By Mallory Cheng
One Democrat and one Republican are running in each of the 4th and 7th Congressional districts; the race for the 7th also includes an independent.
Democrat Jesús “Chuy” Garcia,
the incumbent, has represented the district for the last two years. Garcia and his campaign did not respond to Gazette Chicago’s request for an interview. He formerly served on the Cook County Board of Commissioners and ran for mayor in 2015.
Garcia serves on the House financial services, transportation and infrastructure, and natural resources committees. He also serves on the equality, Hispanic, progressive, and new Americans caucuses.
Garcia’s top priorities are affordable and comprehensive healthcare, immigration reform, labor and worker rights, and affordable neighborhoods. He also firmly supports the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and permanent protection for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
Jesus Solorio Jr.,theRepublicancandidate, has workedfor former U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, former Governor Bruce Rauner, and the Illinois Republican Party in building coalitions and outreach. He chairs the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois and serves on the Chicago Young Republicans board.
Creating jobs for constituents is his top priority, and he wants to “ensure businesses are going to reopen their doors,” Solorio said.
He wants to ensure businesses move back into the district by creating an “environment that is friendly for job creators,” Solorio added. “Regulation after regulation and tax increases make it hard for regular small businesses to succeed.”
Solorio also prioritizes education, saying he wants to put decisions back into the hands of parents instead of teachers’ unions. “I want to give parents and students real opportunities,” he said. “Parents should have a final decision of where their kids go and what the kids are learning.”
Concerning teachers’ unions, he said, “When their demands are not met, they’re going to continue to hold our kids hostage.”
On healthcare, he believes “any individual that has a pre-existing health condition is covered by healthcare,” Solorio said, “I want quality affordable healthcare.” He adamantly opposes Medicare for All, and would replace the Affordable Care Act with medical care based on the law of supply and demand.
As for climate change, Solorio opposes the Green New Deal. “The climate is changing,” he said. “It has been changing since its inception. Instead of having government overreach, we need to incentivize the private sector to reduce the cost of energy.”
Solorio advocates “an immigration compromise.” He believes in strong border security. “Illegal immigration needs to be reduced significantly,” he said. “It hinders people who come here legally.”
He disagreed with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and even other Republicans over their handling of DACA, charging they “played political games.” As an alternative to DACA, he would like to see paths for high-skilled immigrants for all fields of employment and “adopt an immigration plan based on societal merit.”
If elected, he emphasized, “I want to put Main Street back in charge of government. I want to make sure they have a voice. I want to make sure that the policies are going to benefit Main Street families.”
Democrat Danny K. Davis, the incumbent, has represented the district for23 years. He serves on the ways and means committee and on seven Congressional caucuses including the Congressional Black, progressive, urban, and community health centers caucuses.
Davis has made creating solutions to the coronavirus (COVID-19) impact his priority. He supports the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, a bill created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and its impact on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses. The Democrats’ bill fights for more money for working and needy individuals, while the Republicans want to give less money to workers and more to corporations.
“The big hope is to come up with a vaccine,” Davis said. “We need to arrest the virus and get it under control, which is something we have not done with a national plan.”
His second priority is “safely putting people back to work” with the necessary COVID-19 precautions. “Small businesses are the economic engine of our economy,” Davis said. “We need to save and salvage as many as we can.”
Through his role on the ways and means committee, in 2019 he introduced and sponsored the Pathways to Health Careers Act, which would give low-income individuals opportunities in health professions.
He strongly supports the Green New Deal and its work opportunities. “I support approaches that would shift the reliance upon fossil fuels to green energy,” Davis said. “We have to make use of the scientific discoveries and scientific knowledge that we have.”
Davis supports comprehensive immigration reform. “America is big enough, broad enough, and has enough resources to welcome other people to this country,” he said. “We can grant them the opportunity to experience the goodness and greatness this country has to offer.”
Concerning DACA, he opposes separating individuals from their families “on technicalities that one was born in this country and the other was not.”
Davis would continue to make public policy decisions that are “focused on the needs of the disadvantaged, the poor, individuals, and groups of individuals at the low end of the socioeconomic ladder.”
Davis strongly supports Joe Biden for president.
See https://davis.house.gov/or call (773) 533-7520.
Republican Craig Cameron and his campaign did not respond to Gazette Chicago requests for an interview. His background focuses on industrial, commercial, and residential construction.
Cameron’s top priorities are bringing jobs back to Chicago, promoting best practices in policing, and increasing funding to states with high-crime rates.
He also focuses on gun control for those engaged in criminal activity while maintaining the right to bear arms, lowering healthcare costs, community bond programs, and tax break incentives for companies to increase job op-
See more at https://cameron4congress.com/. His email is email@example.com.
Independent candidate Tracy Jennings served in the United States Army, worked in telecommunications, and started his own real estate appraisal company. Most recently, Jennings worked with the State of Illinois as a public service administrator at the Department of Human Services, the Department of Children and Family Services Legal Division, and the Department of Employment Security.
Education ranks as Jennings’s highest priority. “The gap in receiving an adequate education in low-income communities versus affluent communities is far too large in our district,” Jennings said. He opposes Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s policies, which “directly attacked public education.”
Jennings strongly advocates for police reform and supported the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act of 2020. This act would hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct in court, improve transparency through data collection, and reform police trainings and policies.
“Police officers are juggling too many things,” Jennings said. “We need to break out some of the responsibilities that they have. Too many times police officers are getting on the scene when someone is having a mental breakdown. They might follow orders because they’re just in a bad state mentally. They shouldn’t lose their lives just because of that.”
He strongly supports the Affordable Care Act, especially since COVID-19 appeared. “It is the government’s responsibility to make health insurance available to all citizens,” Jennings stated. People should “not have to choose between a medical procedure or feeding their families.”
On climate change, he recognizes he does not have all the answers. “That’s an area I’m really interested in to read the reports and really educate myself. I am going to listen to the experts and follow the data.”
Jennings supports immigration reform. “We have to establish a pathway to citizenship with DACA individuals,” he said. “They did not do anything wrong. We have to have a deep discussion of birthright citizenship for children whose families broke the law entering the United States. It is unfair to the children if we don’t have those types of discussions.”
Seehttps://tracyjenningscongress.com/ or call (312) 803-0391.