U.S. Senate Candidate Barack Obama


Senator Barack Obama represents Illinois’13th State Senate District, which includes areas of Chicago’s South Side. He was elected to a third term in 2002. Obama is the chairman of the Public Health and Welfare Committee. He credits himself with expansion of the KidCare and FamilyCare programs to provide insurance for 20,000 more children and 65,000 more families in Illinois.

2004 U.S. Senate Candidate Illinois State Senator Barack Obama

Obama received his BA in Political Science from Columbia University. He spent five years working as a community organizer, first in Harlem, then in Chicago. Obama served as Illinois Executive Director of PROJECT VOTE!, which added over 100,000 newly registered voters in Illinois. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Obama was the first African-American Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Law Review.

Obama was also a member of the Executive Board of the Black Law Students Association. Obama is a civil rights attorney and is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches constitutional law.

Health Care: “We’ve got a healthcare crisis in this country, and an Administration that’s more concerned about protecting drug and insurance companies than in protecting the health of our families and children.”

Welfare Reform: “Despite our failing economy and the pronounced loss of jobs, the Bush Administration is trying to increase work requirements, and divert over $1 billion out of an already meager $17 billion budget to marriage promotion instead of allocating additional funds for child care, which is crucial for parents to maintain steady jobs.”

Affordable Housing: “There is a significant and growing shortage of affordable housing throughout the country. This is caused by the fact that inflation adjusted income for the bottom two income quintiles has remained flat since 1975 while housing prices have increased, and that affordable housing units are disappearing due to condo conversions and the demolition of public housing.

“The most important step that must be taken immediately is to urge Congress to provide the funds necessary to support the thousands of Housing Choice Vouchers that have already been distributed, as well as to continue to support those families in the direst need. The Administration and Congress must either agree to provide more funds for the voucher program, or must identify additional funds already available at HUD from prior-year appropriations or other sources and direct that sufficient amounts of such funds be used to cover the vouchers that would otherwise be left unfunded. Failure to take one or both of these steps is likely to result in an unprecedented reduction in assistance under the voucher program.”

Crime and Violence: “As a state senator, I have worked tirelessly on sponsoring key pieces of criminal justice legislation. I was the chief sponsor of the first in the nation law requiring the videotaping of interrogations and confessions in homicide cases. This was as a result of the 13 men exonerated from Death Row as a result of false or coerced confessions. I also sponsored racial profiling legislation, and a bill which removed the restriction against non-violent ex-offenders from obtaining a required state license for certain types of work, including barbers, cosmetologists, landscapers, etc. This bill was an important first step to curb recidivism and reintegrate ex-offenders back into society fully.

Obama relates poverty with joblessness in American society, saying “three million jobs have been lost on President Bush’s watch, more than 200,000 in Illinois. Millions more are losing their health insurance with their jobs and poverty levels are increasing, particularly among children and African-Americans.

“We need a real jobs policy for this nation, and it starts with changing tax breaks for companies to move jobs overseas into tax incentives for them to site new plants and jobs here at home.”

As a United States Senator, Obama promises “to lead the fight to protect pensions from corporate greed and corruption, provide affordable health coverage to all Americans, make big drug companies reduce the cost of prescription drugs and relieve taxes for working families instead of the very rich.”

Obama describes himself as a proud husband and father of two young daughters. He is also a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

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