skill sets to assume these roles on campaigns on the federal level but they haven’t been invited.”

Several other freshman members of Congress have also formed leadership PACs, including Pressley’s fellow Democrats, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezIllinois GOP group shares, then deletes meme labeling minority congresswomen 'Jihad Squad' Trump's calculated climate of fear Two Democrats vow to press forward on Trump impeachment MORE (N.Y.) and Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarLiz Cheney: 'Send her back' chant 'inappropriate' but not about race, gender Booker: Trump is 'worse than a racist' Chris Wallace presses Stephen Miller on 'send her back' chant at Trump rally MORE (Minn.), as well as Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyDemocrats should rise above and unify against Trump's tweets Trump steps up attacks on 'Squad' after post-rally furor Media cried wolf: Calling every Republican a racist lost its bite MORE (R-Utah).

— This report was updated on June 4 at 5:56 a.m.