Cheri Bustos considers it an honor to represent the hardworking families of Illinois’ 17th Congressional District which includes Western, Central and Northern Illinois.
Now in her third term, Cheri has focused on job creation, strengthening our economy and building a stronger middle class. She has been a relentless advocate for veterans and for working women and families, and she has worked with Democrats and Republicans on common-sense solutions to cut government waste, fraud and abuse so we can strengthen Medicare and expand Social Security.
Cheri is a leader in the “Make It in America” plan to create more good-paying jobs in our community and has led an effort to ensure American flags purchased with federal dollars are 100% made in America. She thinks that all of our kids deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, that’s why she’s worked to invest in our schools, make college more accessible and affordable, and fought to improve workforce development programs. With a focus on launching the next industrial revolution in Illinois, Cheri successfully worked to bring the first-of-its-kind Digital Manufacturing Labs to our state. These public-private partnership hubs, which connect entrepreneurs and innovators with businesses, educators and government, have the potential to create thousands of jobs across the state.
As a Member of the House Agriculture Committee, she worked across the aisle to pass the first long-term Farm Bill in years. And through her service on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Cheri also worked to pass the first long-term highway bill in a decade so we can get Illinoisans back to work rebuilding our roads, bridges, rail lines, airports and waterways.
After the 2016 elections, Cheri was elected by her colleagues to serve in leadership as the Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. As the only Midwesterner in House Democratic Leadership, she will work to ensure that the House Democrats’ agenda connects with rural and working-class Americans. In 2015, Cheri accepted a leadership post as a Senior Whip, where she uses her position to fight for policies that will advance American manufacturing, ensure women’s economic security and grow our middle-class.
Born in Springfield Illinois, Cheri Bustos grew up in a family that taught her the importance of hard work, caring for others and public service.
While working as a young investigative reporter in the Quad-Cities, Cheri met a rookie cop named Gerry Bustos who she fell in love with and married. With her husband Gerry, who now serves as the Sheriff of Rock Island County, she raised three sons and has two grandchildren, all of whom proudly call Illinois home.
Throughout her career in journalism, Cheri used her pen to help her community. She uncovered numerous stories of corruption and greed in government, winning awards for her work on behalf of the public interest.
Cheri eventually left journalism to work for one of the nation’s largest non-denominational, non-profit health care systems. Here, she helped the disadvantaged navigate the health care system and worked to improve the quality of health care available to area families.
Cheri has long been active in her community and served on numerous nonprofit boards and as the President of the Women’s Connection, one of Illinois’ largest women’s organizations. In 2007, Cheri’s commitment to public service and desire to further give back to the community led her 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 and building a stronger middle-class.
Cheri earned her 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.