CHICAGO — First Lady Jill Biden touched down in Chicago on Tuesday for the first outing of a two-day trip in the Windy City.
Arriving at Midway Airport, Dr. Biden was in town to pay tribute to National Hispanic Heritage Month. Dr. Biden joined Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia for a National Museum of Mexican Art tour in Pilsen. Gov. JB Pritzker, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and IL Senator Tammy Duckworth also joined Biden and Garcia.
Biden toured the “Day of the Dead” exhibition, a portion of which included a sizeable Mexican shrine called an ofrenda, which honors the lives of numerous Mexicans and Americans who have died from COVID-19.
As the Latino community in the US continues to grow, National Museum of Mexican Art president Carlos Tortolero said he was honored the first lady took the time to experience Latino culture up close.
“Coming to Pilsen, which is the heart of our community, is very cool and we’re very, very thankful,” he said. “The phone calls I’ve been getting, people are like ‘wow, that’s great.’ Everybody is excited for us.”
While in Chicago, Rep. Garcia hopes to talk to the first lady about the massive infrastructure bills looming in congress.
If a $3.5 trillion proposal to expand social services is watered down, some progressive Democrats have threatened to vote against President Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
“I’m not a yes vote by any stretch. I hope that we can have more of a conversation with the first lady in the coming hours and through tomorrow morning. But I remain optimistic that Democrats will come together and will make a historic investment America needs at this time,” Garcia said.
On Wednesday, Garcia will take her and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to the Arturo Velasquez Institute.
The first lady’s trip to the city is part of a series of listening sessions she is having with Hispanic communities nationwide.