“First of all, I’m not retiring man, alright?” he said in an interview. “I’m not prepared to go off to some spot within the solar, sit on no one’s seaside ingesting tequila.”
His plan: to focus on his work as a pastor, the place he hopes to keep sway over voters who despatched him to Congress 30 years in the past. “I’m coming home to my church located in the heart of South Side of the city of Chicago,” Rush stated, referring to the Beloved Community Church of God in Christ, the place he serves as pastor.
“I’m simply getting into into a brand new degree of my life,” he stated.
The veteran lawmaker who went from fist-raising militant to a mainstream, albeit left-leaning, congressman will announce his plans on Tuesday on the Roberts Temple Church of God in Christ, the revered Chicago location of the 1955 funeral of 14-year-old Emmett Till. The announcement location is symbolic as Rush hopes to get the Emmett Till Antilynching invoice signed into legislation this 12 months.
Rush has launched the measure, which would designate lynching a federal crime, a number of instances — together with precisely a 12 months in the past Tuesday. The invoice has been accepted by the House Judiciary Committee this Congress, however has not been taken up by the total House or Senate.
The prospect of Democrats dropping the House didn’t affect his determination, he stated.
“Oh, absolutely not,” Rush stated. “I don’t accept that. I don’t believe in Ouija boards, I don’t believe in forecasting the future — none of that. I think Democrats are in prime position to retake the house and increase their numbers in the Senate.”
Rush’s 1st District, which encompasses a lot of Chicago’s South Side, would stay in Democratic arms, so his exit received’t reduce into the celebration’s shaky hold on the House. But Rush’s announcement is shaking up Chicago’s political panorama, with quite a few Illinois politicos already placing out feelers that they’re taken with changing him.
“I am sure it was not an easy decision when he has given so many years of his life to the First District,” Rep. Robin Kelly, who heads the Illinois Democratic Party, wrote in a textual content message. “I am a little surprised, but I wish him the very best as he starts another chapter.”
Rush has been an advocate in opposition to gun violence lengthy earlier than the difficulty grew to become at this time’s middle of debate. His campaign began after the police killings of Black Panthers’ Fred Hampton (whom Rush recruited) and Mark Clark, however 30 years later, it grew to become much more private. His son, Huey Rich, was killed in an armed theft on town’s South Side.
Before Capitol Hill, Rush served on Chicago’s City Council and was a pacesetter within the state’s Democratic Party, turning into a detailed ally of former House Speaker Michael Madigan. In 1999, he ran for mayor, dropping to then-incumbent Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Rush has seen his share of political challengers over time, together with Barack Obama, who was famously bested in a major by Rush in 2000 — 61 p.c to 30 p.c. The victory is legend in Chicago political circles as the one race Obama ever misplaced. The future president described that Democratic primary loss as getting “my rear end handed to me.” And Rush savored it.
The veteran lawmaker was anticipated to ease into one other victory this 12 months, however he had but to formally announce. In October, he instructed POLITICO, “What’s the hurry? I’ll announce in January.” And final month, he told POLITICO’s The Recast, “I’m going to be an activist as long as I’m here in the land of the living. … I can’t even imagine myself retiring into some kind of easy chair.”
Rush has his share of congressional accomplishments. He helped safe passage of the Civil Rights Cold Case Records Collection Act in 2019 to enhance public entry to cold-case information and to assist deliver closure to households.
He additionally provided and secured passage of an modification for fiscal 2020 to enhance funding by $2 million for the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog Grant Program to assist clear rape equipment backlogs. He was impressed to achieve this in gentle of the disturbing variety of lacking Black girls and ladies in Chicago and across the nation.
Rush additionally addressed nuts and bolts points associated to shopper product security, and he serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the place he is centered on vitality and environmental justice points.
He plans to hold pushing by laws till the top, he stated, together with the Emmett Till Antilynching Act and the COINTELPRO Full Disclosure Act, a bill introduce in May that would open up a files from an FBI counterintelligence program that surveilled Black communities.
“Let’s see how many Americans did J. Edgar Hoover have killed,” Rush stated in a recorded video that he plans to play throughout his Tuesday announcement.
“I want to get those files exposed, but I also want to get J. Edgar Hoover’s name off the federal building, the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.,” Rush stated within the video.
As for his successor, “I will be making a suggestion,” Rush stated. “I’m going to be presenting an individual who I would like to continue the work that I have done in the U.S. Congress.”
But will that be taking place on Tuesday? Don’t wager on it.
“No it won’t come tomorrow,” Rush stated with a deep chuckle. “One of the things I’ve learned about the media is you don’t step on your message.”