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Democrat

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D)

Luis Gutierrez Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-8203

Address: 2408 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (773) 342-0774

Address: 3240 West Fullerton Avenue, Chicago IL 60647-2512

Luis Gutierrez Staff
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Sort by INTEREST NAME TITLE
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Rivlin, Douglas
Communications Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Coleman, Slim
Congressional Aide
Collins, Susan
Chief of Staff
Devora, Damaris
Congressional Aide
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Anariba, Sergio
Deputy District Director
Coleman, Slim
Congressional Aide
Collins, Susan
Chief of Staff
Devora, Damaris
Congressional Aide
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Rivlin, Douglas
Communications Director
Santoy, Julissa
Legislative Correspondent
Valencia, Claudia
Congressional Aide
Coleman, Slim
Congressional Aide
Devora, Damaris
Congressional Aide
Valencia, Claudia
Congressional Aide
Collins, Susan
Chief of Staff
Rivlin, Douglas
Communications Director
Anariba, Sergio
Deputy District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Paucar, Theresa
District Director
Johnson, Kathryn
Legislative Assistant; New Media Director
Santoy, Julissa
Legislative Correspondent
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Luis Gutierrez Committees
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Luis Gutierrez Biography
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  • Elected: 1992, 11th term.
  • District: Illinois 4
  • Born: Dec. 10, 1953, Chicago
  • Home: Chicago
  • Education:

    NE IL U., B.A. 1975

  • Professional Career:

    Teacher, Puerto Rico, 1977–78; Social wkr., Chicago Dept. of Children & Family Svcs., 1979–83; Advisor, Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, 1984–86.

  • Political Career:

    Chicago city alderman, 1986–92, Pres. pro tem, 1989–92.

  • Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino
  • Religion:

    Catholic

  • Family: Married (Soraida); 2 children

Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat elected in 1992 and the first Hispanic member of Congress from Illinois, has for years been the House’s most vocal advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, which he likens to the civil rights struggle. After President Barack Obama’s resounding electoral support among Latinos in 2012 led members of both parties to agree that the issue should be addressed, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joked that “the rest of America has caught up with Luis Gutierrez.” Read More

Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat elected in 1992 and the first Hispanic member of Congress from Illinois, has for years been the House’s most vocal advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, which he likens to the civil rights struggle. After President Barack Obama’s resounding electoral support among Latinos in 2012 led members of both parties to agree that the issue should be addressed, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel joked that “the rest of America has caught up with Luis Gutierrez.”

Gutierrez (goo-tee-AIR-ez) is of Puerto Rican descent and grew up in Chicago. As a student at Northeastern Illinois University in the 1970s, he joined a protest over the lack of basic English classes for students from other countries, which ended up with the protesters taking over an administration building. Gutierrez worked as a teacher for two years in Puerto Rico after college. When he returned to Chicago, he worked as a cab driver and social worker. In 1983, he ran for 32nd Ward committeeman against Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski and lost decisively. Then he became a staffer for Mayor Harold Washington, the city’s first black mayor. He ran for alderman in 1984 and lost. In 1986, he ran again and won in one of two new Hispanic-majority wards. After Washington died, Gutierrez backed Richard M. Daley in the 1989 election. Backing winners is a formula that works in Chicago politics. In the 1992 primary, for the new House seat, rival and former Alderman Juan Soliz called Gutierrez a machine candidate. Gutierrez won, 60%-40%. Since easily winning a rematch in 1994, Gutierrez has not had serious competition.

In the House, Gutierrez has staked out liberal positions, and is known for his feisty, blunt style. As a freshman, his outspoken opposition to congressional pay raises, including labeling the House “the belly of the beast” in a television interview, got him into hot water with Democratic leaders. “I’ve gotten my rear end kicked around here,” Gutierrez told The Washington Post. But he mended fences, and in 2011 was appointed to the Select Intelligence Committee.

As a former member of the Financial Services Committee, he proposed higher FDIC charges for big banks and lower fees for community banks in 2009. He also sponsored the $200 billion receivership fund (later reduced to $150 billion) for banks, which was included in the financial regulation bill of 2010. He called in March 2012 for the resignation of the Federal Home Financing Agency’s acting Director Edward DeMarco for not doing enough to help those facing foreclosure. “We are facing serious problems in the housing market, and we simply can’t use someone at FHFA who plugs his ears and refuses (to) try for workable solutions,” he said.

Gutierrez has traveled the country appearing at rallies and other events—occasionally getting arrested—in his quest for a bill that gives illegal immigrants a potential path to citizenship. Over the years, he has pushed to restore food stamp eligibility to legal immigrants, to grant automatic citizenship to immigrants in military combat, and legal status to immigrants without documentation who make major contributions in the United States. “I want to be a spokesperson for people that are new to this country,” he has said. In 2005, he was the lead Democratic sponsor of the House version of an overhaul in immigration policy, which passed the Senate in 2006 but died in the Republican-controlled House. In the 110th Congress (2007-08), he revived the bill with a provision to allow illegal immigrants who had been employed in the U.S. before June 1, 2006, to apply for “conditional non-immigrant status.” After an appearance on MSNBC to debate the immigration issue, Gutierrez got into a shoving match with then-Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, a Republican known for his tough, anti-illegal immigrant positions. Gutierrez said afterward, “It wasn’t my best moment.”

In March 2010, Gutierrez said he would vote against the Democrats’ sweeping health care bill because it barred illegal immigrants from the proposed insurance exchanges; two days before the vote, he switched and said he would vote yes. For much of the 111th Congress (2009-10), he pressed the Obama White House and the House Democratic leadership to advance comprehensive immigration legislation, to no avail, leading him to regularly rebuke the president. But he was also quick to praise Obama in June 2012 for issuing an executive order allowing people who entered the United States illegally as children to remain and work without fear of deportation for at least two years. “With one swoop of the pen, he has mended a relationship with the Latino community that has been frayed,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times. He blasted Obama’s rival, Mitt Romney, an immigration hard-liner, as someone who wanted to turn young children’s dreams into “nightmares.”

In the 113th Congress (2013-14), Gutierrez again played a leading role on immigration. He was part of a bipartisan group of House members that quietly met, off and on, for years to draft a proposal leading up to 2013. He began as an optimist, hoping that a friendship he struck with 2012 GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan -- the two worked out together at the House gym -- would prove useful. He repeatedly called for action, warning Republicans in May 2014 that if they didn't act, George W. Bush will be "the last Republican president in American history." But the Senate's passage of a bipartisan bill did nothing to move the legislation through the House, and by the following month Gutierrez urged Obama to act unilaterally. "Your chance to play a role in how immigration and deportation policies are carried out this year are over,” he told colleagues in an angry floor speech. “Having given ample time to craft legislation, you failed.”

Gutierrez has weighed in on Puerto Rican issues. He stoutly opposed the Democratic leadership’s bill mandating a referendum on the current commonwealth status in Puerto Rico, and, if that were rejected, giving Puerto Rican voters a choice between the current status and independence. “This bill is not the product of consensus. It does not provide for true self-determination. The two-step process in the bill is designed to craft an artificial majority for statehood,” he argued. The House passed the bill 223-169 in April 2010, but it died in the Senate.

In 2008, Gutierrez was the subject of unflattering news coverage about real estate deals with local developers. The Chicago Tribune reported that starting in 2002, Gutierrez had made about $421,000 by investing in half a dozen real estate deals with campaign supporters and then exiting a short time later. Gutierrez told the newspaper that he had made a profit in five of the deals but lost money on the sixth. Developer Calvin Boender, who loaned him $200,000 in a 2004 real estate deal, was convicted on bribery charges in March 2010. During the trial, there was testimony that Gutierrez helped Boender get a zoning change for a development on the West Side of Chicago.

Gutierrez was at the center of another ethics controversy in 2013, when USA Today reported that he had made payments from his official House account for a decade to a lobbying firm run by his former chief of staff. Members are barred from hiring consultants on short-term contracts for “general, non-legislative” purposes. Gutierrez denied any wrongdoing, and the House Ethics Committee declined in May 2014 to launch a full-scale investigation into the matter.

Though he often plays the rebel, Gutierrez has been capable of building bridges as well. In the past, he has brought together Chicago’s fractious Democratic politicians to maximize Latino influence. He considered running for mayor of Chicago, but decided against challenging Mayor Daley after Democrats regained the House majority in 2006. In early 2009, he announced he would retire from Congress but reversed that decision in time for the candidate filing deadline.

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Luis Gutierrez Election Results
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2012 General
Luis Gutierrez (D)
Votes: 133,226
Percent: 83.0%
Hector Concepcion (R)
Votes: 27,279
Percent: 17.0%
2012 Primary
Luis Gutierrez (D)
Unopposed
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (77%), 2008 (81%), 2006 (86%), 2004 (84%), 2002 (80%), 2000 (89%), 1998 (82%), 1996 (94%), 1994 (75%), 1992 (78%)
Luis Gutierrez Votes and Bills
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National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 84 (L) : 15 (C) 81 (L) : 19 (C) 87 (L) : 12 (C)
Social 84 (L) : 16 (C) 81 (L) : 15 (C) 70 (L) : 30 (C)
Foreign 94 (L) : - (C) 85 (L) : 14 (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Composite 88.5 (L) : 11.5 (C) 83.2 (L) : 16.8 (C) 83.8 (L) : 16.2 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC100
LCV9491
CFG318
ITIC-45
NTU1418
20112012
COC20-
ACLU-76
ACU00
ADA8590
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote:
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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