On the issues
Kouri wants you to know where he stands on the issues that matter to our community.
Kouri’s Plan to Fight for You
Kouri is a seasoned policy advocate with a breadth of experience and connections spanning Illinois and national politics.
Accessible and Affordable Housing
As a product of public housing, Kouri is an example of the fact that where we grew up or the socioeconomic status we were born into should not determine our futures. As a community leader, Kouri has been actively involved with serving residents living in the Chicago Housing Authority and residents suffering from homelessness. As a member of Congress, Kouri will work to →
- Expand Section 8: Kouri supports expanding federal rental programs like Section 8 and capping rent at 30% of a renter’s household income.
- Build more affordable and public housing: Kouri spent his earlier childhood years living in public housing and knows the boost that it gave his mom who was later able to purchase their family home.
- Increase support to residents suffering from homelessness: According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, there are over 65,000 of our neighbors suffering from homelessness. Everyone deserves a place to live and Kouri will fight for fair rent policies and programs to help prevent our neighbors from losing their home.
- Replace Lead Piping: There is a brewing water crisis impacting the Black and brown community all across America and right here in Chicago. Every sip of lead infused water that a child takes is one sip closer to potentially developing permanent, cognitive disabilities. Kouri has previously written about this issue in the Chicago Defender and will work to ensure that the residents of our district have access to clean, safe water for drinking and other usage – Is There a Water Crisis Impacting Black and Brown America?
Healthcare and Reproductive Rights
Kouri believes that it is a human right to choose what they do with their bodies and that a person holds the exclusive right on how they govern their reproductive health system. Married to a reproductive health physician, he has unique insight into the perils of our US healthcare system. As a member of Congress Kouri will work to →
- Support Healthy Families: Making healthcare accessible and affordable for all.
- Protect the Right to Choose: Kouri will fight to make sure women’s reproductive rights are protected – including access to abortion and contraceptive healthcare.
- Bring Down the Cost of Prescription Drugs: Pharmaceutical companies have been raising the price of prescription drugs on the backs of hardworking Americans. Kouri will fight to bring down these costs and to protect Americans who only have one insurance option – Medicare.
- Address the Black Birth Mortality Rate: According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, pregnancy-related mortality in Chicago is nearly 6 times higher for non-Hispanic Black women compared to White women, and 2 times higher for Latina women. Once elected, Kouri will support peripartum WIC and Medicaid expansion, research into root causes of healthcare inequity, and funding for community organizations offering maternal health support.
- Ensure fair and equitable payment policies by governmental and commercial entities, particularly to underfunded areas of primary care and women’s health.
Kouri believes that nothing levels the playing field like having access to economic mobility and opportunity. As a member of Congress, Kouri will work to →
- Eradicate billions of dollars in student debt, which is preventing many families from achieving their versions of the American dream.
- Expand the child tax credit, to support low-income households with their everyday needs. These programs MUST be expanded and made fully refundable.
- Increase small business funding for businesses in the 7th Congressional District
- Fight for Small Businesses: Small businesses are the backbone of our neighborhoods and communities, but for too long, they have been at a significant disadvantage because policies on everything from taxation to laws around competitiveness have favored larger corporations. As Congressman, Kouri will advocate for policies to make sure large corporations pay their fair share in taxes and to ensure that small businesses can have a fair shot at lasting success.
- Embrace new and emerging economies, by developing guardrails for cryptocurrency and digital products, while making room for innovation that benefits consumers. Blockchain technology can improve the administrative functions of government and create job opportunities for young people living in my District.
Education and Childcare
Kouri is a product of the Head Start program – a federally funded program that provided early childhood education. He credits this as the reason that he developed a strong educational foundation. In high school, he benefited from TRIO programs like Upward Bound and other mentorship programs. As a member of Congress Kouri will work to →
- Invest in after-school programs, which keep kids learning instead of on the streets after school.
- Make Pre-K Universal: Ensuring that every kid has access to a good education and every teacher is paid what they’re worth.
- Cut the skyrocketing cost of childcare: Kouri will fight to improve and revise childcare and early learning programs for low- to moderate-income families so parents can place their children in safe, high-quality learning environments without financially sinking.
- Expand Federal Pell Grants: Kouri attended and graduated from an expensive private college, which would not have been possible without the Pell Grant. He will be a fierce advocate for increased higher education and trade school funding.
Job Training and Placement
Kouri grew up with a hard-working single mom who often worked long hours at minimum wage jobs just to make ends meet. He knows that workers are the bedrock of a strong economy and that their rights must be protected. As youngman, Kouri worked as a home personal assistant, an opportunity that allowed him to become a member of SEIU Local 880. As a member of Congress Kouri will work to →
- Strengthen apprenticeship programs that give young people a route to a better future. College is one path to success and a good job that pays a living wage is also a route to a bright future.
- Support workers rights because when workers are protected and happy, that can lead to a thriving economy.
DACA and Immigration
We are a nation of immigrants and our policies towards our neighbors should reflect this fact. We need leaders in Congress who will place progress above politics to actually fix our broken immigration system. When the Governors of Florida and Texas sent bus loads of immigrants to Chicago, Kouri gathered a group of volunteers to distribute toys, food, coats and clothing to our new neighbors to welcome them. As a member of Congress Kouri will work to →
- Protect DREAMERS and provide hard-working families with a permanent path to citizenship, while ensuring we have a safe and secure border.
- Improve the working conditions for farm workers, especially children under the age of 18 who sometimes face abuse and unsafe working conditions. This is unacceptable.
Criminal Justice Reform and Reentry Support
Kouri knows that our justice system is set up to benefit some more than others. He knows what it feels like to “drive while black,” and the built-in fear that a police stop can turn into an act of brutality. As a member of Congress Kouri will work to →
- Make sentencing fair: Kouri will fight to end the unjust disparities in sentencing for crack versus powder cocaine, which has a disproportionate impact on the Black and brown community.
- Support ex-inmates: Together we can fight the revolving door between prison and the street by providing formerly incarcerated citizens the tools, skills, and resources they need to succeed. Yesterday should not determine tomorrow for folks looking to improve their lives.
Violence Prevention and Public Safety
Guns are the leading cause of death for US children and teens – we ought to be deeply ashamed of that fact. As a member of Congress, Kouri will work to →
- Eradicate Unnecessary Weaponry: There is no reason for AR-15’s to be on our streets. Kouri will fight to restore the assault weapons ban and make sure criminals don’t have access to guns.
- Reduce Gun Violence: Kouri will fight for common sense gun safety laws including investing in mental health services to keep our communities safe and requiring universal background checks for all gun purchases.
- Fund and support local community violence intervention programs, and ensure Congress fully funds public research on gun violence.
- Domestic Violence: Kouri will be a fierce advocate for legislation that supports domestic violence victims.
- Strengthen Police Accountability: Kouri will support increased accountability to make sure law enforcement is actually preventing crimes and policing neighborhoods, not just doubling down on racially-biased policing and other failed tactics.
All Policy is Local
Kouri served as the Executive Director of Democratic GAIN, a non-profit organization focused on ensuring that the progressive organizing space more closely resembles our rapidly diversifying rising electorate. Kouri went on to co-found ChiGivesBack, Inc., a Chicago-based community non-profit committed to supporting underserved individuals and families, including public school educators, low-income families, and the unhoused. As a non-profit leader, Kouri knows the value and importance of local leadership and development in building healthy, thriving communities. As a member of Congress, Kouri will work to →
- Fight for Local Mayors: Our Mayors in the 7th Congressional need a champion fighting for them to gain access to federal resources that help them to improve the quality of life for our residents.
- Work to Expand Arts and Nonprofits Funding: Our local organizations are on the frontlines of moving our communities forward and they need more help. Local museums and nonprofits are desperate for additional funding that will assist them with keeping their doors open for young people and their families.
- Support the Barbershop and Beauty Salon Economy: All too often, non-salaried positions such as those at barbershops, beauty salons, and contractual support staff result in workers facing significant disadvantages when it comes to obtaining credit, housing, or other financial products. Your wedding, bar mitzvah or quinceaňera DJ works hard to keep us dancing through important life moments, they deserve to walk into banks and out with home loans or other financial products to support their families.