* Press release…
Congressman Luis Gutiérrez announced he will give up the seat he has held since 1993 after the current term and endorsed Cook County Commissioner and Chicago’s progressive standard bearer Jesús “Chuy” Garcia to be his successor at a press conference on Tuesday.
The announcements came at a news conference where the two leaders, who both got their political starts as part of the Harold Washington administration in the 1980s, emphasized the importance of maintaining the district’s role of giving immigrants a voice on a national platform.
“My candidacy builds on the legacy of Mayor Harold Washington, the foresight and energy that brought young people together for Sen. Bernie Sanders and the work of Rep. Gutiérrez,” Garcia said. “Luis has fought tirelessly in Congress for our undocumented brothers and sisters, and for people everywhere, to keep our hearts and minds open to the free-flowing movement of ideas and democracy. We must never allow fear and oppression to guide our nation.”
Gutiérrez, who has been a champion throughout his career for immigrant rights, veterans’ access to health care, reproductive rights, civil rights of the Puerto Rican people, and workers’ rights, made it clear that he believes Garcia will pick up where he left off and be a force for progressive policies and a clear voice in Congress on behalf of immigrants.
“It has never been more important for the future of America to have an immigrant voice at the table when national policies are being made,” Gutiérrez said. “Chuy is the kind of leader our district needs to carry us into this uncertain future.”
By electing a Mexican-American immigrant to represent them, Garcia said, 4
th District voters will be sending a message to the forces who would divide the nation that they support Gutiérrez’s persistent efforts to weave unity and progressive policies inextricably into the American fabric.
“We are grateful for the congressman’s bold leadership on immigration reform,” Garcia said. “We will build on his dynamic legacy that, with his signature firebrand oratory, has kept the issues front and center - whether it’s advocating for undocumented people and other immigrants, or exposing the folly of building a multi-billion dollar boondoggle of a wall.”
Garcia said he was looking forward to joining the new wave of progressive, national Democratic Party leaders, in the spirit of Bernie Sanders, for whom he worked during the 2016 primary election.
“Luis Gutiérrez and I share a common bond, as we carry forward the work of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington,” Garcia said. “I believe in opportunity for all, including affordable health care, strong schools, protection for workers and support for our troops and veterans. I will be a relentless advocate in moving Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts forward.”
NOTE: CAMPAIGN RALLY TONIGHT, 5:30 P.M. TUESDAY, NOV. 28
MIA TIERRA, 2528 S. KEDZIE AVE., CHICAGO, IL
* From the event…
I hope this campaign isn’t going to be about the past. We’ll see.
I have heard the rumor that Congressman Luis Gutierrez will not seek re-election. Congressman Gutierrez is a principled progressive, who has fought tirelessly for the 4th Congressional District’s working families; and I am proud to have fought alongside him as one of his former congressional staffers.
Since the rumor began circulating Monday night, I have heard from so many supporters in the 4th District asking me to run for Congress. I’m humbled by their encouragement to seek the Democratic nomination. If Congressman Gutierrez is retiring, I will begin circulating nominating petitions tonight.
I am ready to bring bold progressive leadership to DC and take our fight for working families to President Trump’s doorstep. As your Congressman, I will vigorously oppose President Trump’s regime, and fight for the progressive policies that will uplift the 4th District’s working families, including medicare for all, free college tuition, stopping deportations, and a $15 living wage.
If I decide to seek the Democratic nomination, there will be a spirited primary campaign, no doubt involving candidates for whom I have enormous respect. I look forward to a great dialogue and the voters making a decision on March 20th.
The deadline to submit signatures is December 4. Please help me get on the ballot by clicking here to volunteer.
…Adding… Press release…
U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement following U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez’s (D-IL-04) announcement that he will not seek re-election:
Luis Gutierrez has been my strongest partner in working for the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform. His voice will be critical in the remainder of his term and sorely missed thereafter.
…Adding… Another one…
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR EMANUEL ON LUIS GUTIERREZ
“Luis Gutierrez represented Chicagoans in the Chicago City Council and US Congress for more than three decades, serving his constituents, his city and his country with honor. One thing I know is Luis Gutierrez will not stop fighting for what he believes in until the last vote is cast, and even then will continue working for the causes he has championed throughout his life because he believes in them with his heart. Luis Gutierrez’s journey from a taxi driver to a US Congressman is a testament to the power of the American Dream. I have been proud to call him a dear friend and trusted colleague, and stand with Chicagoans and Americans everywhere in expressing my appreciation for his service and wishing him well in his next chapter.”