February 28, 2024

Candidate Bios: 7th District U.S. House of Representatives

By Kristen Hodge

Name: Danny Davis 
Party: Democratic Party
Race/office: U.S House of Representatives, Illinois 7th district
Age: 82
Danny Davis photoResidence: Chicago
Current position/office: U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 7th congressional district for 27 years.
Previous positions: Served on the Chicago City Council from 1979 to 1990, Cook County Commissioner from 1990 to 1996
Bio: Davis was born in 1941 in Parkdale, Arkansas. He moved to Chicago in 1961 and obtained a bachelor’s degree at Arkansas A.M. & N. College, a master’s from Chicago State University, and a doctorate from Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Campaign finance: Davis has raised $383,759.09 and spent $284,077.62 on his campaign, according to the FEC.
Largest donors: John W. Roger, Huijing Zhou, and Ammar Tank all contributed the highest number of $3,300. The top donors are recent supporters of his campaign.
Stances on key issues: Believes healthcare reform is necessary to give all Americans access to affordable healthcare. Supports reforming the criminal justice system and combating systemic racism within it. Supports comprehensive immigration reform that gives undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. Supports measures aimed at reducing income disparity and giving working-class households more financial opportunities.
What it means if he wins: He would probably prioritize social justice and progressive measures. Davis intends to support and advocate his intended focuses if he is re-elected into Illinois’s 7th district.
In quotes: “I am running based on my record as a progressive, an advocate and voice for those whose voices are not adequately heard or represented in the Congress. I run based on my record of representing the interests of the people of the 7th Congressional District and confirmed by the overwhelming support I have received at the polls.”
Personal/miscellaneous: Davis is a father of two and is married to Vera G. Stacy.
Website: Davis.House.gov/

Name: Kina Collins
Party: Democratic Party
Race/office: U.S House of Representatives, Illinois 7th district
Age: 32
Residence: Chicago
Kina Collins photoCurrent position/office: National organizer and activist
Previous positions: Worked as a regional organizer at Generation Progress, founding the Chicago Neighborhood Alliance, and working as a national organizer for the Physicians for a National Health Program. She has run for this office previously in the 2020 Democratic primary election and lost to Danny Davis.
Bio: She grew up in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on the West Side, where she was born in 1991. Her community was severely damaged by gun violence, poor healthcare systems, a lack of economic opportunities, and closed neighborhood schools while she was growing up in a working-class union family. Collins has sought to eliminate systematic disparities and has been a supporter of marginalized populations.
Campaign finance: She has raised $58,234 and has spent $47,906 on her campaign, according to the FEC.
Largest donors: Mostly small donations.  Frank Samuel, Act Blue, and Libbey Paul are her largest donors and supporters of her campaign.  Samuel donated $400. Act Blue; a fundraising platform, donated $100 twice. Libbey Paul also donated $100.
Stances on key issues: Believes all Americans should have access to healthcare. Supports criminal justice reform, enforcing police accountability, and putting a stop to mass incarceration.Advocates for measures to reduce economic inequality
What it means if she wins: If Collins prevails, the people living in Illinois’s 7th Congressional District will see a change in their elected representatives toward a more liberal outlook. Her win would prioritize the interests of marginalized populations in Congress and raise attention to social justice issues.
In quotes: “I don’t believe in the politics of leaving people behind.”
Personal/miscellaneous: Her mother worked as a crossing guard and certified nurse assistant, and she attended Chicago public schools. Her father worked at a factory.
Website: Kinacollins.com

Name: Melissa Conyears-Ervin
Party: Democratic Party
Race/office: U.S House of Representatives, Illinois 7th district
Age: 48
Residence: Chicago
Current position/office: Chicago City Treasurer
Melissa Conyears-Ervin photoPrevious positions: She has worked in finance and public service for many years, and she was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives.
Bio: Conyears-Ervin graduated from Roosevelt University with a master’s degree in business administration. She has worked for Allstate and CS Insurance Strategies for more than 15 years in the insurance business.
Campaign finance: She has raised $516,349 and spent $225,157 on her campaign, according to the FEC.
Largest donors: Her largest donors are Arnold Harris, Andy Hochberg, and Herald Johnson who all support her campaign, and donated the same amount of $500.
Stance on key issues: Supports programs aimed at giving marginalized groups better access to banking resources and raising their level of financial knowledge. Advocates for measures that will reduce wealth disparity and advance economic growth, especially in underprivileged communities.
What it means if she wins: Conyears- Ervin is running for Davis’ seat in the house. She would represent ongoing leadership in overseeing the state’s economic affairs and carrying out programs to support economic equality and security.
In quotes: “I had to fight for everything that I have. I hate seeing so much hopelessness because I know anyone can do it, if I could.”
Personal/miscellaneous: She actively volunteers and serves as a mentor to young women in her spare time.
Website: Melissaforcongress.org

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