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March 15, 2016 — Illinois Primary Election

District 9U.S. House of Representatives — Democratic PartyMarch 15, 2016Illinois Primary Election

United States
March 15, 2016Illinois Primary Election

U.S. House of RepresentativesDistrict 9 — Democratic Party

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About this office

Representatives are elected to two-year terms to represent the people of a specific congressional district in the federal government. They introduce and vote on new laws, hold hearings, and are responsible for approving federal taxes.
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  • Income inequality – building an economy that works for everyone in all stages of life, including retirement, not just the very richest few.
  • Confronting climate change – we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to protect communities, public health and the planet itself.
  • Protecting and expanding women’s access to health care
Profession:US Congresswoman

Jan Schakowsky has been a lifelong consumer advocate and a champion for, what she sees as, the disappearing middle class.  From her days as a young housewife who led the campaign to put expiration dates on food products to the 2008 passage of legislation she helped write making children’s products and toys safe, Jan has worked to make life better for working and middle class Americans.

Jan was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving eight years in the Illinois General Assembly.  She is in her 9th term, serving in the House Democratic leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip and serves as one of 16 Members on the Democratic Message Team.  She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she is the Ranking Democrat on the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee and she also sits on the Subcommittees on Health and Oversight and Investigations.  Jan also serves as the National Chairman for Candidate Services for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

For decades, Jan identified her top priority as winning affordable, quality health care for all Americans.  In 2009 and 2010, she played a leadership role in writing and passing the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that finally established health care as a right and not a privilege in the United States.  

Working and middle class people see Jan out there fighting for their jobs and paychecks at a time when income inequality has reached record levels.  In 2010, then Speaker Pelosi appointed Jan to President Obama’s 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform where she bucked the majority and offered her own proposal to balance the budget without cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid – or further burdening struggling families.  

Jan is proudly pro-choice, favors marriage equality and comprehensive immigration reform.  Jan was a founding member of the Out of Iraq Caucus in the U.S. House.  She co-chairs the Democratic Seniors Task Force which focuses on addressing the needs of older Americans.

As a Jewish Congresswoman, Jan has a deep personal connection to the State of Israel and has consistently voted for measures to assure Israel’s security and to promote efforts toward a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace.
Jan grew up in the 9th District and returns home every weekend to meet with individual constituents, business leaders, and groups large and small.  The Constituent Advocates in her two district offices work tirelessly to help the diverse range of constituents in the 9th District and are known far and wide for their welcoming attitude and effective problem solving.

Jan lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband Robert Creamer and their two dogs, Ellie and Frankie.  She has three marvelous children, Ian, Mary and step-daughter Lauren, and six exceptional grandchildren – Isabel, Eve, Lucy, William, Aidan and Alice.  She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.  

Total money raised: $1,363,187

Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).

State of Illinois
Power Rogers & Smith PC
American Association for Justice
American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
American Federation of Teachers
Communications Workers of America
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
National Beer Wholesalers Association
Service Employees International Union
United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)

By State:

Illinois 67.00%
District of Columbia 19.10%
Virginia 3.56%
Maryland 2.97%
Other 7.37%

By Size:

Large contributions (85.21%)
Small contributions (14.79%)

By Type:

From organizations (35.13%)
From individuals (64.87%)
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

I am committed to a fair economic policy that builds from the bottom up, not the top down.  We are the richest country in the world – at the richest time in our history.  Yet too many Americans are struggling. They’ve faced four decades of real-wage stagnation while the vast majority of economic growth has gone to the richest Americans.  Nearly 47 million Americans – including 1 in 5 children – live in poverty.  At the same time, the richest 1 percent holds more wealth than the bottom 90 percent, and the 100 richest Americans have more wealth than all 42 million African-Americans.  We now have the biggest income between the rich and poor of any country in the industrial world – a distinction we must end. 


Income inequality is rooted in poor policy decisions. I’m fighting to change those policies.  We need to raise wages. That means – moving from the minimum wage to a living wage of at least $15/hour, ending paycheck discrimination that results in women earning 79 percent of what men earn (African-American women and Latinas even less), and promoting unions and collective bargaining rights.  We need to make higher education more affordable, ensuring that no one loses access to educational opportunities because of cost and that students can enter the workforce without enormous debt.  And I am working hard to lower the costs of prescription drugs and other health care costs and to expand Medicare’s benefits to include necessities such as hearing aids and dental and vision care.


We need to create good jobs by investing in our national needs: repairing our schools and bridges, building affordable housing, and creating green energy sources like wind, solar and greater efficiency.  And we need to invest in our workforce – for everything from teaching our children to providing quality home care for seniors.  We can afford those investments if we ask the wealthiest among us to contribute their fair share. That is why I’ve introduced the Taxpayer Fairness Act to raise rates to 45% on income over $1 million, rising to 49% on income over $1 billion.

We must end discrimination to make sure that every child and every adult is able to rise to their full potential and take advantage of full opportunity.  I am fighting to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, pass legislation like the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and improve employment protections against pregnant women and older workers.    


We must end discrimination to make sure that every child and every adult is able to rise to their full potential and take advantage of full opportunity.  I am fighting to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, pass legislation like the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, pass comprehensive immigration reform, and improve employment protections for older workers and workers with disabilities.


I am particularly concerned about discrimination against women's health and the accelerating effort to restrict access to reproductive health services.  The Affordable Care Act worked to eliminate some problems -- preventing insurance companies from charging women more just because of their gender, ensuring that health insurance policies have to include maternity benefits and contraceptives (without cost-sharing requirements), and ending pre-existing condition exclusions.  But pregnant women still face discrimination in the workplace -- and many women don't have sick leave that allows them to take care of their and their family's health needs.  I am working hard to change that.


We  need to make sure that women-- not politicians -- have the right to make their own health decisions, based on their own beliefs and personal circumstances.  That includes access to abortions.  House Republicans have created a Select Panel -- on which I serve as the ranking Democrat -- that is attacking that right.  This is part of an assault that has included 11 votes to defund Planned Parenthood and a budget that would eliminate Title X family planning funding.  I will fight to make sure that we guarantee women's access to all the medical care they need -- including access to reproductive health services. 


As the former executive director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens and the current co-chair of the House Democratic Caucus Seniors Task Force, I am focused on ensuring that older Americans are able to retire with financial and health security.  That is why I am laser-focused on not just protecting Social Security but also expanding its earned benefits.  Today, 2 out of 3 retirees rely on Social Security for a majority of their income – 1 in 3 for 90 percent or more.  Yet, benefits are modest  and many seniors – especially older women who earn less and live longer – are struggling.  We can improve benefits and fund those improvements by lifting the cap on wages subject to Social Security taxes. 

Reversing past policy mistakes to create an economy that works for all requires a political system that works for all.   Instead of making it harder for Americans to vote, we need to pass a new Voting Rights Act.  We must undo the Supreme Court’s harmful decision in Citizens United, which has resulted in corporations and wealthy individuals having undue influence in elections.  We need to stop the role of money in politics that allows highly-profitable corporations like big pharmaceutical companies to benefit at the expense of the middle and working class. 

I am committed to raising wages, providing opportunity, improving retirement security and giving Americans a voice through unions and the political process.  I am proud to serve the 9th Congressional District by fighting for these policies in Washington and by working every day to solve my constituents’ specific problems, whether it is by helping a small business get a loan, handling a visa request, or working to solve a health care problem.  



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