Richard "Dick" Durbin
|Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is Illinois' 47th United States Senator. Elected in 1996 to fill the seat vacated by his political mentor, U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, Durbin has worked in his first and second terms on economic development, education, more efficient transportation, and affordable, accessible, quality healthcare. Durbin's personal and political beliefs are deeply rooted in his childhood experience in East St. Louis, IL. Durbin's mother immigrated to the United States from Lithuania. His mother and father worked on the railroad. |
Senator Durbin worked his way through college and law school at Georgetown University - working on the railroad during his summer vacations at home and interning on Sen. Paul Douglas's Capitol Hill staff. After graduating from law school in 1969, Durbin went to work for then-Lt. Gov. Paul Simon and spent 13 years as the Illinois state Senate Parliamentarian. Durbin began his public service to the state of Illinois in 1982, when he was elected to represent the 20th Congressional district. There, he became known for his understanding of parliamentary procedure and his ability to build effective political coalitions.
Durbin is also the first Illinois senator in more than a quarter of a century to serve on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, a position which allows him to advocate for federal funding for local projects. In his decade on the Appropriations committee, Durbin has helped to secure funding for everything from veterans care and schools to highways and health care clinics. In 2006, Senator Durbin was recognized as “One of America’s 10 Best Senators” by Time Magazine. Senator Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois. He is married to Loretta Schaefer Durbin. They have three children and one grandchild. The Durbins reside in Springfield.
- As a U.S. Senator, Durbin has been a strong advocate for working families, striving to promote economic growth, enhance public education, improve our transportation infrastructure, increase the safety of our food, advance medical research and public health, reduce crime, protect the environment, keep the Social Security system strong, reform the campaign financing system, and fight unnecessarily high and unstable energy and health care costs. As one of 23 Senators who voted against invading Iraq, Durbin has fought for a new direction in Iraq while giving his strong, unqualified support to our troops and veterans.
- Durbin holds the second highest ranking position in the Senate: Assistant Democratic Senate Majority Leader, also known as Majority Whip. His election to leadership marked only the fifth time in history that an Illinois senator has served as a Senate leader.
|Tammy Duckworth is a United Senator for Illinois. Following her career as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, Tammy worked as an advocate for Veterans at both the state and federal level. Tammy was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, where she has been an active voice for Illinois families. Tammy was living in DeKalb, Illinois, working at Rotary International while pursuing a Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University, when her unit, headquartered in Peoria, was mobilized in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom. On November 12, 2004 Tammy’s UH‐60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade. She lost both legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion. As a result of her injuries, Tammy was awarded the Purple Heart.|
Following her injuries, Tammy became an advocate for Veterans. While serving as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs in Springfield, she implemented many first in the nation programs to alleviate suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, improve traumatic brain injury screening and reduce homelessness among Veterans. She declined a military medical retirement and continued to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in Springfield with the Illinois Army National Guard. In 2009, President Obama nominated Tammy to be an Assistant Secretary at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. There, she headed the department’s effort to end Veteran homelessness and was a leader in initiatives for female Veterans. She also implemented innovative efforts such as creating the Office of Social Media and Online Communications and the Office for Tribal Government Relations.
In Congress, Tammy is focused on growing our economy by advocating for small businesses, investing in infrastructure, improving the lives of our Veterans and cutting government waste and fraud. Tammy serves on the House Armed Services and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees. Tammy, her husband Bryan, a Major in the U.S. Army, and their daughter Abigail live in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Tammy Duckworth is a retired member of the Army National Guard. Use of her military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.
1st Congressional District
|Congressman Bobby L. Rush has spent most of his life fighting for everyday people. He believes that the constitutional promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all Americans must be upheld to make our nation strong. He has represented the First Congressional District of Illinois for almost two decades. Rush’s life story is truly an American story. He was born in Albany, Georgia on November 23, 1946. It was a time of terror and random violence against African-Americans living in the south. Eight months after Rush’s birth, historians report that a white mob tied two black couples to a tree and killed them in a hail of gunfire. It happened in a rural Georgia county north of Rush’s birthplace. The brutal murders, known as The Moore’s Ford Bridge Case, led President Harry Truman to push for sweeping civil rights changes and the desegregation of the military. It was the last documented mass lynching in the United States. The nation was on the cusp of change.|
He and his wife of 31 years, Carolyn, have a blended family with six children including a son who lost his life to gun violence in 1999. U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush is a transcendent American leader who keeps his legislative and policy interests sharply focused on the needs of his constituents — especially the most vulnerable. He believes in the redemptive power of the human spirit. He believes in human ingenuity and tenacity. He knows the power of a made up mind. As a member of Congress, Rush stands on the shoulders of a long line of patriots and public servants who have gone before him and who are ardent believers in our Constitution. His life is an example of our nation’s fundamental promise and his work reflects a deep determination to bend the arc of government resources and innovation towards the needs of every American — whether they live on our nation’s main streets or its side streets.
- Rush’s track record of leadership on energy issues and his support for small business while serving as an alderman in the Chicago City Council paved the way for him to gain a seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee in his second term.
- Rush’s attention to detail in crafting national legislation inspired his peers to elect him Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection during the 111th Congress. Under Rush’s watch, important pieces of legislation became law including the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-314). Signed into law by President George W. Bush, this statute is a landmark piece of legislation that provided an effective congressional response to an unprecedented wave of consumer product safety recalls between 2006 and 2007.
- Key pieces of legislation that Rush crafted surrounding postpartum depression, women’s health (Sec. 2951 and Sec. 2952 of Subtitle L), and prescription drug offsets (Sec. 7101 and Sec. 7102 of Subtitle B) were adopted in the landmark health care legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), signed into law by President Barack Obama.
- Because of Rush’s leadership over the years on a range of small business issues and community-based lending, Rush was chosen to serve as a conferee as part of the final, bipartisan deliberative process that led to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111‑203). Rush fought hard to help ensure that low-income and middle-class consumers would never again fall prey to the ill-conceived, predatory financial practices that led to the near epic collapse of U. S. financial markets in 2008.
2nd Congressional District
|Congresswoman Robin Kelly was elected to represent Illinois’ 2nd District on April 9, 2013. As a former State Representative, Kelly brings extensive legislative experience to the 2nd District. She successfully sponsored bills to protect consumers from fraud, support economic development and increase the minimum wage. She also led the fight for landmark legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and improve public safety. During her tenure in the Illinois Legislature, Kelly mentored progressive candidates and encouraged new leaders, including one of her colleagues, Barack Obama, in his successful 2004 bid for U.S. Senate. Most recently, Kelly was Chief Administrative Officer of Cook County, where she was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations and implementing policy for the second largest county in the United States.|
Kelly has also served as chief of staff in the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office. As the first African American woman to serve as chief of staff for a constitutional officer in Illinois, Kelly pursued a progressive agenda rooted in promoting small business job creation, investment strategy innovation, eliminating food deserts and advancing financial literacy in underserved areas. She also helped to transform the Treasurer’s Office – an agency that manages as much as $17 billion in state funds – by improving efficiencies, streamlining expenses and demanding stronger ethical guidelines. A New York native, Kelly moved to Illinois after high school to attend Bradley University in Peoria, where she earned her B.A. in psychology and a M.A. in counseling. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University.
Kelly serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the Cook County Human Rights Commission, the Hate Crimes Commission and the board of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. She also serves as a Bradley University Trustee and is a board member of the Bradley University Council. In 2009, she was inducted into the university’s Centurion Society for honored alumni. She is also an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. Kelly lives in Matteson with her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Horn and has two adult children, Kelly and Ryan.
3rd Congressional District
|Dan’s interest in community service and policy activism began at an early age. When he was 12 years old, he got together with some friends to create a petition to collect signatures asking the Japanese government to change their laws so that Japanese fishermen were not allowed to kill dolphins as they were catching for tuna. At that time there was no such thing as "dolphin safe" tuna. They gathered signatures at Brookfield Zoo, in front of Jewel, and elsewhere, and then sent them to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Dan knows he was only one very tiny player in bringing about change, but when you buy a can of tuna in the store today it usually says "dolphin safe." Dan graduated from St. Symphorosa Elementary School on the Southwest Side of Chicago. He played Clear Ridge Little League baseball for 8 years and served as an altar boy at St. Symphorosa. In 1984 Dan graduated with honors from St. Ignatius College Prep, continuing his interest in government and community service by getting elected to the Student Council, tutoring with the Community Tutoring Alliance, and lettering on the Student Congress team.|
In 1988, Dan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. In his junior year he was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. In addition to other activities, he served as president of the International Policy Forum and three times participated in Dance Marathon, raising money for various charities. Following Northwestern, Dan went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University. Next, he was recruited to work for six months in Zurich, Switzerland as a Systems Analyst for Swissair. Upon returning, Dan worked in Washington, DC for the House of Representatives Administration Committee and then for the Illinois General Assembly Office of Intergovernmental Relations. Having gained these experiences working overseas and in government, Dan attended graduate school at Duke University. In 1998 he was awarded his Doctoral Degree in Political Science. During work on his dissertation, Dan took time off to serve as Director of Communications Research for Dick Devine’s first successful run for Cook County State’s Attorney in 1996. After graduating from Duke, the American Political Science Association awarded Dan a Congressional Fellowship, during which time he worked on issues for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt in the Democratic Policy Committee. Following this, Dan taught Political Science as an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee. Dan was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 4, 2004, and was sworn in to begin his first term in the 109th Congress on January 4, 2005. He has subsequently been reelected every two years and is currently in his fourth term.
Born and raised in the Southwest Side "Bungalow Belt" near Midway Airport, Dan is a proud native of Illinois’ Third Congressional District, which he has represented since being elected in 2004. He currently resides in the west suburban portion of the district in Western Springs with his wife, Judy.
- As Northeastern Illinois’ only member of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Lipinski has worked tirelessly to improve America’s transportation system, including more funding for roads, mass transit, rails, and airports. He has also been the leading advocate for the CREATE rail modernization program, a public-private partnership to reduce rail and road congestion throughout the Chicago region; in the last federal surface transportation bill he secured $100 million for this program and then helped produce the agreement for the three-year, $330 million first phase of CREATE. Dan has also brought another $27 million to the district for other transportation projects. He has also helped to maintain the vitality and safety of Midway Airport which is in his district. Dan has helped secure more than $30 million for safety enhancements at the airport. Dan serves on the two Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittees: Aviation, and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.
- Dan also serves on the Committee on Science and Technology where he sits on two subcommittees, Research and Science Education, and Technology and Innovation. At the beginning of the 111th Congress – because of his experience as a college professor and his background as one of less than a dozen engineers in Congress – Dan was selected to be Chairman of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee. Again at the start of the 112th Congress he was chosen to serve as the top Democrat on this subcommittee. He has focused his work on improving the economic competitiveness of America, especially by increasing support for top-notch scientific research, facilitating technology transfer from the lab to market in order to create jobs locally and nationally, improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and promoting the development of green jobs in America.
11th Congressional District
|Bill Foster is a scientist, businessman, and former U.S. Congressman who served from March 2008 until January 2011 as the Representative of Illinois' 14th Congressional District. Bill's business career began at age 19 when he and his younger brother co-founded Electronic Theatre Controls, Inc., a company that now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States.|
Bill's scientific career was as a high-energy physicist and particle accelerator designer at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). Bill was a member of the team that discovered the top quark, the heaviest known form of matter. He also led the teams that designed and built several scientific facilities and detectors still in use today, including the Recycler Ring, the latest of Fermilab's giant particle accelerators. When Bill first ran for Congress, his campaign was endorsed by 31 Nobel Prize Winners.
Bill's Family - Bill lives in Naperville with his wife Aesook, who is also a physicist. Bill has two grown children, Billy and Christine. Bill's father was a civil rights lawyer who wrote much of the enforcement language behind the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Bill's mother lives in Madison, Wisconsin.