A champion for Illinois working families
Rep. Lauren Underwood is a champion for Illinois working families who ran for reelection to Congress to expand economic opportunity for all. She is a registered nurse with hands-on experience in our health care system and an experienced leader who has dedicated her career to expanding all Americans’ access to quality, affordable care. When she was 8 years old, she discovered that she had a heart condition — and the health care providers who treated and helped her manage her condition inspired her to pursue a career in nursing. President Obama appointed her to serve as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where she helped communities across the country prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats, and public health emergencies. She worked tirelessly to help implement the Affordable Care Act — broadening access for those on Medicare, improving health care quality, and reforming private insurance for working families across the country. She then worked for a Medicaid-managed health care plan in Chicago, helping clinical staff ensure the plan provides high-quality, cost-efficient care to Illinois families. Rep. Underwood has also taught a graduate-level nursing course, helping to grow the next generation of nurse practitioners. Illinois’ 14th Congressional District had never before been represented by a woman or a Black representative in Congress until she became the first with her historic 2018 victory. Rep. Underwood lives in Naperville, Illinois — the community where she is proud to have grown up and attended public schools.
A fighter dedicated to expanding economic opportunity
Rep. Underwood is dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for all Illinoisans and to creating good-paying jobs so that hardworking families and their communities can thrive. She has worked tirelessly to help pass the landmark COVID-19 relief package to get direct payments to families and individuals, speed up COVID-19 vaccinations, safely reopen schools, and support essential workers and small businesses. The legislation includes a provision introduced and championed by Rep. Underwood to lower health care costs for American families. “Too many Americans can’t afford health coverage, and too many people who have coverage are being crushed by expensive premiums,” she has said. Rep. Underwood is a courageous leader who is deeply committed to public service. “If we take the time to talk to each other — there are so many people who feel like they haven’t been seen,” she has said. “This is not about policy to me. This is about representation. Do you feel like someone has your back?” Rep. Underwood champions policies that help move Illinois and our country forward for all working families, and now more than ever, we need her experience and perspective in Congress.
Victory in a must-win reelection fight
Rep. Underwood flipped this seat blue in 2018, and she successfully defended it in 2020 in one of the closest elections in the country. With so much of our progress at stake, we showed Rep. Underwood the full support of the EMILY’s List community and helped keep this champion for Illinois working families in the House.