About the Candidate
Name: Jesús G. “Chuy” García
DOB: April 12, 1956
Occupation: U.S. Member of Congress
Political Experience: Chicago City Alderman, Illinois State Senator, Cook County Commissioner, Member of US Congress.
Hi, I'm Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and I'm running for re-election in the 4th Congressional District of Illinois.
I'm an immigrant from a small town in Durango, Mexico. My father worked as a "bracero", and my mom volunteered teaching others to read and write.
Little Village has been my home for 51 years. This is where I met my wife Evelyn and where we raised our children.
When I walk around my district, I see vibrant neighborhoods fueled by thriving small businesses and hard working people with pride in their community.
Over the past few decades, my constituents have been hard hit by job losses.
This is why I’m fighting for economic justice, universal health care, and corporate accountability have been major priorities of my work.
Due to President Trump's failures, COVID19 has upended our lives and nearly 200,000 Americans have died -- too many of them are Latino and African American.
I support Medicare for All because I believe everyone should have quality, affordable health care.
It's also why I introduced comprehensive legislation to end long-standing racial disparities in our healthcare system.
I believe everyone should have access to affordable housing.
That's why I authored and passed legislation to build more affordable housing and prevent evictions during the pandemic.
As an immigrant, I'm fighting to end Trump's cruel immigration policies, and for an inclusive immigration system.
The public outcry following the brutal murder of George Floyd underscores the urgent need to address racism in our society which I support.
I've been a community activist, labor advocate and non-profit leader.
I've represented my community in the City Council, State Legislature and County Board. I've spent my career fighting to improve opportunities for people without a seat at the table.
I ask for your support to continue working for the people of the 4th Congressional District.
Why are you running?
I'm an immigrant from a small town in Durango, Mexico. My father was a bracero, a migrant farm worker, and he moved to Chicago where my mother, my siblings and I joined him. We settled in Pilsen, not far from where I live now in Little Village. I still live in the house where Evelyn and I raised our family on Chicago's Southwest side. I saw from an early age what a difference being in a labor union made for my parents and our neighbors. They were able to negotiate for better wages, health care, and safer working conditions.
That's why I became a community organizer; I saw first-hand the power of grassroots organizing and the results working people could achieve when everyone works together toward a common goal. I learned quickly that, despite all our efforts, we needed a seat at the table - so I ran for office. I pledged to fight to improve conditions for the working people of my community and I took that oath to the City Council, the Illinois State Senate, the Cook County Board, and now to Washington.
I am running for re-election to Congress to help the families in my community have jobs with decent wages and benefits, good schools for their kids and medicines they can afford. I'm also running to bring the voices of people I grew up with to the halls of Congress and make sure immigrants and Latinos are represented and included in our democracy. When I was starting out as a young Alderman, I benefited from the encouragement and guidance of more experienced leaders. As a member of Congress, I am helping to mentor the next generation of progressive leaders in Chicago.
What is your vision for this office?
For too long, Washington has made decisions without input from the people and communities most affected by the policies, including the working class, immigrant, and diverse communities I represent.
My constituents in Illinois 4th Congressional District deserve a member of Congress whose office and policy initiatives are rooted in the needs of the working people who live, work, and go to school in the community.
My office will be inclusive and representative of the communities I represent. We have two offices in the District, and we meet constantly with individuals, organizations and leaders to hear their views and suggestions. We work hard every day to address people's problems and translate their ideas into government action or legislation.
As an elected representative, I pledge to stay connected to the people in my community, listen to them, and join them to advocate for an agenda for working families.
What do you think is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?
Due to President Trump's failed leadership, COVID19 and the parallel economic recession represent the most pressing issues facing our community. Too many people in my community have lost jobs, health insurance, small business income and more during the pandemic. While the pandemic didn't create inequality, it is shining a harsh light on structural racism that harms Latino, African American and immigrant communities the most during a crisis.
I was advocating for a jobs and opportunity policy agenda before the pandemic. Now we are working every day to help families have enough food, protect them from being evicted and provide internet access so children can attend school from home. In the next Congress, I will advocate to provide the investment needed to help our families and communities regain economic opportunity after the devastation of the pandemic.
This means the opportunity to earn a decent living and a quality education. It means the opportunity to have access to affordable housing, transportation, and healthcare. Most importantly, this means the opportunity to vote and shape our future with the confidence that our elections are fair and elected officials are accountable to the people.
Unfortunately, opportunity for most Americans is shrinking, not expanding. College tuitions are unaffordable and throwing millions into debt; gentrification is causing rents and mortgages to skyrocket. While workers are fighting for better wages, healthcare, and working conditions, Republicans are undermining workers' rights to form unions and collectively bargain.