About the Candidate
Name: Iymen H Chehade
Occupation: Professor and Foreign Policy Expert
Political Experience: Director of Foreign Policy and Research for the Marie Newman campaign
My name is Iymen Chehade and I'm a candidate for Congress in Illnois’ 3rd District.
I've traveled all over the district and I've heard the same thing time and again: “we’re struggling to pay the bills, nobody is listening to us, and someone needs to step up.” I'm so running to break the hold of the Chicago political machine on our neighborhoods and uplift the communities that have been ignored for far too long.
My parents were immigrants and like so many others we lived the fight that families in our community face to survive. The values of grit, perseverance, and determination I learned from them stayed with me - even after dropping out of school at the age of 15 to support my mom. I still fought hard to make a better life for myself, overcame barriers to earn a college education, and dedicated my life to serving my neighbors. Today I'm a college professor, I’m a foreign policy expert, I’m an artist, and human rights activist - so I have a diverse and unique set of experiences to deliver relief to working families and the knowledge to create new opportunities for all.
I’m running on a simple platform - break the cycle of machine politics to finally put the focus on our communities and their needs. And we do that by reducing rising costs, securing Medicare for All because healthcare is a human right, creating a clear pathway to citizenship for immigrants, and increasing funding to our schools to support our students and our teachers.
By working together to break the hold of the political machine, we can finally start building a future that gives every person an opportunity to thrive. I ask for your vote and support to make it happen. If you want to know more about my campaign, go to iymenchehadeforcongress.com.
Why are you running?
I’m running for office because I know firsthand what it means to struggle in this district. Despite dropping out of high school, I have worked my entire life against these odds; overcoming poverty and injustice to become a college professor and human rights advocate. I’ve worked as a teacher for almost twenty years with people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. This has allowed me to understand and empathize with the struggles and hopes of many. In the same way I’ve taught and mentored thousands, I want to continue my work in Congress so that I can strive for a better future for the people of this district.
What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?
This office has the potential to bring resources to the community I want to represent. Despite the vastness of the district, people all want the same things: better paying jobs, healthcare, safety, and a quality education for their kids. What needs fixing is the enormous influence special interests groups have on office holders. I’ve refused to accept PAC money and I’ll work to free the American political system from lobbyists and special interest groups.
What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?
The most pressing issue facing my constituents is a lack of well paying jobs. I’ve proposed an American Marshall Plan to address economic insecurity and systemic poverty that exists in both urban and rural areas in the district and the country. Improving the lives of people in these impoverished or struggling areas will make us all safer and wealthier in the long run. This multifaceted plan will revitalize cities and communities across the United States, with a key focus on underserved areas neglected by industry and government. This plan will strengthen the economy by creating more middle-class jobs, a trained workforce, and drive greater economic engagement.
What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?
As someone who has personally knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls, I strongly believe that accessibility is a key component not only to a successful candidacy, but to a vibrant local congressional office. The 3rd District is vast and diverse and while many people face similar issues, each community also has its own unique set of concerns. Thus, a congressional staff that is representative of the entire district, e.g., city and suburbs, will be hired. Moreover, in the same way that I have personally reached out to touch thousands of people as a candidate, I will continue to do so as a congressman.