Cheri Bustos was born in Springfield, Illinois, into a family that taught her the importance of hard work, caring for others and public service. After spending nearly two decades in journalism, Cheri worked in communications for one of the nation’s largest non-profit nondenominational healthcare systems. In 2012, she ran for Congress and was elected to represent the hardworking families of the 17th Congressional District.
A former member of Democratic House Leadership and co-Chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, Cheri has always been a strong voice for middle America and working families.
In 2016, she became co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, where she helped lead the development of the House Democrats’ For the People agenda. The wildly popular agenda was a central part of House Democrats winning the majority in 2018.
After playing a leading role in reclaiming the Speaker’s gavel for Democrats, Cheri was elected Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by her colleagues. There, she broke fundraising records for the organization, successfully protected the House Democratic Majority for the 117th Congress and worked to help secure the Presidency for Joe Biden.
In her final term, Cheri served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where she brought home the most funding for local projects of any House Democrat through the Community Project Funding program’s inaugural year. In 2022, she again secured significant local investment, delivering funding for every project she had requested support for, bringing the total for the Congress to $122 million.
Cheri also served on the House Agriculture Committee for the entirety of her tenure. In her final term, she was named Chair of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, where she toured the nation to hold listening sessions with American farmers and rural communities.
The author of a law that was called, “the most significant labor legislation this century”, Cheri has a long history of working across the aisle to get things done. Her strong belief in bipartisanship and approach to commonsense legislating has made her a leading voice for moderate Democrats.