Second activist announces bid to succeed Davis

Kina Collins files papers to run for 7th Congressional District seat

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By Michael Romain

Staff Reporter

Another candidate has announced her run for the Illinois 7th Congressional District seat. Gun violence prevention advocate Kina Collins filed the paperwork establishing her candidacy on May 13, her campaign announced. 

According to the statement her campaign released, Collins, a native of Chicago's Austin community, co-authored legislation signed into law in 2018 that established the Illinois Council on Women and Girls — a body that advises the governor on gender policies in Illinois. 

Some of the goals of the council include helping to end the gender pay gap, bolstering legal protections against workplace sexual harassment, and confronting domestic violence, among others. 

Currently, Collins is a national organizer with Physicians for a National Health Program — a 20,000-member organization comprising medical doctors, medical students and other health care professionals who support universal, single-payer health insurance. 

She's also a leader with Generation Progress — a progressive research and advocacy group created by the Center for American Progress, a liberal public policy think tank — and the founder of the Chicago Neighborhood Alliance. 

In her role with Generation Progress, Collins worked to launch the Beyond the Gun Campaign, a national violence prevention initiative. 

In her statement, she said the 7th Congressional District, "the most diverse" in the state, has "some of the greatest disparities in the country. The residents of our district deserve a fighter. We deserve full access to quality health care, neighborhoods and school zones free of gun violence, and reforms to a criminal justice system that disproportionately targets the lives of men and women of color." 

On her campaign website, Collins advocates for the implementation of a single-payer Medicare for All health care system, supports safe and legal abortions, calls for the defunding Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and supports a $15 federal minimum wage. Collins' campaign noted that a full policy platform will be available on the website in the fall. 

In February 2018, Collins quit her position with the campaign of then-candidate for governor, J.B. Pritzker, over racially insensitive comments he made about black politicians, namely Secretary of State Jesse White and former Senate President Emil Jones, during a leaked phone conversation with then-governor Rod Blagojevich. 

"The 26-year-old Austin resident joined Pritzker's campaign last November as a West Side organizer," according to an ABC 7 report published at the time. "But when she heard the tapes from 2009 where Pritzker and Rod Blagojevich were talking about possible candidates to fill Barack Obama's Senate seat and Pritzker called Jesse White the 'least offensive' black candidate and Emil Jones too 'crass,' Collins quit the Pritzker campaign."

"It was the thought of having to come back to my community and defend those comments which I couldn't reconcile with, and so because of that I had to draw a line in the sand and leave the campaign," Collins told reporters. 

Collins is at least the second candidate under 40 to publicly announce a bid to succeed the powerful Danny K. Davis, the 7th District's longtime incumbent. Oak Park teacher and activist Anthony Clark announced last month that he would make a second bid for the office. 

Davis beat Clark, 74-26 percent, in the Democratic Primary election on March 20, 2018. Davis has so far not publicly unannounced his intentions. The next Democratic Party primaries are in 2020.

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com  

Reader Comments

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Bruce Kline  

Posted: June 4th, 2019 6:20 PM

Don't worry Tom. Ms. Collins won't be "... in charge of anything" since she and our own Anthony Clark will split the anti Danny Davis contingent - which is miniscule to begin with.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: June 4th, 2019 4:06 PM

Do any of these politicians have real world jobs where they actually make something or provide a service people want? These made up activist and "leader" jobs are not very convincing as reasons we need this person to be in charge of anything. At least Pritzker worked hard to inherit everything he has before jamming more taxes on the rest of us.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: June 4th, 2019 2:53 PM

Yes, however is the post correct?

Frank Ringhofer  

Posted: June 4th, 2019 1:23 PM

The below comment looks like it was written by the Faux News editorial board or the Koch brothers. Makes me want to support KC even more.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: May 27th, 2019 11:40 PM

Mr. Kelly: 1. The gender pay gap is nothing more than a political ploy. Men on average work 45 minutes more per day than women. That alone accounts for 75% of the pay gap. I could go on and cite statistics where men are 10 times more likely to be killed work than women, etc. but not enough space. 2. Single payer healthcare would be a debacle since the single payer would be the federal gov't. EVERYTHING the feds touch becomes inefficient and overpriced. (i.e. post office, VA, HUD, Fannie Mae, etc.). The last thing I want in my life is more gov't intervention. 3. The $15 minimum wage would harm the people who need the work the most. Everytime minimum wage goes up the unemployment rate for black youth increases exponentially. It's a statistical fact. I know it sounds good for gov't to give everyone a raise, but economics doesn't work like that. Whenever the gov't attempts to control the market (i.e. interest rates, oil, wages, etc.) it always goes awry. Why make it more expensive to hire people? Small business owners are the economic engine of this country. There are only a handful of Jeff Bezos in the world. Not everything in economic terms should be relative to Amazon. Stop watching mainstream media and look at the raw data. I.E don't look at the unemployment rate, instead look at the labor participation rate.

Jim Kelly  

Posted: May 27th, 2019 7:03 PM

Ms. Lopez, please elaborate why you disagree with each point in her platform.

Ramona Lopez  

Posted: May 22nd, 2019 10:50 PM

I don't agree with a single thing on Ms Collin's platform, but I respect her for leaving the Pritzker campaign.

Jeanine Pedersen from Oak Park  

Posted: May 22nd, 2019 5:52 PM

What a resume! I look forward to hearing more about Ms. Collins

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