"I am dedicated to dismantling systems that have led to rampant unchecked inequity. These inequities spreads to all facets of life especially education."
My name is Kirby.
Kirby is ready to fight alongside any in the U.S Congress to root out corruption, build a better future for our children, dismantle systemic racism, and make big structural change for working people.
Kirby Birgans was born, raised, and educated in the First Congressional District of Illinois.
Kirby Birgans was born, raised, and educated in the 1st congressional district. Kirby is the youngest of three children. He grew up in a home where both of his parents suffered from substance abuse. The challenges of living in an environment unfit for children like utility disconnections, wild parties, physical abuse, and even experiencing hunger landed Kirby in temporary foster care. While his parents worked on becoming sober and stable, he lived with his great-grandmother. She was an amazing woman. Ms. Ludie, as so many in the South Shore community so affectionately called her, worked the corner laundromat after retiring from nursing at Mt. Sinai hospital. The laundromat is where Ms. Ludie was heavily engaged with her community. She would tell Kirby old stories about the neighborhood and showed him the importance of service, and community. Kirby quickly developed a passion to help others and advocate for our most vulnerable fellow human beings. Ms. Ludie would wash children’s coats free of charge and host food drives at her laundromat to support local churches and pantries. Her home was open to others that were experiencing homelessness. She would always tell Kirby, “life has not been fair to everybody so do what you can to help, you can’t help everybody, but you can try.”
Although he stayed with his great grandmother, he has been blessed with amazing aunts and uncles that loved him. Kirby is A FAMILY CHILD because many people helped raise him. He is an advocate for others because someone advocated and prayed for him.
Growing up Kirby struggled in school. It took the right teachers, who did not just see his problems but saw his potential. The work of programs like the Sue Duncan Program also assisted him in school. Kirby understands the importance of programs that support the academic development of our children because of the positive impact that programs like the Sue Duncan Program have had on his academic success and on educational development.
During high school, Kirby suffered a detrimental loss.
Losing his older brother, Travis Birgans, to heart complications was one of the most painful experiences of his life. Travis Birgans was a role model to Kirby. At the time of Travis’ death, Travis was a stellar student at Howard University and had dreams of supporting Kirby’s education and becoming an elected official. Travis was in his senior year at Howard University, majoring in political science, and was a part of the Ariel Investments “I have a Dream” program, which put him in the company of people like John Rogers, Arne Duncan, and Carol Mosely Braun, to name a few.
After the death of his brother and his grandmother, Kirby became a young man without a strong support system. Kirby graduated from Southshore High School and found non-unionized employment to maintain housing and to make ends meet. Kirby once almost got fired for asking workers to fight for $15.00 an hour. Kirby learned that he couldn’t live on the wage of retail work, and dedicated himself to graduating from college. Kirby worked a full-time job and went to Malcolm X Community College. After graduating, Kirby enrolled in Chicago State University. Kirby met Laron Taylor in 2010. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling and the Obama Administration believing that love is love regardless of gender, the two wed on June 20th, 2015.
During college, Kirby became an advocate for funding for Chicago State University. He was almost arrested for shutting down the Dan Ryan interstate highway to bring awareness to the state’s budget impasse on Chicago State University. Kirby volunteered and donated on several progressive campaigns in local government and state government. Kirby has dedicated his time to volunteering with organizations that assist in bringing upward mobility to neighborhoods that have been silenced, forgotten, and divested.
After graduating with a Bachelor's of Education in Science In science from Chicago State University. Kirby knew he wanted to make a change. He wanted to make sure that our students were educated by a teacher that understood the challenges and obstacles that so many of our students experience daily. More importantly, he wanted to motivate students to reach for the stars. It didn’t take long for Kirby to realize that the education system was lying to parents. The school system was hiding behind a slogan, “No child left behind,” but was leaving children behind daily.
“While our congressional leadership is focused on billionaires, corporations, and the fossil fuel industry kids and communities have been legislated out of the American dream! We need an advocate like Kirby that will upset the setup. We need to right the wrongs of policies like No Child Left Behind, the ‘94 Crime Bill. “
Just like everyone else, Kirby saw issues in our federal government during the pandemic and acted. Kirby assisted seniors with getting medication. He worked with different organizations to distribute PPE and cleaned up looted stores. He gave instructional classes to seniors on how to use zoom, worked for the U.S Census to make sure that everyone was counted, and volunteered on Biden/ Harris presidential campaign. After the presidential campaign, Kirby worked on flipping the senate blue by making calls for the Warnock and Ossoff campaign.
As Kirby began to listen to stories of the district, he found that the issues facing the district are multi-generational, which is creating intergenerational poverty. Kirby believes in an equitable society that does not leave anyone behind. Illinois’ 1st district needs an advocate that is not emboldened by powerful moneyed interests. We need someone in office that knows what it’s like for working families--people who are working as hard as they can to make ends meet for their families. Running for office was never the plan for Kirby, but as a teacher, he experienced the reality of our community. He has put food in backpacks to send home on weekends. He has students with parents in jail-- students with both parents working two jobs and single parents working two jobs. He realized we can do better. We need lawmakers, who understand the middle class and those striving for the middle class.
Who’s better to do that than a teacher?
Kirby is ready to fight alongside anyone in the U.S Congress to root out corruption, build a better future for our children, dismantle systemic racism, and make big structural changes for working people.
He’s Congress Ready.