Cheri Bustos was born in the Illinois state capitol of Springfield into a family that taught her the importance of hard work, caring for others and public service.
While working as a young reporter in the Quad-Cities, Cheri met a rookie cop named Gerry Bustos who she fell in love with and married. They raised three sons together in East Moline, in the same house where they still live today. Gerry is now the Under-Sheriff of Rock Island County and Commander of the Quad-Cities Bomb Squad. Their three sons are grown.
Throughout her career in journalism, Cheri used her pen to help her community. She uncovered numerous stories of corruption and greed in government, winning state and national awards for her work on behalf of the public interest. That same commitment to doing what’s right and striving for excellence continues to drive her today.
Twelve years ago, Cheri left journalism to work for one of the nation’s largest non-profit health care systems. At her job, she helped the disadvantaged navigate the health care system and worked to improve the quality of health care available to families throughout the region.
Cheri has long been active in her community, serving on numerous nonprofit boards and as the President of the Women’s Connection, one of Illinois’ largest women’s organizations. In 2007, her commitment to public service and desire to further give back to the community, led Cheri to run for local office.
Cheri was elected to serve on the City Council in East Moline for two terms and made her top priority economic development, which led to her founding the East Moline Downtown Revitalization Committee. Her success is evident in a more vibrant downtown where dilapidated buildings have been demolished to make room for new developments such as the recently opened Community Health Care clinic. She also is a past member of the East Moline Citizens Advisory Committee and the East Moline Plan Commission.
Cheri considers it a privilege to represent Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, to which she won election in November 2012, and an honor to serve the families of Northwestern, Western and Central Illinois as their voice in Washington.
Cheri earned a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master’s Degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Springfield. She also attended Illinois College in Jacksonville, where both her parents and son graduated. An accomplished basketball and volleyball player, Cheri was inducted into the Illinois College Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.