Rep. Lauren Underwood “is an American nurse and politician who serves as the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 14th congressional district as a member of the Democratic Party.” Thank you to wikipedia for that sentence. There are some very good links in there. As the youngest black woman ever elected to Congress, people might think she has a lot of catching up to do. Not so. Underwood worked in the Obama Administration in 2014 and later worked as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services, back in the days when the Secretary of HHS actually cared about the well-being of their fellow Americans.
As a nurse and holder of two advanced degrees from John Hopkins, Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Public Health, Underwood has made her focus healthcare for all Americans. Few politicians can honestly say that. Here is a politician who knows what she is talking about when issues of public policy regarding healthcare are debated and written. We can never have too many of them.
Underwood ran on issues familiar to most Democrats: reducing gun violence, education, the environment, DACA, immigration, and reproductive freedom. But it is Underwood’s personal experience as an American with a pre existing medical condition, diagnosed when she was just a child, that makes her particularly able to speak to the challenges of Americans wrestling with a health system that often fails to serve the people who need it most.
From Underwood’s interview with the Chicago Tribune about why she is progressive:
“I’m progressive because I support the idea that all Americans should have affordable health care services. I’m progressive because I recognize that climate change is real and that we need to have solutions that would stem the impact of climate change. And I’m progressive because I believe that all Americans should be paid a fair wage for their work.”