Luis Vicente Gutiérrez (born December 10, 1953) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 4th congressional district, serving since 1993. Gutiérrez was the first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest. From 1986 until his election to Congress he served as a member of the Chicago City Council representing the 26th ward. He is a member of the Democratic Party and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is recognized as the "national leader on comprehensive immigration reform," and the top Latino elected official in the United States of America. In the 113th Congress Gutiérrez became the longest serving Member - and as such dean - of the Illinois House delegation.
Of Puerto Rican descent, he is a supporter of Puerto Rican independence, and the Vieques movement. Gutiérrez is also an outspoken advocate of workers' rights, LGBT rights, gender equality, and other liberal and progressive causes. Gutiérrez has been compared to civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., due to both figures' use of non-violent civil disobedience in their advocacy for the equal rights of their communities. In 2010 Frank Sharry of America's Voice, a leading pro-immigrant group, said of Gutiérrez: "He’s as close as the Latino community has to a Martin Luther King figure." His supporters have given him the nickname El Gallito – the little fighting rooster – in reference to his fiery oratory and political prowess.
Gutiérrez was born and raised in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, then an immigrant and working class community. His mother was an assembly-line worker and his father was a cab driver. After his freshman year at St. Michael's High School, his parents moved the family to their hometown of San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. Gutiérrez, who had never before visited the island, reluctantly followed his parents; there he learned to speak Spanish. Gutiérrez said of his experience moving from Chicago to Puerto Rico: "In Lincoln Park, I had been called a spic, then all of a sudden I land on the island and everyone calls me gringo and Americanito. I learned to speak Spanish well."