A champion for Illinois women and families
Cheri Bustos was born and raised in Illinois, and her parents taught her the importance of hard work, community, and helping others. After graduating from college and earning a master’s degree in journalism, Cheri made the Quad-Cities her home over 25 years ago and began her career reporting on crime, city government, health care, and other issues in her community. She and her husband, Gerry, live in Moline, and they are the proud parents of three sons and grandparents of two. Cheri left journalism to work for a nonprofit health system, where she fought to improve access to care for area families and help the disadvantaged navigate the health care system. She is a longtime community leader and has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Connection, one of Illinois’ largest women’s membership organizations, and has volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters-Quad-Cities, Two Rivers YMCA in Moline, and United Way of the Quad-Cities Area. Cheri served her local community as an alderwoman on the city council in East Moline, and she founded and chaired the East Moline Downtown Revitalization Committee. Her top priority has always been increasing economic opportunity for Illinois women and families. In 2012, Cheri defeated a Tea Party incumbent to become the first woman elected to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District. When she took office, Cheri got to work immediately, helping pass a critical bipartisan farm bill and sponsoring legislation to save local manufacturing jobs threatened by budget cuts. Cheri will continues her work as a tireless champion for Illinois women and families.
An advocate for economic opportunity in Illinois
Job creation and economic development are Cheri’s top priorities because she understands that too many working families continue to struggle to get by in Illinois and around our country. She helped bring together economic development and community leaders to launch “Partnering for Illinois’ Economic Future,” an ongoing initiative to share best practices and generate ideas that will help move Illinois forward. Cheri will continue to fight for innovative solutions to grow Illinois’ economy and strengthen the middle class. Health care is a deeply personal issue to Cheri, who has lost two family members to cancer after high costs tragically limited their treatment options. She is a tireless advocate for policies that help more families afford quality health care. Cheri urges Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, and she has said, “Equal pay is not simply a women's issue, it is an issue for all middle-class families.” Cheri continues to champion women’s economic security.
A strong leader making an impact
Cheri has an outstanding record of fighting for Illinois women and families, and the EMILY’s List community is proud of her continued leadership. She is committed to strengthening the middle class, defending women’s rights, ensuring all working families get a fair shot, and protecting Social Security and Medicare. The EMILY’s List community is excited to stand with Cheri, a champion for women and families.