The Chicago Defender endorses Congressman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) in the 1st District, Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) in the 2nd District and Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) in the 7th District for the 2016 Primary elections.
Representative Bobby L. Rush
Over the last 23 years, Representative Rush has been challenged with a series of issues as he maintains a stronghold in the 1st District which includes parts of the Cook County (4th, 6th, 18th, 21st, 34th Ward), Worth, Justice, Markham and other areas of Will County such as Frankfort, Orland Park and Palos Township.
As a senior member of the U.S. Congressional assembly, Rush has been known for his outspoken stance on racial disparity and civil rights. During the 112th Congress, legislation known as SAY YEA (H.R. 1901) provided $6.5 billion dollars to reduce youth unemployment. Rush pushed Metra in negotiations to include a historic level of African-American contractors—21 percent to local contractors from the community for the Englewood Flyover project. A $142 million project.
He was one of the key supporters of the CTA Red Line South branch reconstruction which created jobs for South Side residents. This project also awarded $82.5 million in contracts to Black and underrepresented businesses.
On public safety and crime prevention, Rush has experienced tragedy through the loss of his youngest son—Huey Rush in 1999—a victim of gun violence. In March 2013, he introduced the Hadiya Pendleton and Nyasia Pryear-Yard Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (H.R. 955). This legislation is named after two young lives tragically cut short by gun violence. A key focus of the bill is targeted at firearms trafficking by individuals known as “straw purchasers,” who play key roles in most firearms trafficking operations. In 2015 he re-introduced the “Blair Holt Licensing and Firearms Record of Sale Act.” Impacted by the death 9-year old Tyshawn Lee, this bill provides a tracking system for gun purchases and stricter policies in place for licenses and permits.
After the Laquan McDonald video release and overwhelming public outcry, Rush introduced HR 589 to establish “The House Select Committee on Excessive Use of Police Force” to investigate and make recommendations to the United States Attorney General in regard to “Excessive Police Force.”
Representative Robin Kelly
Representative Kelly’s during her term in office has positioned her platform on gun control and supporting stricter guidelines on this reform. She has created a five-point pledge which includes passing a comprehensive ban on assault weapons, eliminating gun show loopholes for purchase, as well as refusing support from groups that oppose reasonable gun safety legislation.
Her district includes the east South Side communities (South Shore, Pullman, East Hyde Park), certain parts of the South Suburbs (Olympia Fields, Calumet Park, Dolton, Harvey, Matteson, Hazel Crest, Markham, Phoenix and Riverdale, Homewood, Lansing, Chicago Heights, Thornton) as well as Kankakee.
Upon replacing former Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s seat in 2013, Kelly has taken the time out to meet with constituents in her district addressing key issues that focus on protecting seniors on Social Security and Medicare cuts, women’s health needs that shines light on the necessity of expanding preventative healthcare services, mental health care and supporting small businesses gain more access to capital, training, research and development leading to job creation.
Some of the bills that Representative Kelly have introduced and sponsored—Safe Streets and Representative Police Forces Act of 2015, Feeding American through Farm Flexibility Act of 2015, Crime Gun Tracing Act, Keeping Guns from High Risk Individuals Act and Rental Assistance Housing Preservation and Rehabilitation Act of 2014.
The Kelly Reports has become a signature layout of analytical information and research giving people thorough information both the importance gun prevention, advocacy for domestic violence, health disparities–breast cancer prevention and other measures to raise awareness in legislation.
Representative Danny K. Davis
Congressman Davis has had a long track record serving the 7th District since 1996 bringing a plethora of experience from his years on the Chicago City Council. He has the largest Congressional District in Illinois which borders along Lake Michigan extending the western border of Cook County including downtown Chicago, West Side (East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Austin, Douglas) Western Suburbs (Maywood, Oak Park, Bellwood, Forest Park, Hillside, Broadview) as well as the far South Side (Chinatown, Bronzeville, Washington Park, Englewood, Kenwood)
He has sponsored bills that has focused 30 percent in Education, 22 percent in Health, 15 percent in Taxation, 15 percent in Social Welfare, 11 percent in Crime and Law Enforcement and 7 percent in Finance and Financial Sector.
Representative Davis’s most recent sponsored bills have included the Gun Violence Prevention and Safe Communities Act of 2015, Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., the Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2015, the Law Enforcement Torture Prevention Act of 2015 and the Amendment of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act including bullying. Other bills include Education Stability for Foster Youth Act and Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2015.
His undying wave of support for the rehabilitation for ex-felons have become a flagship for advocates. He sponsored the bipartisan Second Chance Act of 2007 (HR1593) giving ex-offenders the preparation to re-enter society with the opportunity at job training and job placement in order to prevent re-entry into the jail or prison system.
Davis has been a supporter of National Health Insurance to provide health insurance coverage for all U.S. residents since becoming a member of the House. He continues to keep his constituents informed through the Davis Docket outlining the latest bills and community events hosted by the Congressman.