Jan Schakowsky was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District on November 3, 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois State Assembly.
Schakowsky, who serves on the House Democratic Leadership team as Chief Deputy Whip, is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she will work to accomplish her top priority in Congress -- providing universal healthcare coverage for all Americans.
A citizen advocate, grassroots organizer, and elected public official, Schakowsky has fought throughout her career for economic and social justice and improved quality of life for all; for an end to violence against women; and for a national investment in healthcare, public education and housing needs.
In the House, Schakowsky has won major legislative victories to increase federal assistance for abused women and children and to protect the rights of battered immigrant women; to reform election laws guaranteeing that no registered voter is turned away at the poll; to expand housing opportunities for low-income people; and to assist small business owners and farmers.
A longtime consumer advocate, who in 1969 led the fight that put freshness dates on products sold in the supermarket, Schakowsky carries on that tradition in Congress with efforts to safeguard the rights of victims of identity theft and to protect consumers from predatory lenders. A champion for the nation’s seniors, Schakowsky is actively engaged in the campaign for seniors and persons with disabilities to access affordable prescription drugs. Schakowsky is also working to ensure that seniors receive quality home, hospice, and nursing care.
Schakowsky is an active member of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus and is a champion of expanding our nation’s hate crime laws. .
Prior to her election to Congress, Schakowsky represented the 18th District in the Illinois General Assembly for eight years. She served as a Democratic Floor Leader and as Secretary of the Conference of Women Legislators.
For twenty years prior to her election to the State House, Schakowsky fought for the public interest and rights of Illinois citizens. As Program Director of Illinois Public Action (1976-1985), the state’s largest public interest organization, she fought for energy reform and stronger protection from toxic chemicals. As Director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens from 1985-1990, she organized across the state for lower cost prescription drugs and tax relief for seniors, financial protection for the spouses of nursing home residents and other benefits for the elderly. She has been deeply involved in the fight to protect women’s reproductive freedom.
Schakowsky resides in Evanston, Illinois with her husband Robert Creamer. She has three children, Ian, Mary, and stepdaughter Lauren Creamer, and four grandchildren, Isabel, Eve, Lucy, and William. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.