Jesus "Chuy" Garcia: 2024 candidate for U.S. House 4th District representative


Party: Democrat

Office Sought: U.S. House 4th District

City: Chicago

Age: 67

Occupation: U.S. Congressman

Previous offices held: U.S. Representative for Illinois's 4th District 2019 — Present Cook County Commissioner 2010 — 2018 Illinois State Senator, 1st District 1993 — 1998 Chicago Alderman, 22nd Ward 1986 — 1993 Committeeman, 22nd Ward 1984-2000 Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Water 1984-1986

What must be done to achieve a consistent national policy on immigration, not just in terms of what such a policy should be but also in terms of getting a policy through the Senate?

I oppose using immigrants as bargaining chips to negotiate or exchange for other interests, we must push for clean immigration reform. The Senate must include the voices of those most impacted – immigrants and members representing immigrants – in the negotiating conversations.

It’s been over 36 years since any meaningful reform – all the while: enforcement has increased, and we haven't addressed the root causes of migration like violence, corruption, climate change, and poverty. U.S. trade and foreign policy have displaced millions from their home countries and we have the moral and ethical responsibility to re-envision our broken immigration system. We must create permanency for DACA recipients and those waiting for years for work permits, permanent status, or a chance at citizenship. Immigrants contribute over $330 billion in federal taxes - yet have no path to citizenship or a permanent solution. Immigrants have delivered for our country, it’s time we deliver for them!

Do you believe the nation's election system and those of the individual states are secure and fair? If not, what must be done to improve them?

As the representative from the only Latino Voting Rights District in the Midwest, I’m an advocate for electoral justice. I’ve devoted my life to building civic engagement and electoral power at the grassroots level across generations and multiracial communities. In Congress, I co-sponsored the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to protect equal access to the ballot box. To facilitate automatic voter registration, I introduced the Our Homes Our Votes Act for those in subsidized government housing. I’ve also co-sponsored the Same Day Registration Act to require all states to offer same day registration. In addition, I’ve supported lowering the legal voting age to 16 year old U.S. citizens (Amendment Lower Legal Voting Age). Moreover, to protect our elections from foreign interference and remove dark and big money out of politics I have also co-sponsored the Protecting Our Democracy Act and Freedom to Vote Act — — the wealthy have disproportionate influence and we must protect our democracy.

What responsibilities does the United States have toward protecting the security of our allies or other countries where democracy may be threatened? In particular, what are our responsibilities toward Israel and Ukraine?

As a global leader, the U.S. must maintain peace and protect democracy for national security and international stability. I’ve advocated for peace and conflict prevention, including humanitarian relief, developmental programs, and the promotion of diplomacy and prosperity. I’ve called for the protection of marginalized communities against oppression, undue targeting, displacement, inhumane conditions, and violence. Moreover, I’ve led congressional oversight on responsible international monetary policies.

I’ve supported humanitarian and emergency relief for Ukrainians like refugee assistance, basic services, and continue to urge for an immediate ceasefire. In the wake of the Hamas attack, I stood with Israel’s right to defend itself. However, since then I’ve also called for an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation, and release of hostages in Palestine and Israel. I continue to be supportive of providing aid to bring stability, peace, and access to basic needs, food, and medical supplies.

Is the world in a climate crisis? If so, what role should the federal government play in addressing it?

Addressing climate change and pushing for environmental justice are top priorities for me as a Member of Congress — that’s why I’m an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal. Our children and families deserve to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, and safely play in their neighborhoods, regardless of their zip code or race.

In Congress, as a member of the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I have introduced “Green New Deal” amendments within transit and infrastructure legislation like the INVESTin America Act. I’m a co-sponsor of the Environmental Justice for All Act to advance language around the cumulative impact of pollution. I’m also proud to have voted for the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act — bringing $374 billion in funds to lower lower energy costs while making clean energy more affordable and accessible. It will also create up to 9 million new jobs over a decade in green sectors like efficient building, clean manufacturing, and environmental protection.

How would you describe the working relationships in the U.S. House today? What can be done to promote more effective government in Congress, and what will you do personally to work toward this goal?

With a Democratic majority during the 116th and 117th Congress we passed landmark legislation. Under Republican leadership it’s been chaos — including blatant attacks against women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ protections, and immigrants. Democrats have stayed focused and we delivered for the American people. We passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to address gun violence and create safer communities through enhanced background checks and mental health programs. We led the historical passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the largest infrastructure investment — totaling $1.2 trillion. We also passed the largest environmental initiative with the Inflation Reduction Act, which generates $739 billion in revenue and brings $370 billion for job creation, green alternatives, as well as lowering prescription drug costs and capping insulin costs. And to keep jobs in the U.S. we also passed the CHIPS and Science Act to bolster innovation, manufacturing, and job creation.

What role should the United States play in NATO?

The United States needs to maintain its position and respect as a global leader — including working alongside common, international allies to protect democracy and prevent conflict. It is important the U.S. continues engagement to build trust and enhance partner relations. In the past, NATO allies have stepped up to defend the U.S. and share not only intel, but also defense and security tactics and assistance. In addition, it is strategically beneficial for the U.S. — on matters of defense, foreign relations, and trade to have presence and support across NATO allied countries. Moreover, the U.S. needs to convey unity and strength and set a leading example by keeping peace, as well as preventing and de-escalating conflict.

How do you perceive the financial health of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid? To the degree you may see problems with these programs, what should be done about them?

I’ve supported efforts to protect social security, medicare, and medicaid programs through legislation and joining letters to advocate for their life-saving impact to the constituents I represent. To re-envision our health care system, I led the re-introduction of the Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2020 with the purpose to address the social determinants of health that historically have rendered disproportionate outcomes for underserved communities. I am a proud co-sponsor of the Medicare for All Act to expand guaranteed access to health care with comprehensive benefits. I have co-sponsored the Social Security 2100 Act to protect and enhance Social Security coverage. To prevent a burden on working families, businesses, and our economy we must transition to a cost-effective, single-payer health care system. We must also push for maintaining the ability to negotiate and lower the cost of drug prescriptions.

How do you assess the state of the national economy? What should be done to make it stronger or more stable?

The U.S. trade deficit has reached $1 trillion dollars and it is not sustainable for our economy and workforce. To decrease our reliance on foreign manufacturing, I support increasing national investment into domestic supply chains to improve American infrastructure across sectors. From machinery to electronics, China imports nearly 60% of its products to the U.S. That’s why legislative efforts like the CHIPS and Science Act are critical for U.S. economic growth and product development. We must identify and invest in partners that are U.S. based and hire U.S. workers to ensure we manufacture more products domestically. Another action that can be taken is reducing our oil consumption by transitioning to alternative, sustainable energy sources and materials.

What personal qualifications do you bring that would make you an effective congressional representative in dealing with the issues the country will face in the next two years?

I’m running for re-election to keep delivering for the 4th Congressional District. I’ve served in the Chicago City Council, Cook County Board of Commissioners, Illinois Senate, and now U.S. Congress. In Congress, I secured funding for Illinois including: $8.1 billion via CARES Act, $18.6 billion via American Rescue Plan, $17 billion via Infrastructure and Jobs Act, $18 billion via Inflation Reduction Act as well as $37.6 million in funding for 25 community projects in my district.

My priorities include advancing economic opportunity, codifying women’s reproductive rights, creating safer, affordable, and healthy communities, fixing immigration, restoring environmental justice, and protecting voting rights. I’ve secured the endorsements of over 50 labor unions, organizations, and state and municipal officials. I’m a trusted coalition-builder and proven champion for families — who’s ready to go back to Congress and keep delivering!

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