Fact Check Friday - 8/21/2020

Did you know that career politician Minority Whip Dick Durbin has a woeful record on eliminating poverty and creating jobs especially in communities of color?  It has been 52 years since riots swept across the Westside of Chicago after the assassination of Dr. King and those areas along Madison Street have not been rebuilt.  In fact, there are vacant lots and a lack of development.  As the second most powerful Democrat Senator Durbin should have done more and prioritized Illinois residents.  He has been in office for 37 years and the facts show things in communities of color have gotten worse.  Economic disinvestment combined with bad public policy has played a huge role in keeping people of color trapped in poverty.  Senator Durbin has been more concerned with partisan bickering in Washington D.C., than focusing on the issues that matter most to the people of Illinois.  Senator Durbin has forgotten who sent him to Washington 37 years ago.

Minority Whip Durbins Record on Eliminating Poverty and Creating Jobs


  • Durbin has been the second most powerful Democrat since 2005 in Washington DC.  In 1960, African American poverty in Chicago was 29.7 percent.  In 2020, African American poverty in Chicago is 30.69 percent. The poverty line is defined as $25,465 for a family of four. (Census      Bureau)
  • In the state of Illinois, African Americans have the highest poverty rate among any ethnic group at 24.8 percent.  Latinos have the second-highest poverty rate at 14.6 percent. (Talk Poverty 2018)

  • Sen. Durbin has ignored communities like North Lawndale.  It is a community that was once home to some major corporations including the Hawthorne Plant of Western Electric that employed over 43,000 people, International Harvester plant which employed 14,000 workers, Sears and Roebuck Company which provided another 10,000 jobs, and Copenhagen snuff factory.  These companies left in the 1980s and took thousands of jobs with them.  The housing stock went down and banks and grocery stores closed.  Senator Durbin in his 37 years in       Congress has failed to revitalize communities like North Lawndale (The Atlantic 2018)

  • The unemployment rate in Chicago for African Americans in 1968 was 7.6 percent.  The unemployment rate for African Americans in Chicago in 2017 was 17.2 percent (CMAP Illinois)

  • 38 percent of African Americans age 20-24 are out of work and out of school.  (Medill Reports Chicago 2020)

  • In East St. Louis, Illinois where Sen. Durbin was born the poverty rate is 43.1 percent.  The median household income is $20,659.  (Data USA)



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