Our Hometown Progressives

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Blue Beginning

Our hometown progressives 

If you’ve been encouraged by the recent primary showings of Summer Lee and John Fetterman in Pennsylvania, Andrea Salinas and Jamie McLeod-Skinner in Oregon, and Jessica Cisneros in Texas (still too close to call as of Monday), you should know that we have two more chances to elect outstanding young progressives here in Illinois . . . and we have just four more weeks to get the job done. These are the candidates Indivisible Chicago has endorsed in the June 28 primary. If you don’t know about them already, read on . . . and join the effort. 

Delia Ramirez in IL-3 

Due to redistricting, Illinois’ 3rd congressional district is an open seat with no incumbent. Our candidate is Delia Ramirez, a dynamic woman who has devoted her career to community service and progressive causes. Elected as a state rep in 2018, she has successfully pushed legislation expanding affordable housing; extending Medicaid coverage to senior citizens regardless of their immigration status; and establishing an elected school board in the City of Chicago. She currently serves as assistant majority leader of the Illinois state house. She is endorsed by Our Revolution, Emily’s List, the Working Families Party, Sunrise Movement Chicago, the Chicago Teachers Union, the Illinois Nurses Association, congresswomen Pramila Jayapal and Jan Schakowsky, Evanston mayor Daniel Biss, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and many other progressive leaders and organizations.

Her chief opponent is 36th Ward Alderman Gil Villegas, a business-as-usual Chicago pol who owned a lobbying firm at the same time he sat on the City Council.

Neither candidate is well-known to the new district’s voters. Delia does not take corporate contributions. The race will come down to Villegas’s dollars and establishment connections against Delia’s community support and ground game. That’s us.

Kina Collins in IL-7 

Unlike the 3rd district, the 7th has an incumbent who looms large in the area—Danny Davis, who has earned our respect and gratitude for a long career in service of progressive values. But Davis, who is 80, has not been there for us lately. Literally. A little more than a week ago, after forcing the organizers of a candidates forum to change it from a live to a virtual event, Davis bailed out altogether at the last minute. The 7th “is one of the most unequal districts in the country,” says our endorsed challenger, Kina Collins, “yet our representative Danny Davis has stopped showing up in the community, misses votes, and takes money from corporate donors.”

Kina Collins grew up on the west side and at age 31 already has an impressive resume as an activist and community organizer. A nationally known leader in gun violence prevention, she also focuses on healthcare advocacy and criminal justice reform. She’s been active with Women’s March Illinois and the Illinois State Council on Women and Girls. In 2017 she founded the Chicago Neighborhood Alliance, an effort to address gun violence through civic engagement. Kina does not have the backing of the Democratic party establishment, who never met an incumbent they didn’t like. (Ask AOC or Jessica Cisneros.) But she is endorsed by such national progressive leaders as Justice Democrats, the Sunrise Movement, and NOW. She argues that we need young blood and new ideas on climate, immigration, and gun safety. “[Y]oung people are fighting these battles because they have seen that no one else will — and because they can’t afford not to. For the elders, whose shoulders we stand on, it’s time to step up by stepping back and help a new generation lead the fight against injustice everywhere.”

How you can make it happen 

Most of the recent progressive victories have been by very thin margins. Let’s not wake up on June 29 wishing we had done just a little bit more for these excellent candidates. Let’s do a little bit more right now.

Phone bank for Delia Ramirez 

Phone bank for Kina Collins 

Canvass for Delia Ramirez

Canvass for Kina Collins

More dates are available. See our complete schedule of canvassing and phone bank opportunities.

Visit us at bluebeginning.org. Email us at bluebeginning2017@gmail.com. Check in with our Facebook group for news, events, and action opportunities posted by our members.

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