Chuy Jesus Garcia
Jesús “Chuy” García is a dedicated progressive leader, community organizer, former state senator and alderman, running for Illinois’ Fourth Congressional District. He currently serves as the Commissioner for the 7th District on the Cook County Board. He was born in a village at the edge of the Sierra Madre in Durango, Mexico. His father worked as a bracero in the fields of California, Kansas and Texas. The family moved to Chicago when Chuy was 10 and settled in Pilsen and then the Little Village neighborhood.
Chuy developed his first interest in politics at St. Rita High School, inspired by the speeches of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and United Farm Workers Union leader Cesar Chavez. He got his first taste of political organizing when he and fellow students successfully threw a picket line around the old Atlantic movie theater on 26th Street. Chuy played an instrumental role in the transformative 1983 election of Mayor Harold Washington, which ushered in “Golden Age” of progressive Chicago politics. Chuy served first as the city’s deputy water commissioner, and in 1986 became the alderman of the 22nd Ward, tipping the balance on the City Council to Mayor Washington’s favor, and ending the furious clash known in Chicago history as “Council Wars”.
Chuy ran for the Illinois State Senate in 1992, becoming the first Mexican-American leader elected to that post. He succeeded in passing legislation that set limits on fees charged by notary publics to immigrants for assistance with legal matters. Chuy also won passage of a bill requiring interpreters be made available to hospital patients who could not speak sufficient English to understand their treatment options. He went on to become the founder and Executive Director of Enlace Chicago, a thriving social justice community-based advocacy organization. In 2010, Chuy was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners. In city council, in the state legislature, and at the Cook County Board, Chuy has built an incredible track record of standing up to real estate developers and lobbyists, fighting and won crucial victories for tenants’ rights and affordable housing, protecting the rights of immigrants and refugees, and creating a more just, thriving Chicago for everyone. In 2015, after the Rahm Emanuel administration targeted and slashed funding for public schools and health clinics in Black and Brown communities, privatized crucial public utilities, and presided over one of the most violent, unaccountable police departments in the country, Chuy Garcia took on the Mayor. His bold people-powered campaign captivated the country and energized grassroots organizers nationwide. He is more than a politician - with an extensive, proven track record of leadership in fighting for Chicago working families and the vision to go to Washington to make sure all their voices are heard.