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Janice Danoff Schakowsky /ʃəˈkski/ (born May 26, 1944) is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 9th congressional district, serving since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Jan Schakowsky
Jan Schakowsky official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 9th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1999
Preceded bySidney R. Yates
Personal details
Janice Danoff

(1944-05-26) May 26, 1944 (age 75)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Harvey Schakowsky
(m. 1965; div. 1980)

Robert Creamer (m. 1980)
Children2 (with Schakowsky)
EducationUniversity of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (BS)

The district is anchored in Chicago's North Side, including much of the area bordering Lake Michigan. It also includes many of Chicago's northern suburbs, including Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Mount Prospect, Niles, Park Ridge, Rosemont, Skokie, Wilmette, and Winnetka.

Early life, education and careerEdit

Schakowsky was born Janice Danoff in 1944 in Chicago, the daughter of Tillie (née Cosnow) and Irwin Danoff.[1] Her parents were Jewish immigrants, her father from Lithuania and her mother from Russia.[1][2]

Schakowsky graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in elementary education where she was a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority.[3] She was Program Director of Illinois Public Action, Illinois' largest public interest group, from 1976 to 1985. She then moved to the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens as executive director for five years until 1990, when she was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives. She served there until 1998.[4]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

Schakowsky is among the most Progressive members of the current U.S. Congress.[5] She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and frequently earns ratings of between 90 and 100 from liberal and progressive interest groups.

Support for Obama economic planEdit

In April 2009 Schakowsky pointedly criticized the tax day Tea Party protests, asserting that they were ”an effort to mislead the public about the Obama economic plan that cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans and creates 3.5 million jobs…. It’s despicable that right-wing Republicans would attempt to cheapen a significant, honorable moment of American history with a shameful political stunt.”[6]

Women’s issuesEdit

As co-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, Schakowsky has been known for her support of women's issues while in Congress.[7]

2004 electionEdit

The Nation endorsed her for vice president in the 2004 United States presidential election, stating that she is 'the truest heir to Paul Wellstone in the current Congress'.[8] She was, however, not selected as John Kerry's running mate. In response to concerns about electoral irregularities in the state of Ohio during the 2004 presidential election, Schakowsky was one of 31 members of the United States House of Representatives who voted not to accept Ohio's electoral votes.[9]

Opposition to Iraq WarEdit

Schakowsky was outspoken in her opposition to the Iraq War. She was one of the earliest and most emphatic supporters of U.S. Senator Barack Obama prior to his victory in the 2004 Illinois Democratic primary election, and actively supported his bid for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.[10]

Climate changeEdit

In hearings held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee in July 2006, Schakowsky expressed concern that a report from the National Academy of Sciences showing discrepancies among scientists studying global warming might be "used in a way to discredit the whole notion that our country and the rest of the industrialized and developing world ought to do anything about global warming".[11]

Angling for elevationEdit

Schakowsky indicated interest in replacing Barack Obama in the United States Senate.[12] Before his arrest, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had reportedly been considering Schakowsky among at least six candidates to fill the vacancy. Schakowsky was one of the first figures in Illinois to voice interest in running in a special election to replace Obama.[13]

Support for public optionEdit

In April 2009, she stated her support for a public option in health insurance, arguing that it would put health insurance companies out of business and lead to single-payer health care, which she supports.[14]

Critique and apology for Joel PollakEdit

In March 2015, Schakowsky was criticized by the Orthodox Union after saying that Jewish politician Joel Pollak was a "Jewish, Orthodox, Tea Party Republican" at a J Street event. She later apologized for her comments.[15][16]

Support for LGBT rightsEdit

In 2015, Schakowsky was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame as a Friend of the Community.[17]

Boycott of Netanyahu's speech to CongressEdit

In March 2015, Schakowsky did not attend the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress because, she wrote in the Huffington Post, it could scuttle delicate negotiations with Iran: "The prime minister wants the negotiations to end, and his purpose in speaking to the Congress is to convince us that the president is about to agree to a deal that threatens Israel's existence. He believes the president is naïve in thinking that he and the P5+1 can achieve any agreement that will stop Iran from rushing toward a bomb ... What is the alternative to an agreement? Yes, the United States will increase sanctions. But does anyone doubt that Iran will build a nuclear weapon regardless of sanctions? Then the choices will be ugly: accepting a nuclear-weaponized Iran or accepting military action (i.e., war with Iran). For me it's obvious that we must give the negotiations a chance. And, in the meantime, Iran has essentially halted its weapons program under the Joint Plan of Action while the talks are ongoing."[18][third-party source needed]

Product safety issuesEdit

Schakowsky has long taken substantial interest in product safety issues and has persistently engaged in robust oversight of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. She has often been critical of Republicans on the commission.[19]

Committee assignmentsEdit

Party leadership and caucus membershipsEdit

Political campaignsEdit


Sidney Yates, who had represented the 9th District since 1949 (except for an unsuccessful run for the Senate in 1962), had announced in 1996 that he wouldn't run for re-election in 1998.[citation needed] Schakowsky easily won the Democratic primary, which all but assured her of election in the heavily Democratic 9th. She won in November with 75 percent of the vote and has easily won reelection four times with 70 percent or more of the vote. She is only the third person to represent the district since 1949.[citation needed]






Electoral historyEdit

Illinois's 9th congressional district: Results 1998–2018[25]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1998 Janice D. Schakowsky 107,878 75% Herbert Sohn 33,448 23% Michael D. Ray Libertarian 3,284 2%
2000 Janice D. Schakowsky 147,002 76% Dennis J. Driscoll 45,344 24%
2002 Janice D. Schakowsky 118,642 70% Nicholas M. Duric 45,307 27% Stephanie "Vs. The Machine" Sailor Libertarian 4,887 3%
2004 Janice D. Schakowsky 175,282 76% Kurt J. Eckhardt 56,135 24%
2006 Janice D. Schakowsky 122,852 75% Michael P. Shannon 41,858 25% *
2008 Janice D. Schakowsky 178,829 75% Michael B. Younan 52,841 22% Morris Shanfield Green 7,969 3%
2010 Janice D. Schakowsky 114,969 66% Joel Barry Pollak 54,274 31% Simon Ribeiro Green 4,374 3%
2012 Janice D. Schakowsky 194,869 66% Timothy Wolfe 98,924 34%
2014 Janice D. Schakowsky 141,000 66.1% Susanne Atanus 72,384 33.9% Phillip Collins Independent 66 0.03%
2016 Janice D. Schakowsky 217,306 66.5% Joan McCarthy Lasonde 109,550 33.5% David Earl WIlliams III Independent 79 0.02%
2018 Janice D. Schakowsky 213,368 73.5% John Elleson 76,983 26.5%
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2006, write-ins received 3 votes.

Personal lifeEdit

Schakowsky lives in Evanston, Illinois with her husband Robert Creamer. She has two children and one stepchild.[26]

In 2005, Schakowsky's husband pleaded guilty to failure to collect withholding tax and bank fraud for writing checks with insufficient funds. All of the money was repaid. Schakowsky was not accused of any wrongdoing.[27] While Schakowsky served on the organization's board during the time the crimes occurred,[28] and she signed the IRS filings along with her husband,[29] the U.S. district judge noted that no one suffered "out of pocket losses", and Creamer acted not out of greed but in an effort to keep his community action group going without cutting programs, though Creamer paid his own $100,000 salary with fraudulently obtained funds. Creamer served five months in prison.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Stone, K.F. (2010). The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members. Scarecrow Press. p. 549. ISBN 9780810877382. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  2. ^ "Glenn Beck Slammed By Polish Group For Butchering Schakowsky's Name". The Huffington Post. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  3. ^ "Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority". Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Wasniewski, Matthew Andrew (2006). Women in Congress, 1917-2006. Government Printing Office. p. 908. ISBN 978-0-16-076753-1.
  5. ^ "GovTrack: The Political Spectrum". October 17, 2009. Archived from the original on March 18, 2012. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  6. ^ Zimmerman, Eric (April 16, 2009). "Schakowsky: Tea parties 'despicable'",; accessed October 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Rettig, Jessica (July 9, 2010). "Jan Schakowsky Leads the Fight for Women". US News and World Report.
  8. ^ "The Beat". The Nation. Abu Dhabi. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  9. ^ "FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 7". Retrieved September 13, 2015.
  10. ^ "Obama's Day in Iowa", by Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, January 4, 2008.
  11. ^ "Science In the House of Pain". TCS Daily. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  12. ^ "Schakowsky among those wanting Senate seat". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press. November 5, 2008. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
  13. ^ Schakowsky throws her hat in Archived December 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), December 12, 2008.
  14. ^, The health-care shuffle, Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 16, 2009
  15. ^ "Congresswoman Apologizes Referring to Political Rival as 'Orthodox Jew'". The Jewish Daily Forward. March 24, 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  16. ^ Yashar, Ari (March 24, 2015). "Democrat Apologizes for 'Orthodox Jew' Slur at J Street Event". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved March 30, 2015.
  17. ^ "Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  18. ^ Schakowsky, Jan (February 26, 2015). "An Israel Supporter Who Won't Be at the Prime Minister's Speech". Huffington Post. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  19. ^ "Lawmakers question industry influence at U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission". Salon. April 5, 2019. Retrieved August 31, 2019.
  20. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  21. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  22. ^ "Members". Afterschool Alliance. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  23. ^ "Members". Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members". Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  25. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on July 25, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  26. ^ "Jan Schakowsky: Full biography". Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  27. ^ "Congresswoman's husband pleads guilty to two felonies". USA Today. Associated Press. August 31, 2005. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  28. ^ Flannery, Mike (April 5, 2006). "Congresswoman's Husband Gets Jail Time For Bank Fraud". WBBM TV.
  29. ^ Newbart, Dave (March 12, 2004). "Schakowsky's husband indicted in bank fraud". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 26, 2009.
  30. ^ Korecki, Natasha (April 6, 2006). "Schakowsky's husband given 5 months for check-kiting: Prosecutors sought 3 years for bank fraud that aided nonprofit". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 26, 2009.

External linksEdit