Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822-1995
The first Hispanic Representative from Illinois, Luis Gutiérrez, was born in Chicago, Illinois on December 10, 1953. In 1975 he graduated from Northeastern Illinois University, and for the next ten years worked as a teacher and a social worker. He taught in the public schools of Puerto Rico and Chicago, and was a social worker for the Illinois State Department of Children and Family Services. From 1984 to 1985 he was the administrative assistant for the mayor's subcommittee on infrastructure. From 1986 to 1993 he served as an alderman on the Chicago City Council.
In 1992 Gutiérrez won the general election to the U.S. House of Representatives with seventy-eight percent of the vote and was reelected in 1994 with seventy-five percent of the vote. He represents Chicago's Fourth District. Gutiérrez was able to bring his experience in urban housing policy in Chicago to his seat on the Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs Committee, where he served on the Subcommittees on Consumer Credit and Insurance, and Housing and Community Development. He also serves on the Veterans' Affairs Committee. He has shown a strong interest in issues dealing with Puerto Rico. He has maintained an interest in democracy in the international arena; he went to El Salvador as an observer of the 1994 elections.
In 1993 Gutiérrez introduced a bill to amend the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to subsidize non-profit organizations which provide legal aliens with naturalization and citizenship educational services. Gutiérrez also supported the Minority Health Opportunity Enhancement Act of 1993.
Official U.S. House of Representatives Web Site: Luis Gutierrez