The last few years have been tough for the 1st Congressional District. A pandemic. The height of racial tension. A blatant assault on our democracy. A new outbreak of community violence in Chicago and in municipalities across the district.

All the while, our two track economy has run amuck. The super rich have gotten richer in America, while everyday folks across the 1st district are expected to settle for sporadic aid and temporary fixes.

Even in the face of this hardship, people across this district came together and brought out the best of ourselves.

We worked across geographic, class, and racial boundaries to source and distribute PPE. We set up sites for testing and vaccination. Across the district, churches and community organizations passed out food and prayed all night on violent street corners. Leaders have had hard conversations about how we can improve policing and race relations. Neighbors have phoned the lonely and helped local business owners clean up after nights of rioting.

But somehow that spirit - which is so alive in the 1st District - has not found its way to the United States Congress. 

While we struggled to make ends meet, our current representative could not muster the strength to refuse to settle for anything less than consistent, permanent solutions that could begin to rebalance our economy. When honest critique gave way to baseless attacks on law enforcement officers, our current representative could not find the voice to say what people across our district believe: we want accountability and innovation, but our police are a valuable component of a robust public safety approach.

That is wrong. We may not be the largest or the wealthiest district. But, our voices and our values are worth fighting for.

I believe that our Congressman should lift up the voices of hardworking people from forgotten places, even when the political bosses don’t want to hear what we have to say. We believe that we can spark a movement in Washington to restructure our economy, rescue our education system, reimagine public safety, and rebuild our democracy. Because Black, White, or Brown, we all want a society where every person can be safe in their home and community, financially and physically healthy, and optimistic about the future for themselves and their family.

Together, we can defy the odds, defeat the status quo, and build a future that works for all of us. 

Join this movement.