January 29, 2019 Press Releases

Leading Democrats Launch New Organization to Promote U.S.-Israel Relationship

DMFI Press Release
Democratic Majority for Israel
Contact: Mark Mellman, 202-625-0370, [email protected]



Group will advance the Democratic Party’s track record of support for Israel and progressive issues in 2020 election and beyond

WASHINGTON, DC (January 29, 2019) – Today, a group of Democratic leaders are launching Democratic Majority for Israel, a new organization that will work to maintain and enhance support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, progressive policies and Democratic values. The organization’s CEO will be Mark Mellman, a former President of The American Association of Political Consultants and one of the Democratic Party’s leading strategists, and the organization’s Co-Chairs will be longtime Democratic strategist Ann Lewis, and top Democratic fundraiser and activist Todd Richman.

“The Democratic Party has a long and strong track record of support for Israel,” said CEO and President Mark Mellman. “Our mission at Democratic Majority for Israel is to strengthen the pro-Israel tradition of the Democratic Party, fight for Democratic values and work within the progressive movement to advance policies that ensure a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.”

Democratic Majority for Israel will focus its education and advocacy efforts first around the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. The organization will engage with grassroots activists, elected officials and Democratic candidates who promote progressive values to advocate for continued support of a strong U.S.-Israel alliance based on shared values and shared interests.

“Democrats across the country understand the importance of America’s relationship with Israel,” said Ann Lewis, Co-Chair of the new Democratic Majority for Israel Board and former Assistant to the President for Communications for President Bill Clinton. “We are launching Democratic Majority for Israel to represent the majority of Democrats in our party, serve as the voice of pro-Israel Democrats everywhere and advocate for policies that ensure our party’s and our country’s long-term global leadership.”

“We will be a resource for all Democrats, starting at this pivotal moment leading up to the 2020 presidential and congressional races,” said Todd Richman, Co-Chair of Democratic Majority for Israel’s Board. “We will work with Democrats at every level in the 2020 campaign cycle to emphasize the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel alliance.”
Recent polling shows that the vast majority of Democrats, like the vast majority of Americans, hold a favorable impression of Israel. In fact, the vast majority of Democrats elected to Congress in November 2018 are pro-Israel and support a strong alliance with America’s democratic ally in the Middle East.

Statements from Leading Democrats

“Democrats understand a strong U.S.-Israel relationship is vital for our country and a key element of our party’s agenda. Knowing the leadership of Democratic Majority for Israel, I’m confident they will play a central role in ensuring our party remains steadfast in its support for our ally and fellow democracy, Israel.” — Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

“The relationship between the United States and Israel is a special one that is rooted in shared values, an important strategic partnership in the Middle East, perhaps the world’s toughest neighborhood, and a mutual commitment to a lasting two state solution. I look forward to working with the Democratic Majority for Israel as it advances the unbreakable U.S.-Israel bond into the future.” — Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Chair, House Democratic Caucus

“Democrats in New Jersey and across the nation recognize that our unshakable alliance with Israel, built on shared ideals, reflects the values of our party, our countries and our future. As a proud pro-Israel Democrat, I look forward to working with Democratic Majority for Israel to deepen support for the U.S.-Israel alliance.” — Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“We must maintain the enduring bond between the United States and Israel. Our shared values of democracy, security, and self-reliance set our partnership apart, so I am thrilled the Democratic Majority for Israel formed to make sure our alliance remains strong.” — Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D AZ)

“Democratic Majority for Israel is committed to fighting for the kind of progressive agenda Democrats need, including a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. I look forward to working with DMFI to maintain and strengthen our party’s commitment to that agenda.” — Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), Incoming Chair of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa

Democratic Majority for Israel Leadership

Democratic Majority for Israel is launching with a diverse board including well-known business and community leaders, including:

  • Paul Begala, Democratic Strategist and Counselor to the President in Clinton White House (Washington, DC)
  • Former Democratic Nevada Congresswoman Shelly Berkeley (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Cliff Chenfeld, Democratic Activist and Co-Founder and Former Co-CEO of Razor & Tie (New York, NY)
  • Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros (San Antonio, TX)
  • Mark Gerstein, Democratic Activist and Partner at Latham & Watkins LLP (Chicago, IL)
  • Archie Gottesman, Democratic Activist and Former Chief Branding Officer/Principal of Edison Properties (New York, NY)
  • Former Democratic Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (Washington, DC)
  • Anton Gunn, Former Democratic State Representative and Director of External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services in the Obama Administration (Charleston, SC)
  • Edward Kelly, 11th General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Association of Fire Fighters (Boston, MA)
  • Sam Lauter, Former Democratic Strategist and Principal at Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners’ (San Francisco, CA)
  • Ann Lewis, Co-Chair, Former Assistant to the President for Communications for President Bill Clinton (Washington, DC)
  • Barry Porter, Democratic Activist and Co-Founder and Former Managing General Partner of Clarity Partners (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Todd Richman, Co-Chair, Democratic Fundraiser who has worked with several Democratic members of Congress and is currently a Managing Director and Financial Advisor in New York City (New York, NY)
  • Meghan Stabler, Democratic Strategist, Former Board Member of the Human Rights Campaign and Vice President of Product Marketing at BigCommerce (Austin, TX)
  • Peter Villegas, Democratic Activist and National Latino Leader (Southern California, CA)



Democratic Majority for Israel is a group of proud Americans who believe the Democratic Party’s vision and values are best for the United States. We work to build a Democratic majority in our country, and to maintain and strengthen support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship among Democratic leaders and grassroots progressives. For more information, visit DemMajorityForIsrael.org, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.