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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

The Emerging Populist Groundswell

(10) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 4:17 PM


On April 20 I gave a speech at the City Club of Chicago on the populist movement we are experiencing in our country. Despite what many Republicans claim, we are the richest country humanity has ever seen, and we are at our richest...

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In Honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 12:19 PM

Today, we join together to remember the six million European Jews murdered by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. The people of Israel and those from all around the world will pause today for Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yom Hashoah.

This Sunday, the Skokie Valley Agudath Jacob Synagogue in Skokie, IL...

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Hardworking Americans Deserve Fair Wages and Full Benefits

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 4:56 PM

The United States is the richest country in the history of the world -- and as a country we've never been richer. This is largely because American workers have delivered significant productivity increases to their employers. However, workers' wages have been stagnant or even declined for 35 years. It is...

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On Equal Pay Day, Let's Stand Up for Working Women, Families and Our Economy

(10) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:29 AM

This Equal Pay Day it is time to take decisive action to close the wage gap that still exists between women and men. Why is Equal Pay Day marked every April? Because currently a woman has to work a year and three months into the next year just to earn...

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Blackwater Security Guards Get Substantial Sentences for 2007 Shootings in Baghdad

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 11:12 AM

On Monday a federal jury sentenced four former Blackwater security personnel who were convicted in the horrific shooting of dozens of Iraqis in Baghdad on Sept. 16, 2007. One of the four was given life without the possibility of parole, and the other three were given 30-year sentences.

I am...

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My Response to Kirk's Comparison of the Obama Administration to Nazi Appeasement

(214) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 10:57 PM

Senator Mark Kirk compared the Obama Administration's framework for a nuclear deal to Nazi Appeasement recently in an interview. Please see my response to Senator Kirk's extreme rhetoric below:

It is truly appalling for Senator Mark Kirk to equate the Obama Administration's diplomacy with Nazi appeasement. As...

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181 House Democrats File Brief in Support of the Obama Administration's Immigration Executive Actions

(62) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 12:15 PM

I was proud to join 180 House Democrats in filing an amicus brief in support of the Obama Administration's appeal in the Fifth Circuit case of Texas v. United States. The case reached the Fifth Circuit after a federal district court granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the Secretary...

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Today's Announcement on Framework for Iran Nuclear Deal

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 5:12 PM

Today's announcement of a framework for a comprehensive agreement between the United States, our allies, and Iran that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is a significant diplomatic achievement.

The intrusive inspection regime that includes continuous surveillance of Iran's enrichment facilities, uranium mines and mills, centrifuge production and...

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16.4 Million Reasons to Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Obamacare

(15) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 7:42 PM

Five years ago, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. What is crystal clear today is that the ACA, which I proudly call Obamacare, is working.

There are 16.4 million Americans all across our country who now have affordable, quality health insurance because of Obamacare. Here of...

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A Budget That's Best for All Americans

(1) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 2:50 PM

Over the past 35 years, economic productivity has grown 80 percent and the cost of living has risen along with it. Over the same time, incomes of hardworking American families have remained flat.

Yet the Republican "Work Harder for Less" budget, released this week, attempts to balance the budget on...

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For International Women's Day, Let's Pass IVAWA to Protect Women and Girls

(1) Comments | Posted March 8, 2015 | 7:07 PM

Today marks the 107th International Women's Day. On this day, we recognize how far we've come in achieving critically important rights for women, but we must also acknowledge just how far we still have to go.

Millions upon millions of women and girls continue to face...

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The Pilgrimage in Selma to Mark the 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act: An Opportunity to Look Back and Forward

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2015 | 10:32 AM

This weekend I am honored and humbled to join President Obama and the rest of the First Family, Congressman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, dozens of my other Congressional colleagues and thousands of people from around the country as we gather in Selma, Alabama to mark the 50th anniversary...

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An Israel Supporter Who Won't Be at the Prime Minister's Speech

(414) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 8:39 AM

After much thought, I have made the decision not to attend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 scheduled address before a joint session of Congress, while still hoping it will either be postponed to a more appropriate date or delivered in a closed session.

As a Jew, support for Israel...

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Divided Government Doesn't Have to Mean Gridlock -- Pelosi and Reid Proved That From 2006-2008

(17) Comments | Posted November 14, 2014 | 8:51 AM

You don't have to go back to ancient history to find out that divided government doesn't have to mean government gridlock.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid proved that from 2006 to 2008. During those two years -- not long ago -- Democrats controlled both houses of Congress while...

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Rule Mandating Rear View Camera in Vehicles Will Save Lives

(20) Comments | Posted April 6, 2014 | 6:44 PM

Consumers won a landmark victory last week: Starting in 2018 all new vehicles will be required to enable drivers to see what is directly behind them when they back up. This major consumer win was hard fought, and for good reason. It will save two lives each week.


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The Affordable Care Act -- Women's History in the Making

(48) Comments | Posted March 23, 2014 | 1:45 PM

By Representative Jan Schakowsky and Professor Amy Fried

All month we have been commemorating Women's History Month. As March comes to a close there is no better way to recognize women's history than by celebrating the Affordable Care Act. That's because we are confident the law will go down in...

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When Women Succeed, the World Succeeds

(0) Comments | Posted March 8, 2014 | 10:26 AM

Today, women around the world are marking International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of women, while focusing attention on the many things we still need to do to achieve equality for women and girls.

Currently, women make up nearly 70 percent of the...

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It's the Inequality, Stupid

(31) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 10:12 AM

Our country is at a crossroads. Next week, 29 members of Congress serving on the House-Senate budget conference committee are expected to put forward a budget proposal that could have major, long-lasting impacts on the lives of every American family.

Their first task is to avoid a repeat performance of...

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Why I Was Arrested

(130) Comments | Posted October 9, 2013 | 12:32 PM

Yesterday I was arrested for "blocking passage" of a little used street along with seven other members of Congress and 200 others who want House Republican leadership to stop delaying a vote on comprehensive immigration legislation. About 20,000 immigrants and their supporters were at the Capitol as part of an...

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What Mom Really Needs for Mother's Day

(1) Comments | Posted May 10, 2013 | 4:49 PM

Today we honor the women who have made an incredible impact on our lives, our mothers. This Mother's Day, I want to call attention to the role women are playing in long-term care. Women are the overwhelming majority of the workers providing long-term support to seniors and people with disabilities....

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