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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.
Website: JesusChuyGarcia.com
Twitter: @ChuyForCongress

Candidate Statement

Hi, I'm Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia and I'm running for re-election in the 4th Congressional District.

I was 10 years old when my family arrived in the US from Durango, Mexico. My dad worked as a farm worker. My mom helped everyone, including teaching neighbors to read and write.

We first settled in the Pilsen neighborhood ... And later we moved to Little Village, where I met my wife Evelyn and we raised our family.

My parents were union members, so I saw the value of organizing to demand a voice on the job.

I joined Mayor Harold Washington's coalition and served in my first elected office in City Council in 1986.

This early experience taught me that achieving justice for our community is a long term commitment.

This is why I am so honored to serve as your Congressman.

Our District is known for many things-the best murals in the City; the best Mexican food; the largest Puerto Rican parade ... and more.

But most of all we are known as a community of hardworking families, many of whom are immigrants from all over the world.

My work in Congress has been shaped directly by the needs and hopes of my community.

Every family needs affordable health care, housing, excellent schools, and transportation to get to work.

We are protecting existing health care programs and addressing inequality in health services.

We’re working to build affordable housing near public transportation.

We’re working to increase workers' wages, AND protect consumers from corporate rip­offs.

In Washington we are also working to stop Trump's cruel immigration policies and lay the groundwork for a fair immigration system.

Finally I've been helping to elect diverse, progressive leaders and get more people involved in our democracy.

Again, representing you is an honor.

I ask for your support to continue working for all the people in the 4th Congressional District.

Candidate Q&A

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. 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 communities its policies affect the most, including the working class, immigrant, and diverse communities I grew up in and now 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 view and suggestions. We work hard every day to address people’s problems, 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?

The most pressing issue my constituents and the American people face is preserving and expanding opportunity for all.

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.

I am committed to fighting against the corporate greed and political corruption that has sowed doubt and division in our institutions and government. In order to protect and grow opportunities for all people, we must restore faith in our government as a force for good – not one bought and paid for by corporations.

I intend to drive an anti-corruption agenda aimed at getting the influence of money and corporate greed out of our politics and refocusing Congress’ priorities on the things that matter to working people: good jobs, affordable healthcare, and opportunities for all to prosper.

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