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Legislator makes ends meet with Uber driving gig

Friday, Aug 5, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I told subscribers about this on Wednesday

Even before Aki Colovic slipped through the sliding door of the Uber minivan outside his house Friday afternoon he thought something was up.

The 34-year-old just couldn’t quite place where he had seen Jaime, his driver, before.

Then it hit him: The man behind the wheel was his local state representative, Jaime Andrade Jr.

“It’s very surprising. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it,” Colovic said minutes into the ride.

The two had met when Andrade had knocked on the door of Colovic’s Old Irving Park home while campaigning in early 2014.

Andrade, who represents the state’s 40th District, has been driving Uber under the radar for more than two months.

It’s not a gimmick.

The representative, whose district includes a portion of the Northwest Side, said he needs the cash to support his family as the state budget mess drags out and regular paychecks to legislators have been sporadic at best.

DNAInfo did a good job on this story, so go check it out.

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25 Comments
  1. - Dome Gnome - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:00 am:

    I talk to many people who have misconceptions regarding how hard our legislators work and how little/much they are paid. Sure, we’d like better results right now, but being a legislator ain’t exactly easy street.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:06 am:

    The founding fathers would be proud.


  3. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    I applaud the Rep. for doing what it takes. I also think he will learn a lot from his passengers. It’s a good way to ‘get the real story’ from his constituents.


  4. - Old Shepherd - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    I don’t know anything about Rep. Andrade, so I don’t know if this is a gimmick or not.

    I do know this…while stopping the paychecks of legislators is good for a political campaign, it’s bad for democracy. Before long, it will be impossible for average Joe’s and Josephine’s to serve in the legislature. It will be a “privilege” reserved for the wealthy.

    Unfortunately, the public doesn’t see it that way. They see Munger “stickin’ it to the Man:, when it’s really us common folk she’s “stickin’ it” to.


  5. - Someone you should know - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    I’ve known Jamie for a Dozen years, this is definitely not a gimmick. This is Jamie, he’s the real deal.


  6. - The Historian - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:12 am:

    I don’t know the man, but I’d think most constituents who read this will think VERY well of him in light of this.


  7. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:13 am:

    Dome Gnome-

    As a former staffer, I can assure you that being a legislator is easy street. They make fine money complimented by very liberal expense funds and they (generalizing here, but it is a strong majority) do very, very little actual work.


  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Strange days, indeed. Most peculiar. Who would have imagined this happening?

    It was a well written article and Andrade came off in a positive light.


  9. - Belden Ave. - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    AlfondoGonz:
    You must have been a S#@%*y Staffer


  10. - A guy - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    It’s actually pretty ingenious. Good earned media, and plenty of feedback. The kind you can use.


  11. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Legislators get expense accounts? That’s news to them.


  12. - Anonymouth - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    Jaime Andrade is one of the hardest working legislators in Springfield. The guy knows his district (at a micro level as Oswego Willy would say) and has been a passionate voice for his constituents.

    With that said, becoming a legislator was a big pay cut for the guy. The irregularity of paychecks have made it even tougher to make ends meet. Kudos to the guy to be driven enough to do whatever it takes to make ends meet and still continue to work hard in the district.


  13. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    But, also, definitely not a gimmick. Andrade is a good dude, and is doing what he needs to do for his family.

    And I’m pretty sure that no one would choose to drive an Uber (or a cab, or anything like it) as a gimmick.


  14. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    Jaime is a great guy and has always worked hard. This isn’t a gimmick, it’s what you do when you have small kids, a mortgage and are going to grad school. He isn’t the only person out there struggling to make ends meet. This is exactly the kind of citizen-legislator experience more of our elected officials should have.


  15. - Professor Chaos - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    Like most parents, the Rep. does what he has to do to make sure he is providing for his family. We don’t read a lot of stories like these about our elected officials, but there are more like this, with huge hearts, than those, who as some say, do very little actual work.


  16. - wolf - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:36 am:

    -AlfondoGonz-

    Your comment is so far removed from reality that I don’t even know where to begin. Tell me more about these mythical “liberal expense funds.” District office allotment? Where it takes more than three months to get stamps?

    And “very little actual work” is patently false and can only be used the describe a very few legislators in the safest districts and twilight on their careers.

    You have no idea what you’re talking about.


  17. - Rough Rider - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:41 am:

    Maybe he should test the job market
    And give up the legislative job for
    Something more fulfilling then Springfield and urber.


  18. - Huh? - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    Some legislators have side jobs as lawyers other as Uber drivers. What is the big deal.

    Baby needs a new pair of shoes, so you get by anyway you can.


  19. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    A Republican legislator “borrows” money from his campaign fund. While a Democratic legislator gets another job. Something doesn’t sound right.

    (snark)


  20. - Doug - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    Funny story, my State Rep was down in Austin one day on State Business, pulled over the side of the road to take a phone call.

    He drives an old beat up Prius…..and some dude gets in the back seat. Seems the guy thought he was his Uber driver……


  21. - walker - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    Depends on the rep. Some work harder, longer than almost any job in the private sector. Some don’t. Also depends on how competitive the district.


  22. - atsuishin - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    This is a good heartwarming story.

    However going back a point I have been beating the drum about for a while now, Why have all these lawmakers at all? The “six tops” make nearly all relevant decisions. Why not abolishing the house and have a directly elected six member legislative council? saving taxpayers millions of dollars.


  23. - OneMan - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 12:58 pm:

    heard a great quote about the Texas legislature once.

    5% are here to figure out how to make as much as they can, 5% want to change the world and 90% are wondering what is for lunch.

    A dude has to do what a dude has to do.


  24. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    Definitely depends on the Rep. However, if you want state reps and sens from across the work spectrum, you need to pay a living wage. The concept of a “part-time” legislator is silly. Where can you find an employer that will let you take off work from January through May and then again for a few weeks in the fall (and whenever else sessions are called). Plus, there is an expectation that the elected official is available throughout the week to meet with constituents.


  25. - RSW Girl - Friday, Aug 5, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    As Rep’s first LA, I immediately learned he will do what it takes to take care of his beautiful family & of course his constituents. Proud to know you, Rep, Good luck!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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