Robin Kelly

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Robin Kelly

Robin Kelly was, on April 9, 2013, elected to represent Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District, to replace the disgraced Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Since then, Kelly has worked tirelessly to promote national safety and expand economic opportunity, sponsoring numerous bills to generate job growth and end senseless gun violence. Kelly’s first legislation, Improving Gun Safety Standards Act, a common sense reform bill, would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue safety standards for guns and ammunition that will help reduce gun-related deaths.[1]


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 an M.A. in counseling. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University.

Kelly lives in Matteson with her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Horn, and has two adult children, Kelly Horn and Ryan Horn. [2]


As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kelly currently serves on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and the Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Regulatory Affairs and National Security Subcommittees. She also serves on the Science, Space and Technology Committee and the Research and Technology Subcommittee.

As an Illinois state representative and government administrator, Kelly brings extensive legislative and leadership experience to the 2nd Congressional 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.

Besides her Congressional committee assignments, Kelly belongs to the Congressional Black Caucus and Women’s Caucus. She also serves on a number of boards, including the Northern Illinois University Political Science Advisory Board, Rich Township Food Pantry, the Board of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and serves as a Bradley University Trustee. In 2009, she was inducted into the university’s Centurion Society for honored alumni. She also is an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.[3]

IVI-IPO Awardee

Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization 60th Anniversary Dinner was held Monday, July 19, 2004 6 pm—8 pm The Hot House 31 E. Balbo Chicago;[4]

IVI-IPO "Mobilizing for Justice" dinner


Robin Kelly keynoted the Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization's "Mobilizing for Justice" Independents' Day Dinner 2013, Friday, July 12.

Governor Pat Quinn also spoke. Len Despres Award Winner was Alderman Leslie Hairston

Jane Ramsey celebrates her Saul Mendelson Social Justice award with Jennie Mendelson, Saul's widow and Civil Right champion and member Timuel Black.[5]

Anti gun endorsements

Barack Obama, Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis and Bobby Rush all endorsed Robin Kelly for her anti-gun views.


“I share Robin’s passionate advocacy to end gun violence with common-sense solutions because like her, I believe families impacted by gun violence — especially in my home city of Chicago — deserve a vote,” Obama said in a statement reported by the NBC affiliate in Chicago. “I urge you to elect Robin Kelly as your representative in the United States Congress.”


“I’m endorsing Robin because Congress needs someone who is going to fight for strong gun violence prevention laws, and Robin Kelly is that candidate. Robin has the experience to hit the ground running and the passion to make a difference,”


“Robin Kelly has the kind of pragmatism that you need to get results in Washington, while never compromising her beliefs like many do. If we are going to stop the NRA in their tracks, and make our communities safe again, Robin Kelly is the right woman for the job.”


“Our communities are facing an epidemic of gun violence, and we need more members of Congress who can be trusted to fight for common sense gun control measures. Robin Kelly is a woman of integrity and conviction, and President Obama, Congressman Davis and I need her as our partner in ending gun violence.”

Other endorsements included:


Before her election to Congress, 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. Earlier, she served as chief of staff of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office, becoming the first African-American woman to hold that position in a constitutional office in Illinois.

During her term as chief of staff, Kelly pursued a progressive agenda rooted in promoting small business job creation, investment strategy innovation, and advancing financial literacy in underserved areas. [7]

Kelly also worked in former Fourth Ward Alderman Toni Preckwinkle’s office.[8]


Kelly was the director of the Crisis Nursery at Crittenton Care and Counseling Center from 1984–1987, associate director of The Youth Shelter from 1987–1990, and minority student services director at Bradley University from 1990–1992. From 1992–2006 she served as a director of community affairs in Matteson. She is co-founder and past president of the Unity Coalition of the South Suburbs. She has served as a commissioner on human rights in Cook County since 1998, and has been a board member of the Hate Crimes Commission since 2005, the Rich Township Food Pantry since 1994 and the Illinois Theatre Center since 1993. Kelly has been a Bradley University Trustee since 2003 and a board member of the Bradley University Council since 1998.[9]

Honoring Randolph

Rather than spend money traveling to Washington, D.C. on Aug. 28, 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, which was led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., community activist Lyn Hughes suggested people honor the date closer to home.

The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, founded by Hughes in 1995, held a free event Saturday, Aug. 24 at the museum, 10604 S. Maryland Ave., from 1 to 5 p.m.

The March on Washington was inspired by A. Philip Randolph, a socialist labor organizer who founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. The Brotherhood became the first black labor union in the country following its 1937 inclusion by the American Federation of Labor.

While the 1963 March on Washington is hailed as a pivotal point in civil rights history, most people don't know that Randolph founded the March on Washington Movement in 1941 with civil rights activist and Socialist Party USA comrade Bayard Rustin.

The celebration continued with a Sunday gala at the museum, which featured speakers including U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Chicago) and state Rep. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago).[10]

SOAR connection

Scott Marshall February 17, 2016 ·


Steelworkers District 7 Next Generation hosted programs in several Illinois and Indiana high schools for their Black Labor Week. Next Generation activist Justin Willis invited SOAR members and Congresswoman Robin Kelly to speak at a student assembly at George Washington High School in Chicago. The topic was A. Philip Randolph and organizing the Pullman Porters union: lessons for labor today. — with Justin Willis, Robin Kelly, Victor Storino and Bea Lumpkin at George Washington High School (Chicago).

Jobs with Justice

Robin Kelly.JPG

Chicago Jobs with Justice hosted an event May 30, 2013, with WOCC and the Fight for Fifteen and Congressional guests Nancy Pelosi, Jan Schakowsky and Robin Kelly.

Cheryl Muhammad, a worker at Forever 21 and Norma Marin, a worker at Rock and Roll McDonalds were asked to attend a community conversation about creating opportunities for working women. They were honored to meet and spend time with Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi, Jan Schakowsky and Robin Kelly discussing the fight for 15. They stand with us![11]

Over one hundred prominent nonprofit and business leaders, activists, and guests attended a special event co-sponsored by Women Employed for a discussion of the workplace policies necessary to advance women's economic opportunity, including affordable childcare, paid family and medical leave, and paid sick days. WE Executive Director Anne Ladky introduced the speakers, and Marina Faz-Huppert, a member of United Food and Commercial Workers local 881, shared her personal story of struggling in a low-wage job.

The event was co-sponsored by Women Employed, Women’s Business Development Center, Coalition of Labor Union Women, National Association of Women’s Business Owners, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, and Jobs with Justice.[12]

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.”[13]

Congressional Black Caucus

Robin Kelly is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress:[14]

JStreet endorsement

The socialist infiltrated, anti-Israel "two state solution" JStreet PAC endorsed Robin Kelly in her 2014 Congressional race. [15]

JStreet endorsed her again in 2016.

She traveled to Israel in 2008 and is a vocal supporter of Israel and proponent of a two-state solution.[16]

Profiled Timuel Black


Robin Kelly profiled veteran Chicago socialist Timuel Black in a "Constituent Spotlight" on her Congressional website March 12, 2014.[17]

Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

In 2014 Robin Kelly served on the board of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.[18]

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.

Kelly serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the Cook County Human Rights Commission and the Hate Crimes Commission. 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.[19]

Treasurer's Transition Team

Two weeks after Election Day 2014 and with the vote counting finally finished, Democrat Mike Frerichs emerged the winner of Illinois’ closely contested state treasurer’s race.

Heading his transition team will be Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan and Democratic U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, a former state lawmaker and former deputy in the office of former Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.[20]

PDA contact 2014

In 2014 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and Senator, Tom Shepherd, was assigned as the contact for Rep. Kelly.[21]

No "fast Track"

On May 7, Chicago DSAer Tom Broderick took part in two press conferences and rallies focusing on Fast Track and the secretive trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The latter is also called the Trans Atlantic Free Trade Agreement.

The first press conference was called by Representative Daniel Lipinski (D-3) and District 7 Steelworkers. Rep. Lipinski has taken a strong stand against Fast Track and the secretive trade deals. Joining him were Representative Robin Kelly (D-2) and an aide from the office of Representative Danny Davis (D-7).

Citing the broken promises of past trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Rep. Lipinski spoke of the nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs lost in Illinois alone. He also said that the estimated 70,000 new jobs and soaring exports that KORUS (the U.S. ~ Korean Free Trade agreement) was supposed to provide has turned into a loss of 60,000 jobs and an increase in the trade deficit.

He also said that it was the responsibility of the U.S. Congress to ensure that trade agreements create good paying American jobs and safeguard the consumer and environmental protections.

Rep. Kelly said that although she wanted to work with the President, it was necessary to engage in a deeper, broader and more inclusive dialogue regarding international trade. She said there could be no fast track to a more prosperous future and that currency manipulation damaged U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. Fast Track was not appropriate for our international trade agreements.

Also speaking at the event were Tiffany Ingram, Midwest Advocacy Director for Natural Resources Defense Council, Bill Hickey, Chief Executive Officer of Lapham-Hickey Steel of Chicago, Robert Reiter, Jr., Secretary Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor and Carson Starkey, Director of Illinois Fair Trade Campaign.[22]

Congressmen to Cuba

Dec. 12-Dec. 16, 2014 Reps Michael Burgess (R-TX), Karen Bass, Danny Davis, Diana DeGette, Robin Kelly, Barbara Lee, and Charles Rangel, were part of a group trip to Havana, Cuba sponsored by Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba . "Attended meetings with government officials, health care workers and providers and members of civil society".[23]

CBTU convention


Robin Kelly keynoted the May 2015 Coalition of Black Trade Unionists National Convention in Chicago.[24]

Netroots Nation 2015

Speakers at Netroots Nation 2015, in Phoenix Arizona, one of the largest gatherings of progressives and the Democratic activist base, included Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley, Elizabeth Warren, Rosa DeLauro, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison, Ruben Gallego, Raul Grijalva, Hank Johnson, Robin Kelly, Mark Takano.[25]

Kelly participated in a panel discussion at Netroots Nation 2015 on Saturday July 18. Christine Pelosi of Democracy Partners moderated the discussion. Former Ohio state senator Nina Turner also participating in the discussions were California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and City of Phoenix (Arizona) Councilwoman Kate Gallego- District 8.

I will discuss taking on the NRA for "common sense" gun reform legislation in the U.S. Congress and advancing programs for gun violence prevention. I will also discuss The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation’s gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.

ARA endorsement, 2014

The Alliance for Retired Americans Political Action Fund endorsed Robin Kelly in 2014.[26]

Illinois ARA meeting

Scott Marshall, left, Robin Kelly

July 9, 2015, Rep. Kelly met with the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans to "discuss the importance of preserving programs that are vital to health and economic security. With nearly 6,000 American's turning 65 every day we must continue protect and expand programs like medicare and social security for retired workers across the nation".

Condemning Criticism of Islam legislation

On December 17, 2015, Rep. Don Beyer, Jr. introduced legislation condemning "violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States." The legislation is based on unsourced claims that there is a "rise of hateful and anti-Muslim speech, violence, and cultural ignorance," and a "disproportionate targeting" of "Muslim women who wear hijabs, headscarves, or other religious articles of clothing...because of their religious clothing, articles, or observances." The resolution, H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States [27]

The legislation was cosponsored by Rep. Michael Honda, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Dan Kildee, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Rep. Charles Rangel, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Brad Ashford, Rep. Alan Grayson, Rep. Mark Takai, Rep. Brian Higgins, Rep. William Keating, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Cheri Bustos, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Kathy Castor, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Michael Quigley, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, Rep. Robin Kelly, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Rep. Gregory Meeks, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Katherine Clark, Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Alcee Hastings, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Frank Pallone, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Donna Edwards, Rep. Robert Brady, Rep. Frederica Wilson, Rep. Michael Doyle, Rep. Albio Sires, Rep. Suzan DelBene, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. David Loebsack, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Ruben Hinojosa, Rep. John Yarmuth, Rep. Niki Tsongas, Rep. Jim Langevin, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. Jose Serrano, Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rep. Lois Capps, Rep. David Price, Rep. Doris Matsui, Rep. Gwen Moore, Rep. Denny Heck, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rep. John Carney, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. John B. Larson, Rep. Dina Titus, Rep. Peter Welch, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Jim Himes, Rep. Matt Cartwright.

2016 Cuba trip

Representative Robin Kelly was part of President Barack Obama's March 2016 delegation to Cuba.[28]

Endorsed CAIR, 2016


Medicare for All Act

In February 2019 Rep. Pramila Jayapal introduced H.R.1384 - Medicare for All Act of 2019. By May 29 she had 110 co-sponsors including Rep. Robin Kelly.


  1., Official Congressional bio. Accessed Nov. 16 2014]
  2., Official Congressional bio. Accessed Nov. 16 2014]
  3., Official Congressional bio. Accessed Nov. 16 2014]
  4. IVI-IPO 60th Anniversary Independents’ Day Dinner Committee
  5. "Mobilizing for Justice" Independents' Day Dinner 2013, Friday, July 12
  6. Robin Kelly for Congress:Endorsements, accessed Nov. 11. 2014
  7., Official Congressional bio. Accessed Nov. 16 2014]
  8. Herald, APR 17, 2013 Kelly gets HP vote, By LINDSAY WELBERS
  9. Iowa State University Archives of Womens Political Communications
  10. [ DNA Info Pullman Porter Museum to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Historic March By Wendell Hutson on August 7, 2013]
  11. [, Chicago Jobs with Justice shared Fight for 15 - Lucha por 15 WOCC's photo. May 30 2013]
  12. [ WE Wednesday, May 29, 2013 WE Co-sponsors Event with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi]
  13. On Illinois, Quinn supporters bash Rauner over Harold Washington ad Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014
  14. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  15. J Street The political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans
  16. JStreetPAC 2016 Endorsees
  17. [ Robin Kelly website, Constituent Spotlight: Timuel Black Mar 12, 2014]
  18. Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Board
  19. Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, Robin Kelly
  20. Chicago Tribune, Frerichs claims victory in close Illinois treasurer's race, By Rick Pearson, Ray Long, Nov 19, 2014
  21. PDA January 2014 Educate Congress Digest)
  22. [ New Ground, #160 May -- June, 2015, House Opposition to the Fast Track by Tom Broderick]
  23. Legistorm, Dec. 12-Dec. 16, 2014 group trip to Havana, Cuba sponsored by Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba
  24. [ Yoube, New Union Voices: CBTU Black Lives Matter 2015 National CBTU's Channel Published on Jun 2, 2015]
  25. PW, Netroots Conference seeks ignition of Democratic base by: Special to July 13 2015
  26. PAF
  27. H.Res.569 - Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States, accessed December 26, 2015
  28. Voice of America, Who's Aboard Air Force One to Cuba? March 20, 2016