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Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)

U.S. Representative (since 1999)

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Why She Matters

Schakowsky's suburban Chicago district is one of the most liberal in the country and she's one of the most liberal members of Congress. She's pledged to be an influential voice in some of this Congress' key debates, including the fight to reform the nation's health care system.

Schakowsky has been a key ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and was an early supporter of an Illinois politician named Barack Obama.

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At a Glance

  • Career History: Representative, Illinois General Assembly, (1990 to 1999); Director, Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens (1985 to 1990); Program director, Illinois Public Action Council (1976 to 1985)
  • Birthday: May 26, 1944
  • Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
  • Alma Mater: University of Illinois, B.S. (Elementary Education), 1965
  • Spouse: Robert Creamer
  • Religion: Jewish
  • DC Office: 2367 Rayburn House Office Building(202) 225-2111
  • District Office: Chicago: 5533 BroadwayChicago, IL 60640(773) 506-7100Evanston: 820 Davis StreetSuite 105Evanston, IL 60201(847) 328-3409
 

Path to Power

Schakowsky grew up in Chicago, Ill.

She earned a degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois in 1965 and taught in a Head Start program for two years after graduation.

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The Issues

Schakowsky's district clings to Lake Michigan, covering Chicago's northern neighborhood and wealthy northern suburbs.

Schakowsky, who is a member of the Progressive Caucus, is a good match for the liberal district. She is a passionate advocate for women's rights and was an early dissenting voice in the Iraq War debate. The former consumer advocate still lists consumer protection among her top priorities.

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The Network

Schakowsky is close friends with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The Speaker appointed Schakowsky chief deputy whip.

Schakowsky was an early fan of Barack Obama, who also hails from Illinois. During Obama's 2004 Senate campaign, Schakowsky predicted he would, "march right onto the national stage and the international stage."

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Campaign Contributions

An early Obama supporter, Schakowsky gave $1,000 to his 2008 presidential campaign.

Schakowsky has donated to the campaigns of many liberal female candidates, and has given frequent $1,000 donations to Emily's List, which supports pro-choice female candidates including Schakowsky.