Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.)

U.S. Representative (since January 1997)

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Why He Matters

Davis, the representative from Illinois' 7th district, is nothing if not a communicator. He holds over 40 townhall meetings each year, keeps weekly office hours in his district and hosts several weekly TV and radio programs. As effective as he's been with constituent services, he's always had his eye on higher office.

In 2008, Davis rejected an offer for Barack Obama's Senate seat from Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) who was accused of selling it. With his roots in Chicago politics, Davis ran for the 2011 nomination to become Chicago's mayor. He was an underdog to former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, but was anointed the "consensus candidate" by many of the city's African-American leaders. this didn’t help him garner votes in the February 2011 primary however, and Emanuel won the election.

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Trayvon Martin's father to appear Wednesday on Capitol Hill

The Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys will hold its first hearing, during which Tracy Martin will offer some opening remarks.

After Trayvon Martin, African American pastors vow to be more than worship leaders

From Capitol Hill to the plaza in front of the Justice Department, national and local Civil Rights leaders and linked up with pastors this week to publicly asked the question as to what will happen in the wake of the Trayvon Martin saga.

Who voted against the short-term spending bill?

(Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP)

Seventy Republicans refused to approve the spending plan.


At a Glance

  • Career History: Cook County Commissioner (1990-1996); Chicago City Alderman (1979-1990); Chicago public school teacher (1962-1969)
  • Birthday: Sept. 6, 1941
  • Hometown: Parkdale, Ark.
  • Alma Mater: Arkansas AM&N College, B.A. 1961; Chicago State University, M.S., 1968; Union Institute, Ph.D., 1977
  • Spouse: Vera
  • Religion: Baptist
  • Committees: Oversight and Government Reform
  • DC Office: 2159 Rayburn House Office Building, 202-225-5006
  • District Offices: Chicago, 773-533-7520; Broadview, 708-345-6857
  • Web site

Path To Power

Born in 1941, Davis grew up on a cotton farm in southeast Arkansas.

A graduate of what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Davis moved to Chicago where he worked as an educator in the Chicago public schools and as a community organizer. He says he intentionally focused his work on the city's West Side, considering it to be a "high need area."

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The Issues

Davis is a reliable Democratic vote, joining the majority of his party's House colleagues 98 percent of the time during the 111th Congress (2009-2011).

In 2008, Davis' Second Chance Act, which funded reentry programs for ex-convicts, was enacted.

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The Network

Davis is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Other Chicago area representatives who are part of the powerful bloc are Democratic Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Bobby Rush.


Additional Resources

  1. Cox, Ted and Lee Filas, "Davis decides not to challenge Stroger" The Daily Herald, Nov. 10, 2009
  2. "Editorial board questionnaires"
  3. Paletta, Damian, "Politicians Asked Feds to Prop Up Ailing Bank" The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 24, 2009
  4. Becker, Robert, "Congressman Davis drops run for Cook County president" Chicago Tribune, Nov. 9, 2009
  7. Mack, Kristen, "Congressman Danny Davis announces bid for Chicago mayor" Chicago Tribune, Nov. 14, 2010
  8. Chicago Tribune
  9. "Davis: Impact of Health Reform Bill on the 7th District" Press Release, March 22, 2010
  10. "Washington Post Votes Database"
  11. "Biography"
  12. "Employee Free Choice Act"
  13. Sweet, Lynn, "Davis said thanks, but no thanks" Chicago Sun-Times, Dec. 31, 2008
  14. Almanac of American Politics
  15. Ritter, Jim, "7th District Contest Drawing a Crowd" Chicago Sun-Times, Jan. 22, 1996
  16. Swanson, Ian, "U.S. sugar has foreign allies" The Hill, Feb. 13, 2007
  17. "Danny Davis questions Emanuel's residency" WGN, Nov. 23, 2010
  18. Bellandi, Deanna, "Rep. Davis announces bid for Chicago mayor" The Associated Press, Nov. 14, 2010
  19. Pyke, Marni, "Political battle lines drawn on health care" The Daily Herald, Sept. 2, 2009"CBC Letter to President Obama" Sept. 3, 2009
  20. Montopoli, Brian, "Can the Postal Service be Saved?" CBS News, Nov. 19, 2009
  21. Maxon, Seth, "Rep. Danny Davis Beats Traffic Ticket" The Huffington Post, Nov. 12, 2008
  22. Sweet, Lynn, "Rep. Danny Davis at White House for signing of his 'Second Chance' bill to help ex-convicts" Chicago Sun-Times, April 9, 2008