Representative Lauren Underwood, a Leader for Today and for America’s Future
By Rosalyn Coates, Chair, Racial Equity, Task Force
“Every attack on voting rights cracks the foundation of our democracy.” –Rep. Underwood’s House Floor Remarks, October 25, 2021
Since she was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2018, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood has remained laser-focused on advocating for equity in quality health care for all Americans and especially for those who have not enjoyed such access. Her legislation to lower health care costs was enacted as part of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. She continues to press for passage of one of her signature legislative proposals, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. The Momnibus Act is a compilation of 12 bills that seek to save lives and end racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health outcomes.
She has spoken forcefully on the House Floor urging her colleagues in the House and the Senate to effectively address issues that are important to the American people such as gun violence prevention, climate change solutions, and health care for veterans and military families.
Rep. Underwood has been elected by her colleagues to serve as one of three co-chairs of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee during the 118th Congress. She is the first Black woman to be elected to a House Democratic leadership position since Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) held the position of Secretary of the Democratic Caucus from 1977 to 1981. The 20-member committee is responsible for developing a strong Caucus-wide message that forcefully communicates policy positions of House Democrats and presents sharp contrasts with the extreme policies of House Republicans.
She serves the 14th Congressional District of Illinois, which through redistricting now includes Naperville, Aurora, Joliet, and part of Kendal County. She beat her first Republican opponent (Randy Hultgen) in 2018 by 15,000 votes. She won reelection in 2020 over Republican Jim Oberweis by almost 6,000 votes and rallied to victory over Republican Scott Gryder by over 19,000 votes. A millennial (she turned 36 in October 2022), Rep. Underwood continues to hone her legislative skills, prioritize service to her constituents and raise her profile. She is a fighter for her constituents and for the best interests of all Americans. Congresswoman Underwood is poised to make a lasting impact on the American democratic process for years to come.
—Rosalyn Coates, Chair, Racial Equity Task Force