Jan Schakowsky has been a lifelong consumer advocate and a champion for, what she sees as, the disappearing middle class. From her days as a young housewife who led the campaign to put expiration dates on food products to the 2008 passage of legislation she helped write making children’s products and toys safe, Jan has worked to make life better for working and middle class Americans.
Jan was elected to represent Illinois’ 9th Congressional District in 1998, after serving for eight years in the Illinois General Assembly. She is in her eighth term, serving in the House Democratic leadership as a Chief Deputy Whip and as Vice Chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, where she is the Ranking Democrat on the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where she is the Ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee.
For decades, Jan identified her top priority as winning affordable, quality health care for all Americans. In 2009 and 2010, she played a leadership role in writing and passing the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that finally established health care as a right and not a privilege in the United States.
Working and middle class people see Jan out there fighting for their jobs and paychecks at a time when income inequality has reached record levels. In 2010, then Speaker Pelosi appointed Jan to President Obama’s 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform where she bucked the majority and offered her own proposal to balance the budget without cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid – or further burdening struggling families.
Jan is proudly pro-choice, favors marriage equality and comprehensive immigration reform. Jan was a founding member of the Out of Iraq Caucus in the U.S. House. She co-chairs the Democratic Seniors Task Force which focuses on addressing the needs of older Americans.
As a Jewish Congresswoman, Jan has a deep personal connection to the State of Israel and has consistently voted for measures to assure Israel’s security and to promote efforts toward a two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace.
Jan grew up in the 9th District and returns home every weekend to meet with individual constituents, business leaders, and groups large and small. The Constituent Advocates in her two district offices work tirelessly to help the diverse range of constituents in the 9th District and are known far and wide for their welcoming attitude and effective problem solving.
Jan lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband Robert Creamer and their Golden Retriever, Lucky. She has three marvelous children, Ian, Mary and step-daughter Lauren, and six exceptional grandchildren – Isabel, Eve, Lucy, William, Aidan and Alice. She graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 with a B.S. in Elementary Education.