Christian Mitchell is the State Representative of the 26th District in Chicago.
Christian was raised by his mother, who has been a nurse for 30 years, and his grandfather, who was a union steelworker and an elder at his church in Maywood.
Their hard work and commitment to community inspired him to enter public service after graduating from the University of Chicago.
Christian began his career as a faith based community organizer in the south suburbs and southside. As a community organizer, Christian worked with single mothers like his own who were fed up with the quality of their neighborhood schools, with homeowners concerned about losing their homes to foreclosure or the kind of flooding he’d endured in his youth, and with families concerned about being able to provide for aging loved ones – an experience he could relate to after caring for ailing grandparents.
As an organizer, Christian worked with people, in their communities, to fight for living wage jobs, adequate housing, improved transportation, and equitable schools. In 2009, in consultation with community leaders and the members of the general assembly, Christian drafted legislation that would become the Urban Weatherization Initiative, a $425 million dollar state jobs program focusing on insulation, weatherproofing and upgrading of single family homes in low and moderate urban areas in the state of Illinois – and a requirement to hire workers from those communities.
Christian’s efforts as an organizer also led to several other measurable improvements. The state legislature passed a law to create a universal fare card for transit systems in Chicago and the South Suburbs, drafted in part by Christian. It will allow for transfers between Metra, CTA, and Pace by 2015 – improving the options for those traveling a long distance to work.
As a product of Christian’s organizing work in the south suburbs, residents won an agreement with the EPA, the state legislature, and their congressman to secure funding to repair and replace the sewer system in Riverdale, IL, which had not been repaired since the early 1920s, to ease flooding during times of heavy rain, lessening property damage and allowing families to raise their children in a clean and safe environment.
Christian is also experienced in campaign work – he was a Deputy Field Director for Illinois Lisa Madigan’s re-election campaign in 2010, working with local elected officials in Chicago and other faith and community leaders to increase voter turnout and participation. Christian was also campaign manager for Will Burns’ successful campaign for Alderman of the 4th Ward in 2011.
He recently served as part of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s senior staff, helping advise on many issues and connecting members of the community to services the county provides.
Christian graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Studies. He is a resident of the Bronzeville community.