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Rep. Jan Schakowsky
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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.

Entries by Rep. Jan Schakowsky

Republicans Say They Finally Have a Health Care Alternative -- But Don't Count On It Working for You

(74) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 12:01 PM

After multiple attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act without proposing anything to take its place, House Republicans say that they are finally poised to present their ideas. It's been six years of attacks with no alternatives. If a proposal is finally presented next month, I have one simple question:...

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Ben Rhodes and the 'Echo Chamber' of Facts On Iran

(24) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 5:44 PM

David Samuels in his May 5 New York Times Magazine article, paints a picture of the scene leading up to the successful implementation of the landmark agreement with Iran to end its quest for a nuclear weapon that left me shaking my head in wonder. I lived that...

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The Supreme Court Must Uphold the President's Lawful Immigration Actions

(164) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 8:48 AM

All across this country undocumented immigrants are living in fear of seeing their families torn apart because of our broken immigration system.

Many of those immigrants are children who were brought here at a young age through no fault of their own. They have gone to school and aspire to...

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Closing the Gender Pay Gap

(8) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 9:05 AM

Today we recognize Equal Pay Day, a day that symbolically represents when a woman's wage finally catches up to what a man was paid in the previous year. Despite often being equally qualified, a man's pay outpaces a woman's by 79 cents for every dollar.

More than 50 years ago,...

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Republicans Start 2016 By Attacking Women's Health, Again

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 11:39 AM

It's a new year with a new Speaker, but the same old story - the decades long saga of Republican attacks on women's health care and their health care providers. The GOP continues to target not only Constitutionally-protected abortions and Planned Parenthood, but, incredibly, birth control which 99 per cent...

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Marking the 14th Anniversary of September 11th

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2015 | 9:50 AM

Today, on the 14th anniversary of September 11, 2001, we honor the thousands who lost their lives in this devastating terrorist attack on our country. We will never forget that horrifying day; even now we still grieve for the innocent lives that were taken away or changed forever.

We must...

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Energy and Commerce Committee Conducts Review of Planned Parenthood and Center for Medical Progress

(5) Comments | Posted September 9, 2015 | 6:12 PM

Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee Democrats announced that the ongoing investigation into Planned Parenthood has shown what we already know - that Planned Parenthood did not break any laws and continues to provide excellent health care to millions of women across the country. Over the past few months, the...

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This Labor Day, Americans Deserve a Raise and Fair Trade

(27) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 1:56 PM

American workers are the best in the world. They teach our children, care for our sick and elderly, build our communities and much more. This Labor Day, we must recognize the tireless devotion of our working men and women - and stand up for them.

Throughout this year, I...

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NLRB Joint Employer Ruling, Good for Workers and Businesses

(6) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 6:21 PM

The National Labor Relations Board in the Browning-Ferris Industries case revised standards for determining joint-employer status on Thursday. The Board found that Browning-Ferris Industries was a joint-employer of workers hired by a contractor to staff the company's recycling center. The joint-employer designation gives workers stronger employment protections and enhanced collective...

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This Women's Equality Day the Fight for Equal Rights Continues

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 4:18 PM


I join many across the country today in celebrating Women's Equality Day. Ninety-five years ago, advocacy from a dedicated group of women and like-minded men led to the 19th Amendment -- ensuring that women in the United States have the right to vote....

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NLRB Rules That Northwestern Football Players Cannot Form a Union

(4) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 4:55 PM


Meeting with Tim Waters (United Steelworkers), Ramogi Huma (founder of the National College Players Association) and Kain Colter (former Northwestern's quarterback) last year about Northwestern Football Players push for the right to unionize.

Today the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)'s has denied Northwestern...

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Celebrating the 80th Anniversary of Social Security in Park Ridge, IL

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2015 | 3:27 PM

Eighty years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Social Security into law. I celebrated this special anniversary with seniors and advocates in Park Ridge, IL.


Social security has been a national treasure for 80 years, bringing financial stability, independence and dignity to...

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Kraft Heinz's Lays Off 2500 Workers, Including 700 Workers in Northfield, IL

(10) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 9:41 AM

Losing 700 jobs in Kraft Heinz's Northfield headquarters is a devastating blow to that community, and to the workers and their families. The Kraft-Heinz merger, approved earlier this year, is a direct cause of these layoffs. This follows a pattern by the merged company's private equity owner, 3G Capital Partners,...

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Moral Mondays in Chicago, Speaking Out Against the Rauner Budget

(6) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 6:18 PM

Click here to see video of Moral Mondays in Chicago.


On Monday I heard from Illinoisans who are struggling to make ends meet. They work hard every day, but Governor Bruce Rauner's ruthless budget policies are making their lives even harder....

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Top 10 Reasons Why Women Love Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

(4) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 4:45 PM


This year marks the 50th anniversaries of Medicare and Medicaid and the 80th anniversary of Social Security. Fifty-seven percent of people on Medicare, 70 percent of adults on Medicaid and 56 percent of Social Security recipients (66 percent of those over 85) are...

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As We Mark the 50th Anniversary Let's Restore the Voting Rights Act

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 4:17 PM


Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law. A week ago I joined with my Congressional colleagues to call for restoring the legislation to ensure that each and every eligible American has the opportunity to exercise their...

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I Strongly Support the EPA Clean Power Plan

(3) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 3:18 PM

Climate change is one of the most serious challenges we face at home and around the world. Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred in this century, and we're on pace to set a new all-time record this year. The National Climate Assessment showed that without major...

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Eleanor Smith Inclusive Home Design Act Will Make Homes Accessible

(8) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 6:53 PM


Today, I introduced the Eleanor Smith Inclusive Home Design Act, which would require new homes built with federal dollars to meet accessibility standards -- including a zero-step entrance, wheelchair accessible doorways and bathrooms, and climate controls that are at a height reachable from...

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Historic Nuclear Deal Reached between P5+1 Countries and Iran

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2015 | 12:13 PM

I want to thank President Obama for his persistent leadership to reach this historic deal. I am grateful to Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Energy Moniz, and all of our diplomats and other personnel who have worked to make this agreement a reality. I also want to acknowledge the...

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New Overtime Pay Protections for American Workers

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 4:22 PM

American workers have been extremely productive for decades, while seeing little to no raise in pay. In the richest country in the world, at our richest moment, we should make sure workers get the pay they have earned. That includes overtime pay for those who work more than 40 hours...

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