State Representative, 1st District
Dan Burke continues to build on his reputation as a knowledgeable, effective and hardworking legislator. Burke understands the issues important to local residents and he continues to be a tireless advocate for his constituents.
As a life-long resident of Chicago, Burke has taken an active role in city issues. He was one of the first legislators in the state to recognize the problems created by the rising number of home foreclosures and its effects on middle-class families. Working with community groups, he developed and passed legislation to help families who were victims of unfair mortgage practices keep their homes. He also introduced legislation to expand eligibility for the Homestead Exemption Act and led the charge to expand property tax exemptions for all local homeowners to help hold the line on property taxes.
Burke believes in making sure the American Dream is available to all immigrants who want to give their children and families a better life. But many obstacles prevent the children of many immigrants from receiving a college education. Burke passed the Illinois DREAM Act, creating a scholarship fund of private donations to the children of undocumented immigrants. Students would also have access to the state’s pre-paid college tuition and college savings programs to further help them cut college costs.
Because quick response can save the life of a heart attack victim, Burke has worked to require lifesaving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be installed in public places. Thanks to his efforts, more than 3,500 people at O’Hare and Midway airports are now trained to operate this critical life-saving equipment, ensuring the safety of travelers at our airports. Burke also passed a law requiring AEDs at physical fitness facilities and at school sports facilities. Recently, he expanded his work by sponsoring a bill to require AEDs in dentists’ offices.
Burke is committed to fighting for the needs and concerns of the hard-working families in his district. Tough budget times threatened vital health care services to the sickest and neediest Illinois residents, but Burke passed a law taking advantage of more than $2 billion in federal and other non-state dollars to provide health coverage to low-income and high-need Illinois residents, including children on ventilators, children in wheelchairs and children with cancer. Burke believes that no one who works hard should struggle to make ends meet, which is why he supports increasing the minimum wage in Illinois to help put hard-working families on the path to a living wage.
Violent tragedies involving dangerous firearms are not limited to places like Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut. Sadly, they happen in our own communities like Cornell Square Park, and far too often. To help keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands and off our streets, Burke voted to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, and he passed a law requiring private gun sales to verify the buyer has a valid FOID card. Burke will continue working to stop gun violence and keep our families safe.
Dan Burke was born and raised in Chicago and attended Loyola University and DePaul University. He began his career in public service as Deputy City Clerk of Chicago.
Burke currently serves as Assistant Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. He represents the 1st District, which includes all or portions of the Chicago neighborhoods of Archer Heights, Chicago Lawn, Gage Park and Garfield Ridge.