RACE: U.S. House - District 1

About the Candidate

Name: Jacqueline “Jacqui” Collins
Occupation: Illinois state senator  
Political Experience: Legislator 2003-Present
Website: jacquiforjustice.com
Twitter: @jacquifor

Candidate Statement

I’m State Senator Jacqueline Collins and I’m running for Congress in Illinois’ 1st Congressional District because I believe in justice for all. 

In Congress, I’ll work every day to stand up to powerful special interests for you. 

Whether it’s protecting a woman’s reproductive rights, addressing the rising cost of living, making our communities safer or dismantling structural injustices - you should know that I’ll be there for you. 

As a Senator, I’ve stood up to insiders and the status quo to reform oppressive systems my entire career. 

I recently successfully fought the gun lobby to ban ghost guns in Illinois. I’ve taken on the nursing home industry to ensure our seniors are properly protected. And I’ve taken on the big banks to crack down on predatory and racist lending practices. 

No one in this race has a record of taking on powerful special interest for the people and winning. 

I am not running on rhetoric but a legislative record of accomplishments. You don’t have to take my word for it, some of the top entities in the state can verify that I’m a proven progressive.

I have a 100% Lifetime Rating with Planned Parenthood because I’ve fought every day to protect women’s rights. 

The state’s leading gun violence prevention group has given me an A+ rating and their Profile in Courage Award. 

And, I’ve been deemed a Lifetime Environmental Champion by the state’s leading environmental group. 

These are some of the many reasons that I’ve been endorsed by more elected officials than anyone in this race. And why organized labor, clergy and advocates across the district have endorsed this campaign. 

To learn more about my record and who’s supporting my campaign visit my website. I hope you’ll vote for me, as I look to ensure that justice has a seat at the table in Washington. Remember Jacqui for Justice.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

Since I was a young girl in Mississippi, confronted by the injustice of “colored only” signs, I’ve made it my life’s work to improve equality and justice for all people - regardless of color, religion, socio-economic status, or age. I’ve made great progress working towards justice during my time in the Illinois Senate - I’ve reined in predatory lenders; was chief co-sponsor of raising the minimum wage and nursing home reform; increased workers’ ability to use sick time to care for ailing parents, children, and other relatives; and recently passed the first legislation in the Midwest banning all ghost guns. However, the truth is there’s only so much one can accomplish at the state level. I want to do more because there is an urgency of now as we face voter suppression, the rise of white supremacy and the attack on reproductive rights. That’s why I’m running for Congress.

What does this office do well, and what needs fixing?

I think Congressman Rush has done an excellent job of representing the needs of these communities, and I would continue to serve as a strong advocate for federal policies that would create jobs, improve education, protect workers, promote better health care, and increase justice. However, one thing the office could do better would be to provide more direct access to the people. As a state senator, I’ve made it a habit to host information sessions (via zoom this last year), participate with my aldermen at community meetings and produce a newsletter and provide news alerts.

What is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

Though it’s difficult to choose one issue, I would point toward the lack of economic opportunity, as it drives so many other problems. If elected to Congress, I will continue my long record as a state senator in promoting economic opportunity, pushing back against predatory lenders, working to close the wealth gap between Black and white communities, ensuring systemic racist policies aimed at people of color are undone, and fighting for a higher minimum wage and greater opportunities to participate in unions. My constituents might cite rising crime as their greatest concern. However, I see rising crime indicative of decades and decades of disinvestment, a sense of hopelessness and the lack of opportunity. Therefore, crime is the effect but not the root cause of society’s malaise.

What specific steps would you take to ensure your office is accessible and responsive to your constituents?

I think anyone who has ever worked with my state Senate office knows that I am committed to helping as many people as I can overcome their challenges. The most important step to providing good service is ensuring that you have a good staff in place. I would do my best to retain good employees from the former congressman’s office and to recruit enthusiastic, organized, responsible people to help me solve district residents’ problems