Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins Bio

A former journalist and Emmy-award nominated editor at CBS-TV, Senator Collins has used her journalism experience and communication skills to support progressive agendasthat seek to create economic and social welfare policies that reduce inequality, expand opportunities and strengthen communities. As chairperson of the Senate Financial Institutions Committee, Senator Collins has been leading the fight to stop mortgage foreclosures and predatory lending.  Long before the national recession, she warned her colleagues and constituents about the dangers of predatory lending. Some of her othermajor legislative accomplishments include the Mortgage Rescue Fraud Act; the landmark Sudan Divestment Act to End Atrocities and Terrorism in the Sudan; and the Payday Loan Reform Act.  For her work on regulating the payday loan industry, Senator Collins was the recipient of the 2005 Monsignor John Egan Campaign Leadership Award.  Most recently, Senator Collins was honored with the Lifetime Award for Commitment to Financial Issues by Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Senator Collins is a graduate of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government,Harvard Divinity School, and majored in journalism at Northwestern University. In 1983, she worked on the massive voter registration drive that helped elect Mayor Harold Washington. In 1984, she served as press liaison for Rev. Jesse Jackson during the Democratic National Convention. From 1987-1999, as a volunteer, she served as theminister of communications for the Faith Community of St. Sabina. In 1998, she was honored as a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and also had the distinction of serving as a 2001 Legislative Fellow for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Washington, D.C.

Senator Collins believes her political sentiments mirror those expressed by Dr. King, ”I have the audacity to believe that people(s) everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

Deputy Majority Caucus Chair
16th Senate District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (TR).

Biography: Born in McComb, Miss.; grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Studied journalism at Northwestern University and graduated from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Divinity Schoool. Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago and 2001 Legislative Fellow with U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Recipient in 2011 of a Lifetime Achievement Award for Financial Literacy Leadership from the Illinois state treasurer.

Associated Representatives:
Mary E. Flowers
André Thapedi