Kina Collins, a progressive activist, announced her intention to run against Rep. Danny Davis in the Democratic primary
' 7th Congressional District in 2022 on Tuesday.
Collins, 30, a longtime gun violence
prevention and “Medicare
for All” advocate from Chicago
’s Austin neighborhood, has the support of the Women
’s March of Illinois and the left-wing group Justice Democrats
; she is the third primary challenger supported by Justice Democrats this election
“The 7th Congressional District is the most diverse district in Illinois, yet we have some of the greatest disparities in the country,” Collins told Stardia. “The residents of our district deserve a fighter; we deserve livable wages, gun-free school zones and neighborhoods, and full access to quality health care
“I also believe that we cannot continue with business
as usual,” she added. “Congressman Davis has been in Congress for 24 years, and while certain parts of our district have thrived, others, such as the South and West Sides of Chicago, have lagged.”
Davis, 79, has represented Chicago's West Side since 1997 and has a relatively progressive voting
record in Congress, voting against the Iraq War in 2002 and co-sponsoring Medicare for All legislation.
Davis's seniority has also given him significant clout in the legislative process; he chairs the House
Ways and Means Committee's Worker and Family Support Subcommittee, which writes tax and spending legislation.
Regardless of his overall ideological leanings, Collins believes Davis has not used his power aggressively enough to agitate for change, and she sees his reliance on corporate political action committee contributions as evidence of a lack of conviction to lead.
“At this critical juncture in American democracy
, we need urgent leadership and intentional advocacy,” she said, adding, “And we need someone with a strong moral compass to go to Congress and take on the pharmaceutical companies, private insurance
, Big Oil
in this country, and really advocate for front-line communities, which I know I can do.”
Collins is a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization that advocates for the implementation of a single-payer health-care system.
Collins became involved in politics
as a child after witnessing a young peer being shot dead in front of her. If elected, she plans to focus on reducing gun violence through tougher national gun regulations.
She supports expanding the wraparound mental health
and medical care services required by gun violence survivors, as well as making it easier for states
like Illinois that choose to impose strict handgun laws to stem the flow of handguns from neighboring states.
Collins opposes more aggressive policing in the fight against gun violence.
“More policing will not solve this problem because in Chicago, ten of the neighborhoods that account for 50% of the gun violence are some of the most heavily policed areas in our district, and yet we still see everyday gun violence on the rise,” she explained. “For me, that means we have to strike at the root causes of this gun violence, and that means making it survivor-led and victim-centered.
Collins ran against Davis again in 2020, garnering 13.8% of the vote to Davis' 61.4%.
Despite raising more money
than Collins, Collins outperformed Davis's other two Democratic challengers.
And now she will have the support of the Justice Democrats, a scrappy upstart that has ousted five Democratic House incumbents since 2018.
Marie Newman, a conservative Democrat, defeated then-Rep. Dan Lipinski in the 3rd Congressional District of Illinois in 2020.