Jan Schakowsky

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Janice D. "Jan" Schakowsky, is a two-term Democratic Congresswoman from Illinois and is the Congressional representative for District 9 the House of Representatives. She was first elected to her seat in November 1998.

Contents

Background

In 1969, as a consumer advocate, Jan launched the fight that put freshness dates on products sold in supermarkets. Next, as Program Director of Illinois Public Action, the state's largest public interest organization, she fought for energy reform and stronger protection against toxic chemicals. While serving as Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985 to 1990, Jan pioneered statewide efforts for lower cost prescription drugs and tax relief for seniors, financial protection for the spouses of nursing home residents and other benefits for the elderly.

From 1990 to 1998, Jan represented Illinois’ 18th District in the Illinois General Assembly. During her tenure in the Illinois State House of Representatives, Jan chaired the Labor and Commerce Committee and served on the Human Service Appropriations, Health Care, and the Electric Deregulation Committees. She also served as a Democratic Floor Leader and as Secretary of the Conference of Women Legislators. On November 3, 1998, Jan was elected to represent Illinois' 9th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. The 9th Congressional District encompasses portions of the North Lakeshore of Chicago, the entire suburbs of Evanston, Skokie, Niles, Morton Grove, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Lincolnwood, and Park Ridge, and parts of Des Plaines, Rosemont, and Wilmette.

In her first year in office, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call recognized Jan as a legislator who "segued easily from state to national politics and is utterly unafraid to take on anyone at any time in fighting for her issues," and the newspaper selected her as amongst the "Next Generation of Hill Leaders." Today, in her fourth term, Jan is a member of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, an exclusive committee assignment, where she is pursuing her longtime goal of providing universal health care coverage to all Americans and is fighting for commonsense energy legislation and against attempts to weaken American's legal rights and due process. Using her position as the ranking Democrat on the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee, Jan is leading the Congressional charge to strengthen our nation's consumer and privacy laws. And working with children's advocates, Jan succeeded in securing the first hearing on child product safety in her Subcommittee in years, and she has introduced legislation that would require infant and toddler products to receive a federal seal of approval before they are sold.

Jan remains a member of the House Democratic Leadership, serving as Chief Deputy Whip, as she did in the 2002 election cycle, and on the House Steering Committee, the committee that helps determine Members’ committee assignments. Jan was appointed Chief Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives under Whip Nancy Pelosi, the first woman elected to a leadership position in the House, and who is now serving as the leader of the House Democrats -- the first woman ever elected to that position. Raising millions of dollars for Democrats across the country when she served as chair of the national "Women LEAD" through the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), today Jan continues her role as a leading fund-raiser for House Democrats and a major donor to candidates across the country.

A champion for the nation’s senior citizens, Jan remains actively engaged in the national campaign to provide access to affordable prescription drugs and is working with advocates across the country to change current law to bring real savings to Medicare recipients. Jan has authored major legislation that could save seniors and persons with disabilities close to fifty percent by using the power of Medicare to negotiate with drug makers for lower prescription drug prices.

Jan consistently strives to ensure that both seniors and people with disabilities receive quality home, hospice, and nursing home care, and her bill to ensure that newly-built homes that are federally-funded meet national guidelines for accessibility is supported by major national disability rights organization. Working to reduce waste, fraud and abuse in the Pentagon, Jan is fighting to expand Congressional oversight and has worked to increase accountability at the Defense Department. In the House, Jan has succeeded in including provisions in major legislation to expand housing opportunities for low-income people and to assist small business owners and farmers. Following the 2000 election disaster, Jan became a Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Special Committee on Election Reform and won a major legislative victory by guaranteeing in law that no voter can be turned away at the polls. Jan provides a powerful voice for the protection of children and women and has introduced major bills to increase federal assistance for abused women and children and to protect the rights of battered immigrant women, provisions that were signed into law by President Clinton.

Jan has fought throughout her career to expand federal and state hate crimes laws. Following the vicious hate crimes committed against her constituents and others over the 4th of July weekend in 1999, the House passed her bill condemning acts of hate. In 1999, she also organized the first national women's forum on gun safety in Chicago and is working towards sensible gun safety measures that would save lives. She had introduced the Financial Consumers Bill of Rights Act and bills to increase financial privacy for consumers and protect them from predatory lending and excessive fees.

Jan is on the Midwest Governing Council of the Jewish Congress. She is a member of the labor union UNITE HERE and a number of grassroots and civic organizations. Jan resides in Evanston, Illinois with her husband Robert Creamer. Jan has three children: Ian, Mary, and stepdaughter Lauren Creamer, and four grandchildren: Isabel and Eve, Lucy, and Will. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.

Representing Israel

In a July 24 Capital Hill news conference, Schakowsky stated that, "Unfortunately, it has become clear that the new government in Iraq, which came to power with the blessing of the Bush administration, does not share the same foreign-policy goals of the United States when it comes to the Middle East.... We strongly believe Speaker Hastert should be working to secure an apology or clarification from (Iraqi) Prime Minister (Nouri al-) Maliki for his recent remarks about Israel and for the vicious anti-Semitic rhetoric of the speaker of Iraq's parliament." Source: Frank James. "Democrats in Congress Condemn Anti-Israel Remarks by Iraqi Leader." Chicago Tribune. July 25, 2006. She and a small number of other Congressional Democrats were bidding to "out-Zionist" the Republicans. So just when is criticism of Isreali miltiary action ever OK?

Affiliations

Related articles

Contact

The Honorable Jan Schakowsky

Washington DC Office
1027 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2111
Fax: (202) 226-6890

Chicago Office
5533 Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: (773) 506-7100
Fax: (773) 506-9202

Evanston Office
820 Davis Street
Suite 105
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone: (847) 328-3399
Fax: (847) 328-3425

Park Ridge Office
1420 Renaissance Drive
Suite 102
Park Ridge, IL 60068
Phone: (847) 298-2128
Fax: (847) 298-2173

Congressional electronic contact page


External Links

  • Official Site
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