Monday, June 21, 2021

Anti-gun violence activist Kina Collins announces primary challenge to Illinois Democrat Danny Davis

Davis has been the target of progressive rebels in recent cycles, seeing the total slip of his vote each time he wins. He faced three challengers in 2020, including Collins, who is now running with the support of Justice Democrats as he seeks to strengthen leftist opposition to Davis.

Collins joins a growing slate of Justice Democrat-backed primary challengers on the 2022 ticket, which includes Odessa Kelly in Tennessee And new york Rana Abdelhamid. The group has also supported former state Sen. Nina TurnerThe Democratic primary bid in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, where a special election is on tap this year to fill the seat of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, who left Congress to join the Biden administration. Despite the poor performance of House Democrats in 2020, progressive people increased their share of seats in the party’s narrow majority, adding to the growing influence of the Left on Capitol Hill.

If Collins succeeds in depriving Davis of another term, it would mark the second consecutive primary cycle in which a Justice Democrat-backed candidate in Illinois edged out an incumbent in his second attempt – Rep. Following Mary Newman’s defeat of former Rep. Dan Lipinski in 2020. Collins took nearly a third of the anti-Davis vote last year, splitting it with Anthony Clarke, who previously challenged Davis in 2018 with Justice Democrats’ support and Christine Shanbacher.

Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, said, “From leading the gun violence prevention movement in Illinois to fighting for Medicare for all and holding elected officials accountable after the murder of Lacquan McDonald, Kina has already served her community.” Has given results for. ” in a statement. “The people of this district are ready for a new generation of leadership who will appear in Congress everyday and fight for the change of needs of their community.”

In an interview, Collins noted the second-chance successes of Newman and Missouri Rep. Corey Bush, who defeated longtime Rep. William Lacey Clay in 2020 after failing in his first attempt in 2018. And like Rep. Jamal Bowman of New York, who won his primary last year by arguing that then-Rep. After Eliot Engel lost contact with the district he had represented for three decades, Collins said Davis – despite the congressman’s liberal voting record and progressive roots – had never been a sufficiently adequate advocate for his constituents.

Collins told CNN, “I have been in community meetings after community meetings on urgent issues like health care and gun violence, and Congressman Davis is not yet visible.” “We are in a watershed moment coming out of this epidemic, and in this recession we need someone who is organizing in the frontline of the district. These immediate crises require immediate leadership.”

Collins’s active work was recognized by then-President-Elect Joe Biden’s team when he was asked to join the Transition Task Force on gun violence.

“I’m working on this issue at every level, and it’s one of the top issues in our district,” Collins said. “The people of the city of Chicago, the people of the western suburbs, they want a solution and they want to make sure that they are going to elect someone who is going to fight for prevention and response.”

Collins also criticized Davis for his willingness to accept corporate PAC donations, which he administered the oath, and he expressed confidence that there would be no division of the progressive vote in 2022.

“I think we’re going to make it clear that I’m a progressive challenger that progressive groups need to back down,” Collins said, pointing to Justice Democrats’ decision and other early support, including the Women’s March of Illinois . “We are forming the Rainbow Alliance.”

Davis, who was first elected in 1996, is a member of the Congress Progressive Caucus, supports “Medicare for All” and has signed the House version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York representative of the Green New Deal.

He has also been a vocal supporter of the new gun control law. His grandson, 15-year-old Jevon Wilson, was shot and killed in 2016. Residents of the 7th District of Illinois, one of the most disappointing in Congress (a distinction that is unlikely to change in the upcoming redistricting process), have long faced high rates of gun violence, Which has increased Over the past year there and across the country.

In 2019, Davis testified before the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, on which he sits on his first-hand knowledge of the “personal costs” of gun violence.

“I know how it feels for a loved one whose life was needlessly erased for no apparent reason,” Davis said. “I have attended the funerals of many children in our communities whose amazing lives were interrupted by gun violence. I feel devastated.”

Collins has also come face to face with gun-related bloodshed and trauma.

She said, “I not only witnessed the murder of a child in front of my house, where I was able to identify the shooter and the victim,” but I moved forward after the incident, which changed the entire trajectory of my life. Organize locally and nationally for the prevention of gun violence. “

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the name of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge.

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