Danny K. Davis is endorsed by the Sun-Times. Read the endorsement.
Danny K. Davis
District running for: IL07
Political/civic background: Danny K. Davis was chosen by the people of the 7th Congressional District of Illinois as their Representative in Congress on November 5, 1996. He has been re-elected by large majorities to succeeding Congresses.
In the 114th Congress, Representative Davis serves on the Committee on Ways and Means. Congressman Davis is a member of several Congressional Caucuses including the Congressional Black Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, the Urban Caucus, the Community Health Center's Caucus, and the Congressional Sugar Caucus.
Congressman Davis has distinguished himself as an articulate voice for his constituents and as an effective legislator able to move major bills to passage. He has developed a unique and energetic style of communication and interaction with his constituents setting up dozens of advisory task forces to consider significant questions of public policy. He hosts several weekly television and radio shows which feature audience call in and
produces regular written reports to every household in the district. In addition, he maintains weekly office hours in the district and is widely sought after as a speaker at district events.
In the 114th Congress Representative Davis has indicated a focus on issues of job creation, poverty, health care, education, youth and criminal justice reform. Prior to his election to the Congress he served on the Cook County Board of Commissioners having been elected in November 1990 and reelected in November 1994. Previously, he served for eleven years as a member of the Chicago City Council as Alderman of the 29th Ward.
Before seeking public office Congressman Davis had productive careers as an educator, community organizer, health planner/administrator and civil rights advocate. He has received hundreds of awards and citations for outstanding work in the areas of health, education, human relations, politics and advocacy including six honorary Doctorate
Degrees from well known Colleges and Universities. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and has spent time in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and in South and Central America. Born in Parkdale, Arkansas, on September 6, 1941, Congressman Davis moved to the Westside of Chicago in 1961, after having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from
Arkansas A.M. & N. College. He subsequently earned both Masters and Doctorate degrees respectively from Chicago State University and the Union Institute in Cincinnati, He is married to Vera G. Davis, has two sons, Jonathan and Stacey, and is a member and Deacon of the New Galilee M.B. Church.
Occupation: Member of Congress
Education: Arkansas A.M. & N. College BA
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Chicago State University MS
Union Institute PhD
Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board questionnaire responses
Q) What are your three top national legislative priorities for the country?
A) job creation and poverty reduction; health care, education, and criminal justice reform.
Q: What are the three most important issues in your district on which you believe the federal government needs to act?
A) job creation and poverty reduction; health care, education, and criminal justice reform.
Q) What is your biggest fundamental difference with your opponent(s)?
A) I am energized by the regularly renewed mandate given by the people of the 7th Congressional District for the vision I have offered for the future of the District and the nation; enthused by the response to my outreach to involve residents in participating in the setting of an issues/legislative agenda and humbled and appreciative of the people’s response to the record of my tenure in the Congress
Q) Will you pledge to make public: a) your campaign schedule; b) your fundraiser schedule and the names of all fundraiser hosts ; c) if elected, your daily schedule of meetings? If not, why not?
A) Yes, my office will be happy to respond to all such requests.
Q) Please list all relatives on public or campaign payrolls and their jobs on those payrolls.
A) Campaign: sons Jonathan and Stacey, my wife, Vera G. Davis serves as my campaign treasurer without compensation. Public: none.
Q) What are the most important actions Congress can take to reduce the threat of ISIS abroad and at home?
A) Commitment to a consistent, long term strategy based on the broadest possible global alliance, including states which may not be allies but which may have significant interests in combating ISIS, aimed at finding a political solution to building sustainable, representative governments in the region and rejection of short term, “quick fixes” imposed by unilateral or narrowly based military actions. Our recent diplomatic breakthroughs with Russia regarding Syria are an example of what I believe should be our direction.
Q) What bans, if any, do you support on Muslim admissions to the United States? Please explain your position.
Q) Specifically, how would you have, or how did you, vote on the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015 and its efforts to make it harder for Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the U.S.? Please explain your position.
A) I voted NO. I believe the security protocols the Administration has in place are sufficient to protect our nation and that the potential for harm to Americans is far greater from the international projection of religious and/or national discrimination represented by the bill and its corrosive effects on our most basic constitutional freedoms. Our nation has rightly enjoyed a special place in the eyes of the world as a moral standard and welcoming home for the oppressed and dispossessed which we should not abandon.
Q) Do you support a Syrian no-fly zone or the U.S. enforcement of Syrian humanitarian safe zones? Why or why not?
A) I do not support the notion of the United States as the world’s “policeman.” Military actions should flow from and be guided by a diplomatic consensus on the road to a political solution.
Q) Regarding the House Benghazi Select Committee, should its investigation remain open-ended, or should the panel be given a deadline to complete its work? Please explain.
A) Panel should be given a short deadline as this has turned into a political witch hunt rather than a legitimate Congressional investigation.
Q) What measures, if any, do you support to give U.S. authorities access to encrypted or “dark web” communications about potential terrorist plots? Please explain.
A) Experts in cybernetics agree that there is no way to create a “back door” to encryption which cannot be broken by criminal or state sponsored hackers. Encryption is a critical tool in modern computing and weakening encryption standards would expose vast arrays of infrastructure, finance, and national security to attack, not to mention our generally recognized constitutional guarantees of privacy.
Q) Do you support transferring the detention of terrorism suspects from Guantanamo Bay to the United States? Why or why not?
A) I support transferring remaining detainees and closing Guantanamo. We have the facilities to securely and less expensively house detainees while we bring all appropriate legal action.
Q) What is the single most important action Congress can take to reduce U.S. gun violence?
A) Keep guns out of the wrong hands: universal background checks, gun locks to prevent children from access, getting tough on illegal gun sales and transfers
Q) Do you support or oppose the ‘‘Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act?” Please explain your position.
A) I support this legislation even though it raises complex legal questions about the determination of “intent” which might be applied to actions other than regulation of weapons.
Q) Do you believe there is scientific evidence of climate change, and is it caused by human activity? What is your position on the Paris climate change agreement?
A) I believe, and more importantly, science supports climate change initiated by human action. I welcome the Paris agreement but believe it will require sustained effort to make its goals a reality.
Q) What changes, if any, to the U.S. tax code do you support and why?
A) I support a progressive tax code based upon ability to pay and closing loopholes which enable corporations and wealthy individuals the escape their fair share of taxes.
Q) What are the most important actions Congress can take to ensure the solvency of Social Security?
A) Remove the cap on income over $250,000.
Q) Do you support a “risk fee” on big banks? Why or why not?
A) Yes. Our experience with the Great Recession clearly demonstrates the need for such an approach.
Q) Should Obamacare be overturned, left intact, or changed — and if so how?
A) I strongly support Obamacare and would move to extend and expand it to a Medicare for all model. I am a co-sponsor of HR 676 and have been a co-sponsor of such legislation for my entire tenure in the House.
Q) Do you favor stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood? Why or why not?
A) I do not favor de-funding Planned Parenthood. I have seen no evidence of wrong doing by Planned Parenthood and there is extensive evidence of the critially important role they play in women’s health in America.
Q) President Obama used his executive powers to prevent the deportation of "DREAMers—youths who came to the U.S. illegally as children with their parents. Would you support legislation to prevent DREAMer deportations? Do you support putting DREAMers on a path to citizenship?
A) Yes to both questions.
Q) What congressional reforms do you favor to address America’s student loan crisis?
A) I have sponsored and co-sponsored several pieces of legislation on student loans over the years and would support making public colleges tuition free for all.