Danny K. Davis Biography

Danny K. Davis

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, most recently to the 111th Congress on November 7, 2008.

In the 111th Congress, Representative Davis serves on the Committee on Ways and Means and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Congressman Davis is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Co-Chairman of the Community Health Centers Caucus, Co-Chairman of the Congressional Sugar Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, the India Caucus, the Steel Caucus, the Art Caucus and the Hellenic Caucus to name a few.

Congressman Davis has distinguished himself as an articulate voice for his constituents and as an effective legislator able to move major bills to passage despite his relative lack of seniority. His initiative to quadruple The Access to Jobs Program funding in the 105th Congress and his Bipartisan American Community Renewal Act and New Markets Initiative in the 106th Congress, designed to bring investment and jobs to economically impacted communities, are examples of his successes. Other major legislative successes include the Suicide Prevention Act, The Sickle Cell Anemia Prevention and Treatment Act and the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act.

In the 110th Congress, Davis introduced legislation to facilitate the return of ex-offenders to the community-at-large: the Second Chance Act. This legislation was signed into law on April 9, 2008.

Davis 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 and sponsors more than 40 Town Hall meetings each year.

Prior to his election to 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. 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.

Congressman Davis is noted for his volunteer and political work. He has
served as Founder/President of the Westside Association for Community Action, President of the National Association of Community Health Centers, was a member of the Harold Washington Campaign Committee and Transition Team in 1983, a co-chair of the Clinton/Gore/Braun campaigns in 1992, and has been an officer and member of many other civic, professional and social organizations.

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 Master's and Doctorate degrees respectively from Chicago State University and the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.

His numerous accomplishments include:

  • Sponsored legislation to restore fairness in student lending
  • Sponsored legislation to spur economic development in real estate
  • Launched an effort to promote innovation and sustainability of America's small biotechnology industries to develop new medicines to cure diseases
  • Sponsored the Second Chance Act
  • Sponsored legislation that nationally recognized Predominately
    Black Institutions
  • Secured 1.2 million for each newly recognized PBIs, Chicago
    State University, Malcolm X, Olive-Harvey College, Kennedy-King College
  • Researched and released a report "Restoration: Re-establishing
    African American Families and Communities"
  • Sponsored legislation to expand quality programs of early childhood home visitation that increase school readiness, child abuse and neglect prevention, and early identification of developmental and health delays
  • Sponsored legislation to provide for greater diversity within and to improve policy direction and oversight of the Senior Executive Service
  • Sponsored legislation to amend Title V, United States Code, to increase the maximum age to qualify for coverage as a "child" under the health benefits program for Federal employees
  • Sponsored legislation to amend Title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure funding for grants to promote responsible fatherhood and strengthen low-income families and for other purposes
  • Sponsored legislation to amend the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act to include bullying and harassment prevention programs
  • Sponsored legislation to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income amounts received for services by a student at a work-college
  • Sponsored legislation to allow employees of federally-qualified
    health centers to obtain health coverage under Chapter 89 of Title V, the United States Code
  • Sponsored legislation to reauthorize the grant program for reentry of offenders into the community in the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 to improve reentry planning and implementation
  • Sponsored legislation to amend Title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide individuals with disabilities and older Americans with equal access to community-based attendant services and supports
  • Sponsored legislation to amend Title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure funding for grants to promote responsible fatherhood and strengthen low-income families
  • Sponsored legislation to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965
    to authorize grant programs to enhance the access of low-income Black students to higher education
  • Sponsored legislation to study the access to and success in education of minority males, including high school graduation and college participation
  • Sponsored legislation to amend the McKinney-Vento Homeless
    Assistance Act to provide for the implementation of protection and
    services for children and youths in out of home care, and for other
    purposes
 City Council
  • Sponsored legislation prohibiting retaliatory action against tenants who complained to officials or the press or join a tenants' organization
  • Sponsored legislation that prohibits sex discrimination at private clubs above specified size