January 13, 2023

Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García – A Plan for Public Safety

City Club event description:

Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García

Jesús “Chuy” García is the current Congressman of Illinois’ 4th Congressional District and the first Mexican-American elected to Congress from the Midwest.

For almost 40 years, Chuy has been a progressive community leader and public servant in Chicago. Known for his extensive work fighting for workers’ rights, universal health care, the rights of immigrants, and criminal justice reform, Chuy is a known and respected leader throughout Chicago.

When he was just 9 years old, Chuy and his family moved from Mexico to Chicago and settled in Pilsen in 1965 and later Little Village where he has lived for over 53 years.

Inspired by the diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods and civil rights movements of the 1960s and 1970s, Chuy joined local organizing movements for workers’ rights and community empowerment. In 1983, Chuy co-founded the first Independent Organization in Chicago in partnership with labor organizers and political leader Rudy Lozano.

Chuy’s election to the Chicago City Council in 1986 helped end the “Council Wars” and enabled Chicago’s first black mayor, Harold Washington to usher in an era of progressive reforms. He was elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1992 becoming the first Mexican-American elected to the Illinois Legislature.

After serving in the Illinois Senate, Chuy returned to community organizing and founded the Little Village Community Development Corporation (now known as Enlace Chicago). As Executive Director, Chuy successfully fought for criminal justice reform, pro bono legal representation for immigrants, and more local public schools for communities on the Southwest side of Chicago.

In 2010, Chuy was elected to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

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In 2018, Chuy was elected U.S. Congressman for Illinois’s 4th Congressional District. Since taking office in 2019, Chuy has served on the Financial Services Committee, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Natural Resources Committee.

Chuy and his wife, Evelyn, continue to reside in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.