Cheri Bustos, "a working woman [who] wants to make a difference," is running for US Congress in Illinois' 17th district (Rock Island, parts of Peoria and Rockford). While mainly focusing on economic development and affordable health care, her campaign also includes a strong support for gender equality and reproductive rights. If she wins the election, she will be the first woman to represent her district in Congress.
Prospects and Opponent: Former East Maline Councilwoman, Bustos is running against Congressman Bobby Schilling, the Republican incumbent. However, the 17th district has been redrawn and Bustos has received support from local legislators and labor unions. With the primary win under her belt, she is well poised to compete strongly in the competitive November election.
Background and Legislative Achievements: Bustos has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland and a M.A. in Journalism from the University of Illinois at Springfield. After working as an investigative journalist, Bustos held many leadership positions in the health care system, including the Vice President of Public Relations and Communications for Iowa Health Systems. During this time, she strongly advocated for transparency and accountability in government. Bustos is currently President of the Board for The Women's Connection, one of Illinois' largest women's membership organizations. Her achievements include:
- Redeveloping the downtown neighborhood in East Moline, IL, including the construction of a Community Health Care clinic, as an Alderwoman on the City Council.
- Winning the 2009 Athena Women Leadership Award for her success as a female business leader.
- Conducting a citizens' survey of government in East Moline, the first person ever to do so.
Other Endorsements: EMILY's List, WCF, DCCC Red to Blue