Mujica Challenges Incumbent Lipinski in 3rd District (Bridgeport)
January 28, 2010

By Susan S. Stevens

Dan Lipinski

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski is being challenged by one candidate, Jorge Mujica, in the Democratic primary in the 3rd Congressional District, which begins in Bridgeport and swings across the Southwest Side into the suburbs.

Dan Lipinski in recent years often has voted with the Democratic majority in Congress, tending to build alliances by cosponsoring much legislation. A bill he introduced with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI.) in December calls for the Buy American Improvement Act, designed to create American jobs. It is pending in Congress. “I really continued to be focused this past year on job creation,” Lipinski said.

Another focus is on transportation.

“Chicago is the railroad crossroads of the country.” Thus, Lipinski said, “If Chicago is going to be economically strong, it is important to have a good transportation system here.”

While on the House Transportation Committee, he has worked on transportation proposals for the area. He is on the House Committees of Science and Technology, Small Business, and Transportation and Infrastructure. For health care, Lipinski wants to see everyone in the country covered. He also wants to increase funding for various local projects, including after-school programs.

Lipinski was elected to Congress in 2004, replacing his father, 22-year U.S. Rep. William Lipinski. Before that, Lipinski was on the faculties of University of Tennessee and Notre Dame University in 2000 to 2001. He previously worked for Congressmen Rod Blagojevich, Jerry Costello, Richard Gephardt, and George Sangmeister and for Cook County State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley when those individuals held those offices.

“I have always focused on taking care of people back home,” Lipinski said. “I have really worked hard in Washington to deliver for my constituents.”

A Western Springs resident, Lipinski has a PhD in political science from Duke University.

Jorge Mujica
Jorge Mujica views his candidacy as part of a movement to have grassroots organizers and the immigrant community represented in Congress. The community activist and former journalist and union organizer lives in Berwyn. He emigrated from Mexico 23 years ago and holds dual citizenship. The district has 75,000 immigrants who deserve “real representation,” he said. He has been a leader of immigration rights marches in Chicago, supports comprehensive health care reform, opposes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and advocates for human rights everywhere.

“Everyday working people need their resources to be invested in children, not wars,” he said. “We all deserve equal access to health care, freedom to organize and unionize for fair wages, a good and dignified education, and housing. Immigrants deserve the right to work legally and keep their families united.”

Mujica, 54, arrived in Chicago in 1988 to be editor of the newspaper Sin Fronteras. At the same time, he taught English, civics, and U.S. history classes to immigrants who sought citizenship. He later worked at the Illinois Migrant Council and the Chicago Area Committee on Occupational Safety and Health; participated in labor union campaigns; worked on HIV-AIDS issues; was president of the Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition; and worked at Univision, Telemundo, and La Raza.

Mujica said Lipinski arrived in Congress “because his dad gave him the seat.” He said Lipinski has “ignored” most of the district and is “anti-immigrant.”

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