Jan Schakowsky

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Jan Schakowsky


Jan (Janice) Schakowsky is a pro socialist Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 9th district of Illinois.

Schakowsky resides in Evanston, Illinois with her husband Robert Creamer. She has three children, Ian, Mary, and stepdaughter Lauren Creamer.


Jan Schakowsky graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.[1]


Prior to her election to Congress, Schakowsky represented the 18th District in the Illinois General Assembly for eight years. She served as a Democratic Floor Leader and as Secretary of the Conference of Women Legislators.

For twenty years prior to her election to the State House, Schakowsky fought for the public interest and rights of Illinois citizens. As Program Director of Illinois Public Action (1976-1985), the state's largest public interest organization, she fought for energy reform and stronger protection from toxic chemicals. As Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985-1990, she organized across the state 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. She has been deeply involved in the fight to protect women's reproductive freedom.

In 1969 Schakowsky led the fight that put freshness dates on products sold in the supermarket.[2]

"Community organizer"

Writing in the Huffington Post of September 8, 2008, in an article entitled "From Organizer To Elected Official" Democratic Socialists of America member Peter Dreier listed several serving US politicians who had begun their careers as "community organizers". They were US Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Representatives John Lewis of Georgia, Jan Schakowsky and Danny Davis of Illinois, Raul Grijalva of Arizona, Linda Sanchez of California, and Donna Edwards of Maryland, Washington House of Representatives Speaker Frank Chopp, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, state legislators Beth Low of Missouri, Michael Foley of Ohio, Gilbert Cedillo of California, Tom Hucker of Maryland, Tony Hill of Florida, and Crystal Peoples of New York, Alameda County (California) Supervisor Nate Miley, City Council members Jay Westbrook of Cleveland, Chuck Turner and Sam Yoon of Boston, and Melvin Carter of St. Paul, and San Francisco School Board member Jane Kim. [3]


Jan Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois' 9th Congressional District on November 3, 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois State Assembly. She is in her sixth term.

Schakowsky serves in the House Democratic Leadership as Chief Deputy Whip and as a member of the Steering and Policy Committee. She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she will work to accomplish her top priority in Congress -- providing universal healthcare coverage for all Americans. On that Committee, she serves as Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection and as a member of the Subcommittee on Health and the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

In 2010, Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently appointed Schakowsky to serve on the House Select Committee on Intelligence. Schakowsky opposed the Iraq war resolution and was a founding member of the Out-of-Iraq Caucus.[4]

Women's issues

Schakowsky is a leading advocate for women's issues in Congress, sponsoring legislation that would prevent violence against immigrant women, establish transitional housing for women and children who are victims of abuse, and commemorate International Women's Day. During the 110th Congress, Schakowsky serves as Democratic Vice Chair of the bipartisan Women's Caucus.[5]

Links to Democratics Socialists of America

Jan Schakowsky has been close to Chicago Democratic Socialists of America-or its predecessors since the 1970s.

Grape boycott

Schakowsky was recruited to help with the famous Chicago Grape Boycott by a young United Farm Workers union leader named Eliseo Medina.

A lifelong socialist, Medina is today executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union and an honorary chair of Democratic Socialists of America.

Medina and Schakowsky crossed paths at Chicago DSA's 2004 Debs-Thomas-Harrington Dinner.

Eliseo Medina was honored for his union work at the dinner while Jan Schakowsky was keynote speaker.

From Chicago DSA's New Ground[6]

Carl Shier introduced the second honoree, SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina. Shier first met Medina when Medina was a young man sent to Chicago by Cesar Chavez to organize the UFW's grape boycott in Chicago on $5 dollars a week. Medina worked miracles (including roping young suburban women like Jan Schakowsky into the effort).

Chicago Socialist

In 1983, Jan Schakowsky wrote an article for DSA's Chicago Socialist, February/March issue, pages 4 and 5 "Hopes and fears dominate IPAC conference."

Confirmed DSA member

DSA News January 1986, page 2

Jan Schakowsky was named as an "Evanston DSA member" in DSA News, January 1986, page 2.

DSA endorsement

When Jan Schakowsky ran for Congress in 1998 she was endorsed[7]by Chicago DSA-as was DSA member Danny Davis.

Jan Schakowsky, U.S. House of Representatives, 9th District
Jan Schakowsky is running for Sid Yates old position. Like Danny Davis, she's an old friend of DSA and a real fighter.

DSA honor


Jan Schakowsky was herself honored[8]at at the May 2000 Dinner for her work in Congress and the community.

Carl Shier, Jan Shakowsky

Jan Schakowsky received her 2000 Debs Dinner award from Chicago Democratic Socialists of America leader, the late Carl Shier.

In your early days as a consumer advocate, you began the fight for freshness dates on products sold in supermarkets. As Program Director of Illinois Public Action, you fought for energy reform and stronger protection from toxic chemicals. As Executive Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens, you helped organize across the state for universal and comprehensive health care, for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, for financial protection for spouses of residents in nursing homes.
As an Illinois State Representative, you served your constituency well for four terms. You were an outstanding Chair of the Labor and Commerce Committee. You served on the Human Services, Appropriation, Health Care, and Electric Deregulation Committees. You were a Democratic Party Floor Leader and served as Secretary of the Conference of Women Legislators.
Your dedication to the people was rewarded by a great grassroots campaign, with hundreds of street volunteers, when you chose to run for the United States House of Representatives. Your first term in Congress has been outstanding. You have been an outstanding voice for seniors, labor union members, women and children. You have continued your advocacy of universal health care through your membership on the Health Care and Medicare Task Forces. Through your work, you were appointed to a leadership whip position.
Your work and your life honors the memory of Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington and continues their legacy of struggle for social justice.
For your dedication to the fight for a just society, the Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner Committee hereby presents to you its annual award on this 5th day of May, 2000.

Jan Schakowsky also attended[9]the The 35th Annual Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner on May 7th 1993.

Supporting DSA


Schakowsky for Congress placed a paid ad the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America May 10, 2002, 44th Annual Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner program .[10]

Take Back America Conferences

Jan Schakowsky was on the list of 129 speakers at the 2003 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[11]

Schakowsky was on the list of 114 speakers (which included George Soros) at the 2004 Take Back America conference..[12]

She was back in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008.

America's Future Now Conferences

Jan Schakowsky was on the list of speakers at the 2009 America's Future Now conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[13]

Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011

Jan Schakowsky was one of the 158 speakers who addressed the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011 . The Conference was hosted by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future, [14]

Memorial for Carl Shier

There was a memorial for Chicago Democratic Socialists of America leader Carl Shier at Weinstein Brothers in Wilmette on Friday, May 18. 2007, Despite the brief notice, hundreds attended. The current and past AFSCME Council 31 directors, Henry Bayer and Steve Culen, spoke. Deborah Meier and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky also shared their memories, as did two of Carl's nephews, Paul Blumberg and Dick Sard.[15]

2011 Debs Dinner

The 53rd Debs Thomas Harrington Dinner was held in 2011, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro on Friday the 13th of May.

Chicago DSA co-chair Ron Baiman presented the Dinner award to AFSCME's John Cameron. In accepting the award, Cameron noted that while both public and private employees may be represented in the workplace by a union, public employees, as voters, have some say in the meaning of their work, and this is the essence of socialism.

U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky seized the time and the podium to second the Dinner's endorsement of Cameron's work. Despite now being in the minority in Congress, Schakowsky noted in passing, she was extremely optimistic as the conservatives in Congress have seriously over-reached themselves.[16]

Endorsed DSA linked radical manual

In 2011, Heather Booth, Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Gregory Cendana all endorsed an updated edition of "Organizing for Social Change :Midwest Academy Manual for Activists, by Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall and Steve Max.

Schakowsky wrote; "People power will trump the power of big money. This book will tell you how to organize that power".

DSA member

The most conclusive proof that Jan Schakowsky has been an actual DSA member came from DSA News, June 9, 1986, page 2, in which an article entitled "DSAers on the move" which reports on some of Schakowsky's early electoral forays.

Fred Ross award campaign

In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".

Congressional endorsers of the proposal included Jan Schakowsky.[17]

Illinois Public Action

In 1996 members of the 120 strong board[18]of Illinois Public Action included Quentin Young, Congressmen Luis Gutierrez and Lane Evans, Chicago alderman Joe Moore and Peoria alderman Frank McNeil, State Senator Alice Palmer, State Representative Jan Schakowsky and Cook County Clerk David Orr.

At IPA's 1996 Convention, Chicago Democratic Socialists of America member Ron Baiman made some remarks regarding the need for anti-capitalist ideology to truly fix a system that is not fixable otherwise.

Jan Schakowsky responded[19]by saying "The American people are not ideological; therefore, the way to go is to attack private power."

Schakowsky, gave a talk in the afternoon session stressing the need for a moral attack against the Republicans.

Citizen Action of Illinois

In 1997 Representative Janice Schakowsky served on the board of directors of Citizen Action of Illinois.[20]

IPS grades "progressive"

In 1998 fourteen new Members of Congress were elected who ran on progressive platforms.

The 14 were gauged "progressive" by the Institute for Policy Studies after comparing their campaign literature and past activities with the Progressive Challenge "Fairness Agenda for America." On issues ranging from shifting budgetary priorities from military spending and corporate giveaways to health care and education, to promoting worker and environmental rights, fair trade, and equality, these 14 candidates stood for the liberal values that recent polls show most Americans embrace. The 14 new progressive members included:

  • Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois' 9th district, "has long been an advocate for consumers, senior citizens and women's rights. Shehas spoken out about human rights and demilitarization as well as supported campaign finance reform".[21]

Richard Criley Memorial

In 2000, Jan Schakowsky served on the welcoming committee for the Chicago Memorial Service for Richard Criley, a long-time activist with the Communist Party USA and a leader of the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights.[22]

Immigrant "rights" rally

Some 8,000 working people joined the March and Rally for a New Amnesty in Chicago September 23. 2000. "Si se puede" was the chant of the day at the rally for the millions of immigrant workers in the United States. Janitors, home health care workers, garment workers, and meat packers were among those at the action.

The confidence, unity, and working-class composition evident at the march were reflected in the banners and signs throughout the demonstration: "It's Time For Amnesty!" "Living Wage For All Workers," "Union Organizing Is A Human Right!" and "Amnesty Means Workers' Rights."

The demonstration was sponsored by the Grassroots Collaborative, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 880, ACORN, American Friends Service Committee, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the Interfaith Leadership Project, and others. [23]

Statements of support came from Democratic Socialists of America members AFL-CIO president John Sweeney and rep. Danny Davis and Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago, Francis Cardinal George.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky told the crowd "I support complete amnesty , total restoral of benefits....and an end to employer sanctions. Danny Davis' message echoed these themes.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez told the assembly that on October 2 he would introduce legislation to accomplish amnesty... into the House of Representatives, and asked for the pressure to be kept up.[24]

Working with communists to Lower Gas Bills

In the winter of 2001, the gas bills for heating Chicago homes rose. Members of Bea Lumpkin's South Side Communist Club were angry too when they saw their huge gas bills. We agreed, anger is not useful unless it leads to effective action.

So on February 7, 2001, the Communist club took the first step to start the fightback. They talked to their coalition partners and together acted fast. Within a week they had a rally of 130 people to demand lower gas prices.

On February 13, 2001, USWA and Save Our Jobs Committee co-sponsored a rally in the steel union hall in South Chicago. They formed a new group, "Angry Utility Consumers." They included presidents of three USWA locals, Bea Lumpkin , Frank Lumpkin of Save Our Jobs Committee, Katie Jordan of Chicago Coalition of Labor Union Women; community leaders included Rev. Winfield Phillips, Free Salvation Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Bill Hogan, Saint Bride Roman Catholic Church, and many block club presidents and members.[25]

After changing its name to the more positive Utility Consumers United for Justice, on May 14, 2001, Bea Lumpkin and her group met with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and her assistant, Jonathan Samuels. They granted an interview even though the group were South Siders, far from Schakowsky's district on the North Side. Samuels said the Government Accounting Office (GAO) was investigating the huge hike in gas prices. He added that the GAO already had proof that suppliers deliberately withheld gas to make the price go up.

Schakowsky listened and warmly supported the demands.

"Our people are angry but discouraged," we added. Schakowsky tried to pick up our spirits. "Don't be discouraged," she said. "This is war, class war, war on working families. We did not declare it, but we will fight it and win! We must fight this (Bush) budget that does not include money to solve the energy crisis and we must take back Congress in 2002!". [26]

The Next Agenda Conference

Progressive LA: The Next Agenda Conference was held On October 20, 2001 in Los Angeles at the California Science Center.

The Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN) and the Institute for America’s Future "will co-sponsor an important conference -- the Next Agenda Conference -- designed to celebrate recent victories, build upon Los Angeles’ progressive momentum, and link local issues with a national progressive agenda. The conference will also help solidify a more strategic and integrated progressive movement in Los Angeles".

Speakers included Rep. Jan Schakowsky[27]

2002 ACORN convention

Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) brought some 2,000 delegates attending the national convention of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now to their feet with a ringing call for “the people’s agenda.”

Standing before a banner bearing the convention theme “Justice Now, Justice Always,” Davis drew cheers as he ticked off a list of demands of the people’s movement: livable wage, affordable prescription drugs and health care, higher minimum wage, public education, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

Other speakers talked of a need for a people’s movement to “save our country.” SEIU international Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger said, “How do we save our country? Organize, radicalize, mobilize.” Burger lambasted corporate CEOs and their allies in the Bush administration for favoring the rich at the expense of the rest of the country. “How greedy can they get?” she asked, warning: “We have to do more before our Constitution, our democracy, even our way of life is taken away.”

In an appeal for an alliance of labor and community organizations to fight the people’s battles, Burger said, “We need your help, you need our help. Together we can take back our government, and our country.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) charged that, for the Bush administration and the Republican leadership in Congress, “everybody comes before the people,” and said that with their drive to repeal the estate tax, Republicans are putting “rich dead people before poor people.” Congress should block tax cuts for the rich until everyone has an affordable place to live, she declared.

Assailing the Bush administration’s anti-immigrant policies, Schakowsky said, “Since Sept. 11, this administration has had a hard time distinguishing between terrorists and immigrants who come to this country only to make their lives better. They deserve a living wage along with everybody else.”.[28]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[29]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

IPS connection


On September 23, 2003 the radical Institute for Policy Studies held its 27th annual Letelier-Moffitt Memorial Human Rights Awards.

Presented by Jan Schakowsky, United States Representative

Presented by Harry Belafonte

Presented by John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO

With special musical performance by Isabel Aldunate in remembrance of the 30th anniversary of the military coup in Chile[30]

Save Our Security Illinois Coalition

In 2005, left opposition to Social Security privatization was organized in Illinois around the Save Our Security Illinois Coalition, which included Chicago Democratic Socialists of America. The Coalition’s first action in Illinois was a 90-person picket line outside the downtown Chicago offices of the Charles Schwab brokerage, a major advocate of privatization. A town hall meeting, with an overflow crowd of 400, on February 28 at Loyola University’s Water Tower campus featured Senators Richard Durbin and Barack Obama and Representative Jan Schakowsky. There was also a major rally in April.[31]

"Trade Act of 2008"

The "Trade Act of 2008" (HR 6180) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representative Mike Michaud of Maine in early June.

It has gathered 63 cosponsors, including Illinois Representatives Danny Davis, Phil Hare, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Daniel Lipinski, Jan Schakowsky. In the Senate, the legislation (S 3083) was introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and gathered 4 cosponsors.[32]

Citizen Action "champion"

In 2009, Citizen Action/Illinois thanked the members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, "in particular our champions Senator Durbin and Representative Schakowsky, for their tireless efforts in leading the health care bill in Washington D.C.

We will continue our efforts to ensure that 2010 will mark a turning point in our country’s 100 year battle to make quality and affordable health care a reality for all Americans.[33]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Jan Schakowsky in her successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Illinois.[34]


Planned Parenthood

Schakowsky received $1000 in lobbying funds from Planned Parenthood in 2008.

EMILY's List

Schakowsky has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

Supporting Obama's birth control plan

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and three other congresswomen attended a special news conference Feb. 8, 2012, reacting to Republican Speaker John Boehner's attack on the Obama administration's birth control policy.

Boehner vowed to overturn the policy, complaining that it was a violation of religious freedom because its coverage includes schools and hospitals with religious affiliation. Other Republicans saw this as a political opening, and argued that this was a sensitive issue of "religious liberty."

Schakowsky, along with Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Lois Capps, D-Calif., and Gwen Moore, D-Wis., said at the press conference they supported the president's policy, explaining that it strikes a balance between religious and individual freedom.

Schakowsky said the policy exempts churches from providing birth control benefits for their workers.

As for religiously-connected hospitals and schools, she explained, "If they want to be part of the business world, then they have to follow the same rules as other businesses."

Capps and DeLauro outlined some of the benefits of the birth control decision, noting that it was based on scientific evidence, decreased infant mortality and unintended pregnancy, and would reduce the long-standing gender discrimination issues that women in health care face.

"The idea that birth control could be controversial in 2012 is outrageous," Schakowsky remarked. "Women's health care should not depend on who the boss is." Furthermore, she predicts a backlash among women if Republicans continue to attack this policy.

"It would be at their peril if they try to undo this," she concluded.[35]

Support for Barack Obama


Jan Schakowsky has been one Congresss' most loyal and consistent Barack Obama supporters.

"Osama" remark

At the 2004 46th Annual Eugene V Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner in Chicago, Jan Schakowsky told the story of a meeting in Washington with U.S. president George Bush.

The Congressional Black Caucus had demanded a meeting with President Bush to discuss the situation in Haiti.

Schakowsky had also been invited because of her strong interest in the issue.

According[36]to Chicago DSA's New Ground:

Bush finally, at the insistence of caucus members, made it to this meeting and spent enough time to display his ignorance of the issue. He noticed Jan, a lone white face, and seemed to "jump back" when he saw her button. Osama? No, Mr. President. Barack Obama, and you'll be hearing from him when he becomes the Senator from Illinois.

Sponsoring Barack Obama

From The Activist

Chicago activist Adrian Bleifuss Prados, of Democratic Socialists of America youth wing, the Young Democratic Socialists wrote on their blog The Activist January 29, 2008;

Barack has some real left-wing street cred in Chicago. He is probably the only person running for president who could identify, say, Antonio Gramsci, and that should count for something shouldn’t it?
He has often attacked for being less outspoken than the Senior Senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin, but Obama actually takes his cues from Durbin who, along with DSA-friendly Jan Schakowsky, has been his main political sponsor.

Obama for America, National Co-Chair

February 22, 2012, Obama for America, announced the selection of the campaign’s National Co-Chairs, a diverse group of leaders from around the country committed to re-electing President Obama. The co-chairs will serve as ambassadors for the President, advise the campaign on key issues, and help engage and mobilize voters in all 50 states.

Representative Jan Schakowsky – Representing the 9th District of Illinois, was on the list.[37]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

As of February 20 2009 Jan Schakowsky was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[38]

Populist Caucus

The Populist Caucus was founded on February 11, 2009 in the United States House of Representatives by Democrat Bruce Braley of Iowa. The caucus originally included 26 other Democrats in the House, including Jan Schakowsky.

Campaign to Make Immigration Reform a Top Issue in 2010

On October 13 2010 , immigration activists from around the country gathered to join in a vigil and rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC., where Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez and other elected officials launched a new push for comprehensive immigration reform, building to the opening months of 2010. their banners read “Reform Immigration FOR Families” and “Family Unity Cannot Wait.”

More than 750 people traveled to Washington on buses from up and down the Eastern seaboard and as far away as Texas, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and Michigan. They spent Tuesday morning meeting with Congressional offices before being joined by thousands of people from the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area, who gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to listen to testimonies from families, veterans, and children who face family disintegration because of immigration laws and deportation.

Religious leaders from a diverse array of faith traditions around the country, some organized through Familias Unidas, added their voices.

At the event Congressman Gutierrez outlined a set of principles for progressive immigration reform that needs to include a rational and humane approach to legalize the undocumented population, to protect workers’ rights, to allocate sufficient visas, to establish a smarter and more humane border enforcement policy, to promote integration of immigrant communities, to include the DREAM Act and AgJOBS bills, to protect rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and to keep families together.

The lawmakers who joined Rep. Gutierrez on stage, and addressed the gathering included Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chairman Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA), Congressional Progressive Caucus Chairs Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Congressional Black Caucus Member, Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Michael Quigley (D-IL), and Delegate Gregorio Sablan (Northern Mariana Islands).[39]

J Sreet endorsement

In 2008 Schakowsky was endorsed by JStreet PAC.[40]

JStreet Conference

Jan Schakowsky at JStreet Conference, Oct. 26, 2009

On Oct. 26, 2009, Schakowsky spoke alongside fellow congressmen, Bob Filner and Jared Polis at the JStreet 2009 Conference.[41] JStreet is a Jewish organization that, according to its website, "was founded to change the dynamics of American politics and policy on Israel and the Middle East".[42]

Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation

In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."

Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.

“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.[43]

Communist funeral

On April 24, 2011, Congressmembers Jan Schakowsky and Danny Davis, addressed the funeral service of Communist Party USA member Frank Lumpkin, whose ashes were interred next to the famous Haymarket Memorial in nearby Forest Home Cemetery. Among those who paid tribute to Lumpkin's lifelong work were congresspeople, state legislators, the governor of Illinois Pat Quinn, union and community leaders.

Communist Party leaders in attendance included Scott Marshall, Roberta Wood, Pepe Lozano, Rudy Lozano, Jr. and Jarvis Tyner.[44]

Emergency Jobs Bill

A crowd of local union members, advocates for the unemployed and elected officials were on hand outside the Gould Elementary School in Chicago Aug. 10, 2011, for the unveiling of a new jobs bill.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who sits on President Obama's 18-member Fiscal Commission, announced she will introduce the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, which will put "over 2 million people to work for two years".

"It begins with this simple idea: If we want to create jobs, then create jobs," the Congresswoman declared. "I'm not talking about incentivizing companies in the hope they'll hire someone, or cutting taxes for the so-called job creators who have done nothing of the sort. My plan creates actual new jobs."

"For months," Schakowsky declared, "They have been talking about the deficit but the worst deficit this country faces isn't the budget deficit. It's the jobs deficit. We need to get our people and our economy moving again."

Schakowsky called Janet Edburg, a jobless factory worker and Communist Party USA supporter, who has exhausted her 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, to the speakers' platform. Not able to hold back her tears but speaking in a loud, firm voice Edburg told the hushed crowd: "You cannot imagine how it feels to lose your job, to be homeless and have to be taken in by a friend." Pounding on the podium, she declared, "It is about time that something be done."

Schakowsky stepped back up and, putting her arm around Edburg, said, "This is America and we can do better than this."

The measure's Park Improvement Corps creates 100,000 jobs for youth 16 to 25, restoring natural, cultural, and historic, recreational and scenic resources.

The Neighborhood Heroes Corps hires 300,000 teachers, 40,000 cops, and 12,000 firefighters while the Health Corps hires 40,000 health care providers, including doctors, nurses, physicians' assistants and health care workers.

750,000 jobs are created by a Community Corps, which focuses on public property maintenance, housing rehabilitation and new housing construction while 100,000 jobs are created in early childhood care and education by the Child Care Corps.

The bill would cost $227 billion or $113.5 billion over each of two years.

"Paying for this is not a problem," Schakowsky told the gathering. "It can be fully paid for by requiring millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share in taxes and by eliminating subsidies for oil companies and the tax loopholes used by wealthy corporations that are shipping our jobs overseas."

She acknowledged that her bill, alone, would not solve the unemployment problem. "It is a part of and a supplement to a much broader approach to tackling the problem," she said. "We also need an infrastructure bank, extended aid for the unemployed, more of the types of programs that are part of this bill and there are other steps that have to be taken. But this bill will get us moving because it does what we have to do - it puts people to work," she said.[45]

Supporting Occupy Chicago

Occupy Chicago held a protest Thursday night, October 20 2011, at Congress and Michigan. Before the protest, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congressman Danny Davis, along with labor and community organizers, held a town hall meeting with Occupy Chicago.

The Democratic lawmakers criticized subsidies for corporations that ship jobs overseas, and called for an end to tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of education and social programs.

The group also planned to deliver a petition to the mayor's office to allow the group to stay and stop the arrests of protesters.[46]

Schakowsky on Tax Rates for Millionaires and Billionaires

On June 7, 2011 Rep. Jan Schakowsky, joined by senior citizen, labor representatives and a Chicago-based millionaire, called for higher tax rates for the wealthy on the 10th anniversary of the Bush tax cuts.

Schakowsky slammed the failed promises of the Bush administration that claimed the tax cuts would reduce the national debt in 10 years. Instead, Schakowsky pushed for the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2012 as well as additional revenue measures to address the deficit without endangering Medicare and many programs important to the middle class. Other speakers included Joe Persky, professor of economics at University of Illinois at Chicago; Brian Bates, attorney and millionaire; Bea Lumpkin, senior citizen activist and Communist Party USA member; Dr. Margaret Huyck, president of the Older Women’s League; John O’Grady, president of AFGE Local 704; and William McNary, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois and president of USAction.

In March, Schakowsky introduced the Fairness in Taxation Act to create new tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires.[47]

Marching with communist

Jan Schakowsky, Bea Lumpkin

At an Occupy Chicago protest held October 10, 2011, Jan Schakowsky, marched alongside Communist Party USA member Bea Lumpkin. Jordan Farrar of the Young Communist League also participated.[48]

Honoring Bea Lumpkin

Bea Lumpkin, Jan Schakowsky

Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans honored labor leader, and Communist Party USA activist Bea Lumpkin at their 2012 luncheon. Among those who paid tribute to Lumpkin's 80 years of labor activism were Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis.[49]

Anti-Fracking legislation endorser

On March 14, 2013, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced the Bringing Reductions to Energy’s Airborne Toxic Health Effect (BREATHE) Act, and the Focused Reduction of Effluence and Stormwater runoff through Hydraulic Environmental Regulation (FRESHER) Act, in order to ensure that the hydraulic fracking industry follows the same rules that other industries do in preserving our natural resources. This legislation is focused on ensuring the safety and the health of the communities where the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, process is already taking place.

The BREATHE Act would ensure that we close the oil and gas industry’s loophole to the Clean Air Act’s aggregation provision, in addition to adding hydrogen sulfide—a chemical associated with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat—to the Clean Air Act’s federal list of hazardous air pollutants.

The BREATHE Act has the following original co-sponsors including: Reps. Rush Holt, Jr., Raul Grijalva, John Sarbanes, James Moran, Michael Quigley, Earl Blumenauer, Gerald Connolly, Zoe Lofgren, Michael Honda, Paul Tonko, Barbara Lee, David Price, Carolyn Maloney, Michael Capuano, Mark Pocan, Jim McDermott, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Alcee Hastings, Keith Ellison, Niki Tsongas, William Keating, Adam Smith, Jim Langevin, Chellie Pingree, Judy Chu, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Grace Meng, Jan Schakowsky, Nita Lowey, Jared Huffman, Gary Peters and Alan Lowenthal.

The following organizations have endorsed this legislation and are actively working to garner support within Congress and throughout the country: Physicians for Social Responsibility, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Sierra Club, Earthworks, Breast Cancer Action, Clean Water Action, Environment America, Greenpeace, Nature Abounds, Oil Change International, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Citizens for Huerfano County, Clean Water Action Colorado, Erie Rising, Grassroots Energy Activist Network, Holy Terror Farm, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, SOS Foundation, Western Colorado Congress of Mesa County, Western Slope Conservation Center and Wilderness Workshop.[50]

Immigration rally arrest

More than 20,000 people - including thousands of unionists -- who marched down the Washington, D.C., Mall on Oct. 8, 2013, to demand the U.S. House immediately pass comprehensive immigration reform. And 200, including 90 union leaders and union members and eight members of the House of Representatives were arrested when, in an act of civil disobedience, they blocked a street in front of the Capitol.

Arrestees included Lisa Bergmann, SEIU 1199 member Delphine Clyburn and activist Joelle Fishman, both also from Connecticut, Communications Workers Secretary-Treasurer Annie Hall and Political Director Yvette Herrera, The Newspaper Guild's president, Bernie Lunzer, and Paul Booth, the top assistant to AFSCME's president. Among the nation's top labor leaders also taken into custody were AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre, AFT President Randi Weingarten, Unite Here President D. Taylor and Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Among the lawmakers arrested were Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), John Lewis (D-Ga.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Joseph Crowley (D - N.Y.), Al Green (D-Texas), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.).

Unions, led by contingents from the Service Employees and their Local 32BJ, the Laborers and Unite Here, contributed a large share of the demonstrators. Other unions represented included AFSCME, the Communications Workers/TNG, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, AFT and the United Farm Workers. [51]

JWJ award

Schakowsky, Balanoff, right

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, Jan Schakowsky was the recipient the 2013 Charlie Hayes Leadership award given by Chicago Jobs with Justice . The award is named in honor of Charles Hayes’ contributions to making life better for working men and women.

Coming straight from Washington, where Schakowsky voted to reopen the government, she made her way to the Chicago Federation of Musicians headquarters on Randolph Street where labor leaders, politicians and supporters awaited her arrival to celebrate.

SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff called his friend a progressive leader and was well-deserving of the Charlie Hayes award.

“She continues the good work that Charlie Hayes did. Jan stands up and fights for working people, she fights for what’s right, she fights for justice and she fights for fairness. She’s fearless,” Balanoff said.

The bright spot on the horizon is organized labor, Jobs with Justice and other like-minded organizations across the country who are fighting for change.

“When we organize, we change the country. Those people marching in the streets for equality — they will be voting. Those votes will get rid of the Tea Party and put Nancy Pelosi in charge of the House,” Schakowsky said to applause.

Of Hayes Schakowsky said “He was such a role model and a hero. This [award] means a lot to me.” [52]

Lifting travel ban on Cuba

A May 03, 2013 Press release from the radical controlled and Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Latin America Working Group's Cuba Team stated:

Due to your action/emails/phone calls we have 59 signatures from House representatives urging President Obama to support travel to Cuba by granting general licenses for ALL current categories of travel.
By eliminating the laborious license application process, especially for people-to-people groups, that is managed by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), the majority of the bureaucratic red tape that holds up licensable travel to Cuba would disappear and actually facilitate what the President wanted to see in 2011, liberalized travel regulations.

Signatories included Rep. Jan Schakowski.[53]

Congressional Letter for Neutrality, 2014 Salvadoran Elections

On Monday December 16, 2014 Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter to Sec. of State John Kerry – signed by 51 Members of Congress – calling for a public statement of neutrality by the State Department before the first round of El Salvador’s presidential elections on February 2, 2014.

The letter, , highlighted several “important steps” that the current government has taken to “strengthen its democratic system and expand the right to vote to all citizens,” including those living outside of the country, who will be voting by absentee ballot for the first time in February. Since the election of Mauricio Funes, the first President from the Marxist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) party, the government has increased the number of polling places four-fold to increase accessibility, especially in rural areas.

“We’re glad to see so many Members of Congress expressing respect for the right of the Salvadoran people to determine their own future. That’s an attitude that’s sorely lacking in much of the US’ policy in Central America, especially with regard to economic policy,” said Alexis Stoumbelis, Executive Director for the pro-communist Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), in Washington, DC, which has observed every post-war election in El Salvador, starting in 1994.

Signatories included Rep. Jan Schakowsky .[54].


The following have worked as staff members for Jan Schakowsky:[55]

External links


  1. Schakowsky 2010 campaign official bio, accessed Aug. 6, 2011
  2. Schakowsky 2010 campaign official bio, accessed Aug. 6, 2011
  3. Huffington Post, From Organizer To Elected Official, Peter Dreier, September 8, 2008
  4. Schakowsky 2010 campaign official bio, accessed Aug. 6, 2011
  5. Schakowsky 2010 campaign official bio, accessed Aug. 6, 2011
  6. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng94.html
  7. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng60.html#anchor566085
  8. http://www.chicagodsa.org/d2000.html
  9. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng30.html
  10. Dinner program
  11. Our Future website: Take Back America 2003 Speakers (accessed on June 17, 2010)
  12. Our Future website: Take Back America 2004 Speakers (accessed on June 11, 2010)
  13. Confabb website: America's Future Now 2009 Speakers (accessed on July 13, 2010)
  14. Our Future website: Take Back the American Dream 2011 Speakers (accessed on Sept. 22, 2011)
  15. new ground 112, May/June 2007
  16. 2011 debs dinner
  17. Momentum Builds for Honoring Legendary Organizer Fred Ross, by Randy Shaw, 2013-03-05
  18. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng44.html
  19. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng44.html
  20. Citizen Action of Illinois B.O.D. list
  21. [Dem. Left Winter 1998, page 2]
  22. Memoriam Service Program, 2000
  23. The Militant, Vol. 64/No. 38, October 9, 2000, Chicago rally for immmigrant rights draws 8,000, BY LISA POTASH
  24. PWW October 7, 2000
  25. Joy in the Struggle, Bea Lumpkin, page 220]
  26. Joy in the Struggle, Bea Lumpkin, page 222]
  27. [Announce Oct. 20: Progressive LA Conference announce-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu announce-admin at comm-org.utoledo.edu. Tue Oct 16 10:22:22 CDT 2001]
  28. ACORN convention targets peoples needs, PW July 4 2002
  29. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  30. http://www.tni.org/archives/pin-watch_watch0309
  31. Democratic Left • Spring 2005, pages 14,15
  32. New ground 119, July/August 2008
  33. [Cit action annual report, 2009]
  34. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  35. Congresswomen defend birth control for all by: Blake Deppe, February 9 2012
  36. New Ground 94 May - June, 2004
  38. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  39. Immigration Matters New America Media, Richard Stoltz, 0ctober 18, 2009
  40. J Street 2008 Annual Report
  41. Flickr.com: Rep. Schakowsky at JStreet Conference
  42. KeyWiki: JStreet
  43. Report on Congressional Delegation From the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, U.S. Peace Council website, posted Nov. 20, 2010
  44. PWFrank Lumpkin always brings a crowd, by: Peoples World May 14 2010, and included youtube video
  45. Peoples World, Congreswoman introduces emergency jobs bill, John Wojcik August 11 2011
  46. ABC News, ago to petition mayor to stop arrests, October 21, 2011
  47. , Schakowsky official press release, June 7, 2011
  48. CPUSA Marches With Jan Schakowsky At #OccupyChicago, Uploaded on Oct 13, 2011
  49. Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans Flickr page, Photos by PW/John Bachtell
  50. Polis website. Polis, Cartwright Introduce Legislation to Hold Fracking Industry Accountable,
  51. [PW,More than 200 arrested at immigration rights rally in D.C. by: Mark Gruenberg October 9 2013 http://peoplesworld.org/more-than-200-arrested-at-immigration-rights-rally-in-d-c/ ]
  52. The Fox Valley Labor News, Activist, political leader Jan Schakowsky honored, 2013/10/31
  53. Update on Cuba Travel: We Gathered 59 Signatures, The LAWG Cuba Team: Mavis, Emily and Karina on May 03, 2013
  54. CISPES press release, Press Statement: 51 Members of Congress Call for US Neutrality in Salvadoran Elections December 16, 2013
  55. [URL Legistorm: Jan Schakowsky] (accessed on Aug. 24, 2011)