Jesus Garcia

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Jesus Garcia

Jesus "Chuy" G. Garcia is Cook County Commissioner. He is a "dynamic and progressive leader who has fought selflessly to improve the lives of his neighbors on the southwest side of Chicago and the neighboring Cicero and Berwyn communities."[1]


Emigrating with his parents from Durango, Mexico at the age of ten, Jesus Garcia has lived since then in the communities of Pilsen and Little Village. After earning a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, he went on to acquire a Masters degree in Urban Planning. Today, Jesus "Chuy" Garcia lives in Little Village with his wife Evelyn and daughter Rosa. He has two adult sons, Jesus and Samuel.[2]

Progressive activism

Advocacy of justice and equal opportunity led Jesus Garcia to work as a paralegal, as a community organizer and at a community-based housing organization. He was the Founding Executive Director of Enlace Chicago (a leading non-profit community development organization in Little Village, formerly known as LVCDC).

Garcia served as a Fellow at De Paul University and as adjunct professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago in the Departments of Political Science and Latino and Latin American Studies. He serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations including the Latino Policy Forum, a public policy and advocacy center, where he was the Founding President. He recently became Chairman of the Board of the Woods Fund of Chicago whose goal is to "increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities."[3]

Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC

In 2018 Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC (CPC PAC), the political arm of the 76-member Congressional Progressive Caucus, endorsed Jesus Garcia (IL-04) for the House of Representatives.[4]

Anti-Trump Protest

"Leaders of area Muslim, Jewish, women, immigrant, LGBTQ and disability advocate groups gathered Tuesday near the Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., in a show of solidarity against Trump. The press conference was headlined by Cook County Commissioner and former mayoral candidate Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a Mexican immigrant who moved to Chicago five decades ago...The event was organized by the groups and the Democratic National Committee. U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-9th) sent an e-mail to constituents Monday afternoon urging them to attend the rally."[5]

Susana A. Mendoza and Rami Nashashibi also spoke at the rally.[6]

Political career

First elected to the Chicago City Council in 1986 as a reformer and supporter of Mayor Harold Washington, Jesus Garcia helped give Mayor Washington a majority in the City Council to enact "progressive legislation." He was among Mayor Washingtons most trusted allies.

Chuys fight for justice did not stop after the Mayor died.

In 1992, Jesus Garcia was elected and served two terms as State Senator. As the first-ever Mexican-American elected to the State Senate, Chuy pushed forward a broad range of legislation to benefit the working families of his district.[7]

Tribute to Golub and Montgomery

ON November 16, 1989, Alderman Jesus Garcia served on the Tribute Committee for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Tribute to Leon Golub and Lucy Montgomery, held at the Congress Hotel, Chicago.[8]

Unity column


Jesus Garcia contributed a column to Unity, journal of the League of Revolutionary Struggle April 30, 1990.

Friends of Alice Palmer

In the mid 1990s Hon. Jesus Garcia was listed as a member of Friends of Alice Palmer (in formation), alongside Danny K Davis, Tony Rezko, Timuel Black and Barack Obama.[9]

Ishmael Flory tribute

Illinois Communist Party USA leader Ishmael Flory was honored at Malcolm X College in Chicago, September 29, 1991, by more than 100 guests.

Margaret Burroughs, a board member of the Chicago Park District MCed the event.

"Ishmael Flory is a man for all seasons...He never gives up", said State Senator Alice Palmer.

Alderman Jesus Garcia of Chicago's 22nd ward cited Flory's role in fostering African-American and Latino unity , and in building multi-racial coalitions for social progress.

Prof. Robert Starks of the Free South Africa Movement said "Ishmael has never failed to compliment me on my speeches, but at the same time he has never failed to pull me aside afterwards, too point out how I could have been a little more "progressive."

Tributes came from Communist Party USA chairman Gus Hall and Illinois organizational secretary Mark Almberg.

Other speakers included Crystal Bujol for the Flory family, long time friend Christine Johnson, Jack Spiegel of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union, Ronelle Mustin, peace activist Sarah Staggs, Harold Rogers, who brought greetings from Rep. Charles Hayes, Gerry Oliver, and Carl Bloice of the Peoples Weekly World.[10]

C'ttee to Defend the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Celebration

On November 10, 1991 Jesus Garcia was listed as a member of the 1991 Tribute Committee for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Celebration.[11]

Jack Siegel tribute

Chicago Committees of Correspondence held a tribute banquet to 88 year old member Jack Spiegel, on October 3, 19993, with 250 in attendance.

special guest included State Senator Jesus Garcia, Alderman Helen Shiller, Harold Rogers from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Carole Travis from the UAW, Larry Reagan from the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, Bernice Bild from the Coalition for New Priorities, Camille Odeh, from the Coalition of Palestinian Women and Meca Sorrentini from the Puerto Rican Socialist Party

Keynote speakers CoC co-chair Manning Marable. Illinois CoC co-chairs Sandy Patrinos and Mildred Williamson presented the awards. Maggie Brown sang songs, some written by her father Oscar Brown.[12]

DSA/CoC meeting

Illinois State Senator Jesus Garcia and Bernice Bild from the Committee for New Priorities addressed a joint Chicago DSA / Illinois Committees of Correspondence forum on the 1998 elections. Senator Garcia gave a technical, electoral perspective on the outcome. Bernice Bild provided a look at the outcome from more of a policy perspective.[13]

Immigration activism

On August 31, 1996, several Illinois Latino political leaders including State Senators Miguel del Valle, Jesus Garcia, and Congressman Luis Gutierrez and Alderman Rick Munoz held a press conference in Chicago to condemn, what they determined was "bad faith" on the part of the INS, over immigration raids, and citizenship applications.[14]

2000 Chicago PWW banquet

The 2000 banquet, held October 28 at the House of Fortune restaurant featured Congressman Danny Davis as guest speaker.

Local honorees were;

A special award went to Evelina Alarcon, co-ordinator to the Cesar E. Chavez Holiday Campaign.

Lance Cohn was a banquet organizer.[15]

Woods Fund of Chicago

Jesus Garcia served on the Board of the Woods Fund of Chicago from 2004 - 2010. He was serving on the Board as at Feb. 18, 2010.[16] The Fund was established in 1941 and is a private philanthropic foundation that makes grants in metropolitan Chicago, Illinois. Woods Fund "supports nonprofits in their important roles of engaging people in civic life, addressing the causes of poverty and other challenges facing the region, promoting more effective public policies, reducing racism and other barriers to equal opportunity, and building a sense of community and common ground".[17]

Honoring Frank Wilkinson

Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights organized a "Celebration of the The Dynamic Life of Frank Wilkinson (1914-2006)" on Sunday October 29, 2006. Wilkinson had been a leader of the Communist Party USA, the New American Movement and Democratic Socialists of America[18].

Honoring Committee members included Jesus Garcia.

Lozano tribute

About 250 family, friends, colleagues and inspired young activists who gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago June 2008, 25 years after Rudy Lozano's murder at age 31, to celebrate his short but influential life.

Several speakers, including former state senator Jesus Garcia and Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), credited Lozano with fighting for improved education, labor reform and minority representation in city government. Many said he was a crucial ambassador in forging a relationship between Latino and black voters that helped elect Harold Washington as the city's first black mayor in 1983. [19]

2009 Cook County Commissioner campaign

Rudy Lozano, Jr., Jesus Garcia

On November 3, 2009, Jesus Garcia announced his candidacy as a Cook County Commissioner for the 7th District to usher in a new era of reform, accountability, transparency and efficiency in government for the benefit of working people. His campaign theme: Clean it up, make it work.

His running mate was Communist Party USA affiliate Rudy Lozano, Jr., for State Rep. in the 21st District.

Garcia won his race, Lozano narrowly lost.

Communist Party ties

In a report of the Communist Party USA's Mexican American Equality Commission, prepared as part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010, the Commission wrote of several electoral victories, of people obviously associated with the party;[20]

Mexican Americans are a necessary force in the struggle to breakthrough the right wing obstructionism and counteroffensive and win progressive changes in health care, jobs and income, immigration, civil rights, labor rights and a more reasonable foreign policy in on going electoral struggles and the coming elections.. Mexican Americans are strong supporters of the Obama administration's efforts to move away from the right wing policies of the past and to move for progressive reform as evidenced by the 76% approval rating of California Latinos for Obama, in the January 2010 poll by the California Public Policy Institute. These developments are reflected in the strong races of Rudy Lozano for Illinois legislature, Rick Nagin for the Cleveland City Council and the big victory of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia as Cook County Commissioner in Illinois and Ana Rizo as Mayor of Maywood one of the cities of greatest immigrant concentration in Los Angeles County.


The following individuals and organizations endorsed Garcia in his 2010 run for Cook County Commissioner for the 7th District:[21]

Democratic Committeepersons and Aldermandic Officials:

Defending the Public, Our Families, and Our Communities

A forum "Defending the Public, Our Families, and Our Communities" was held Saturday, April 9, 2011, Chicago Temple, 77 West Washington, Chicago.

Join progressive leaders and activists to discuss strategies for defending our rights to earn, learn, and live in dignity. In the wake of the all-out attack against workers' rights and against programs that help our communities, it is more important than ever to come together across movements and push to realize a vision of FDR's "Second Bill of Rights." Panelists will discuss a roadmap to fight back and push for progressive priorities including ending wars and militarism; enhancing workers' rights; and developing economic policies that promote jobs and communities instead of corporate profits.


Emcee: Lori Challinor ­ DuPage Peace Through Justice Coalition

Opening Remarks: Jesus Garcia ­ Cook County Commissioner, 7th District


Keynote: Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI"Towards a New New Deal: A 21st Century Full Employment Act"[22]

Endorsed Communist Party affiliate's State Rep. run

On June 25, 2011, Communist Party USA affiliate Rudy Lozano, Jr. announced his second bid for State Representative, for the 21st District.[23]

Lozano's listed endorsers were;

Harold Washington supporter

In September 2014, when Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner invoked words of former mayor Harold Washington, to attack incumbent Governor Pat Quinn, a coalition of leaders who worked with, supported and espoused Harold Washington ideals and policies issued the below statement. Leaders who issued the statement are U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-1st), U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-2nd), U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-4th), U.S. Representative Danny Davis (D-7th), Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia, Timuel Black, the Rev. Clay Evans, Jacky Grimshaw and the Rev. Dr. B. Herbert Martin:

“Harold Washington would be rolling over in his grave to see this desperate commercial run by a billionaire who didn’t hire a single African American executive at his own business and who wants to eliminate the minimum wage.
“Those who remember and loved Harold Washington know that he spent his entire career fighting against the Republican, anti-worker, benefit-the-rich policies that Bruce Rauner wholly represents.
“This is another desperate effort by a billionaire trying to change the subject from an ongoing federal trial targeting his company after misdeeds that led to the abuse, neglect and death of many senior citizens under his watch. Bruce Rauner can’t avoid responsibility for his business.”[25]

Chicago elections/Bernie Sanders

In April 2015, just a weekend away from Election Day in Chicago's mayoral and City Council races, two progressive candidates and their supporters pre-emptively declared victory in bringing forth a new kind of peoples movement.

"Together we've already fundamentally changed the conversation," said Susan Sadlowski Garza, candidate for alderman in the city's 10th ward.

Chicago Mayoral candidate Jesus Garcia, speaking alongside Garza, mirrored the explosive enthusiasm of the crowd of 700 gathered Thursday evening in Chicago's far southeast side. Thirty years after the shutdown of every one of the area's four major steel mills, the ward's neighborhoods are still reeling from the poverty and despair created by these acts of corporate greed.

The rally's list of speakers ranged from Sadlowski Garza, Garcia and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, district Steelworker retiree leader Scott Marshall and East Side Methodist minister Rev. Z. L. Zocki. It was a snapshot of a movement growing on multiple levels.

"People are hungry to take Chicago back," said Garcia. He made it clear by "people" he meant working class. "You always treat working people with the highest dignity and respect and put their interests first," he continued, adding, "I need Susan in the City Council. We need someone who comes from Chicago's working classs." No one uses the eumphemism "middle class" in describing the 10th ward and its residents.

Sadlowski Garza is a school counselor in the same local elementary school that she, her four children and even her mother attended. She laid out a solid progressive agenda to "revitalize and unite" the 10th ward, leading with a call for a clean environment without toxins in the air and water and a call to direct tax dollars to developing green jobs at living wages.

Garza was introduced by Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis who made a surprise appearance, and the gathering reacted emotionally as she approached the stage slowly but deliberately, supporting herself on a walker. Lewis is recovering from surgery following the discovery of a brain tumor months ago. She recruited Jesus Garcia to run for mayor last Fall after her medical diagnosis forced her to drop out of the race against corporate Democrat Rahm Emanuel.

Lewis guided those gathered to look at a long-range picture: "This has got to be the start of a movement. We have the opportunity to change the political landscape," she said calmly and slowly, allowing the crowd a moment to look at itself and see a mass of steelworkers, teachers, high school students, Sierra club members, Working Families partisans and iron workers of many ages and hues. "It's messy, but this is what political democracy looks like," she concluded.

The Chicago Teachers Union made a conscious push after its 2012 strike to recruit and support candidates like Sadlowski Garza as viable candidates for the Chicago City Council. Tara Stamps, a fifth grade teacher, forced another Emanuel supporter into a run off in the West Side's 37th ward. Social Studies teacher Tim Meegan missed a run off by only two votes in the Northside 33rd ward. All the teacher candidates emphasized funding for schools, $15 hour minimum wage and opposition to privatization of public services.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders elaborated on the theme of building a peoples movement. "What we are doing is not just to make the 10th ward better," he said, "but demonstrating when people stand together there's nothing we can't accomplish."

Then he laid out what looked to the enthusiastic crowd a lot like a platform for the 2016 presidential race.

"We re gonna ask the richest people - billionaires and corporations - to start paying their fair share," he said right off the bat. Next he spoke of putting millions to work at green and living wage jobs by "investing in the crumbling infrastructure" and creating energy systems that cut carbons. He advocated free tuition in public colleges and universities, Medicare for All, raising Social Security benefits, overturning Citizens United and public funding for elections.

The rally took place in a former Steelworkers Union hall, just a stone's throw from the field where 10 striking steelworkers were gunned down by Chicago police on behalf of Republic Steel Corporation in May 1937 during the infamous Memorial Day Massacre.

"As the people from all walks of life band together to fight against a new era of corporate greed, the steelworkers who made the ultimate sacrifice would understand our struggle now," said Sadlowski Garza, the descendent of three generations of mill workers.

Change is in the air, observed steelworker retiree Marshall. "A powerful movement, led by labor, is being born."[26]

PowerPAC+ 2014 and 2015 Endorsements

PowerPAC+ 2014, 2015 endorsements;


With the backing of Chicago’s powerful teachers’ union and endorsements from key black leaders like Chicago Teachers’ Union President Karen Lewis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Cornel West and Congressman Danny Davis, Garcia has staked out a progressive agenda, calling for an end to school closings and railing against big corporations and special interests.

PowerPAC+ wrote;

"You can believe it when Chuy Garcia's finance chairman, longtime Chicago Democrat operative David Schaffer says that "Our polls show there's no way that Rahm can win; that Chuy will win pretty handily." By running on a strong, progressive agenda and building a new multiracial coalition in Chicago, Chuy Garcia is going to cause one of the biggest political upsets in recent years by defeating incumbent Rahm Emanuel. Garcia's key to victory is to keep effectively closing the racial gap with African-American voters and to continue positioning himself as the people-oriented and grassroots powered leader that he is.[28]

The People's Summit

At The People's Summit, Chicago 17-19 2016, a Saturday session was held "The People's Agenda";

Moderator Donna Smith - Progressive Democrats of America.


External Links


  4. [1]
  5. Trump Doesn't Really Care About Chicago Or City Violence, Protesters Say, accessed December 15 2016
  6. Illinoisans Protest Against Trump As He Visits Chicago To Fundraise (VIDEO), accessed December 16 2016
  8. Tribute to Golub and Montgomery: Program, Nov. 16, 1989
  9. Undated Friends of Alice Palmer membership list. Harold Washington papers
  10. PWW, Chicago tribute hails work of Ishmael FloryOctober 12, 1991, page 8
  11. Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Bicentennial Celebration Program, Nov. 10, 1991
  12. CoC newletter, Oct./Dec. 1993, page 5
  14. PWW, August 31, 1996, page 8
  15. PWW October 7, 2000
  16. Woods Fund website: Staff and Board
  17. Woods Fund website: Mission (accessed April 29, 2010)
  19. Hundreds pay tribute to activist slain in 1983, Chicago Tribune , Rudy Lozano fought for minority interests and built consensus June 23, 2008|By Robert Mitchum
  20. Special Convention Discussion: Mexican American Equality , April 5 2010 This article is part of the discussion leading up to the Communist Party USA's 29th National Convention May 21-23, 2010
  21. Jesus Garcia for Cook County: Endorsements (accessed on Aug. 24, 2011)
  22. [, New ground 135, March -- April, 2011]
  23. Lozano for State Rep. bio, accessed September 26, 2011
  24. [, Lozano for State Rep. endorsements page, accessed September 26, 2011]
  25. On Illinois, Quinn supporters bash Rauner over Harold Washington ad Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014
  26. PW, Chicago elections birthing new people’s movement by: Roberta Wood & Rossana Cambron April 3 2015
  27. 2014 endorsements
  28. [2]