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In addition to his law career, Heldut is also passionate about his other work. He founded a non-profit international venture called the Sustainable Village Initiative dealing with development and women empowerment issues in Ghana. It's now the Institute for the Development and Preservation of Culture and Self-Sufficiency (www.idpcs.org), dealing with a wide range of projects in both international development and the legal field. Andrew has also been involved in the blockchain arena since 2013. Now the President of the Government Blockchain Association of the Chicago Chapter, the GBA has been bringing business and political leaders, policy makers, and non-governmental organizations together with the aim of making government more efficient. 

Heldut has been involved in U.S. politics and launched his first Congressional exploratory campaign against Jan Schakowsky in 2019, resulting in hundreds of write-ins on election day in 2020. He interned for Senator Dick Durbin where he dealt directly with many Illinois constituents in regards to veteran and immigration issues. Andrew Heldut also interned for Hillary's Presidential political campaign in the fundraising and event office covering the Midwest in her Chicago headquarters and worked on other campaigns including that of Alderman Sophia King, where he was the precinct chairman.

Andrew was born in Chicago into a family of Polish descent in 1993. American roots of his family date back to the 19th century, when his great-great-grandfather settled in New York. Because of history and the World Wars, it wasn't until the 1980s that his parents came to the United States, where they met. Upon arrival, they didn't have any property or money, but like many other immigrants coming to this country in search of a better life, they were inspired by the Americans ideals of perseverance, adaptability and hope. 

 

Andrew's father became a real estate developer and then a holder of many properties in Chicago. In a very short period, Andrew’s father achieved the American Dream and middle-class status. However, as a result of the collapse of the real estate market in 2008, the businesses of Andrew's father suffered severe losses and it was necessary to sell the family home to avoid bankruptcy. Andrew was only 16 years old and attended Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois.

 

The crisis in the real estate market deepened so much in 2009 that Andrew's family was forced to look for a new source of income in Poland where they ran into further problems with a corrupt Polish municipal government leading to over 10 years of litigation to this day. The very difficult financial situation of the family, additionally aggravated by the illness of Andrew's father and exceptionally high costs of higher education in the USA, caused Andrew to choose to study in Great Britain, because tuition was covered by the government in Scotland and he was able to live off only 500 pounds a month as a student to get by. By studying Economics and Politics and comparing the experiences between Europe and America, Andrew noticed significant differences in favor of Welfare States of Europe, including: universal healthcare in the United Kingdom, lower attendance costs and fees of universities with subsidized tuition, and being able to live off only 500 pounds (roughly $650) a month as a student.

 

Andrew’s double experience, that is, happily growing up in a middle-class family in America, followed by the financial collapse of the family and the struggle to gain an affordable and good education in the absence of funds, made Andrew realize how vital and important the role of government is in creating appropriate conditions for children and young people with lower incomes to have a jump-start at it. It is unacceptable that kids from lower-income backgrounds make their decision whether to go to college based on their ability to pay for college. Such an opportunity should be given to everyone. And the sole reason for the lack of such opportunity comes down to inadequate government policy; economic segregation and concentrated poverty don’t occur in spite of government, they happen because of government through government dollars, government authority, and government decisions.

 

While studying in Great Britain, Andrew began his community organizing by helping those in need especially through the world’s largest student organization called ENACTUS, which creates endeavors for lower-income persons by identifying human needs, guaranteeing the beneficiaries a low, but stable income through entrepreneurial action. By joining the Democratic Party, Andrew participated in various ventures in its branches in Great Britain. After being inspired with how one person can really make a difference, Andrew decided to continue his education in law, graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago's law school and becoming a member of the Illinois Bar as a licensed attorney.

 

Andrew has proven that everyone can succeed in America if there are suitable conditions. But he also knows, from the example of his parents, how easy it is to bring a family into decline through inadequate government policies (and because of government). It is unacceptable that the government through deregulation (amongst other factors) allowed American financial institutions to create the largest global financial crisis in history that affected middle-class and lower income households, bringing down many families. It is unacceptable that Americans were forced out of their homes, because of the mortgage crisis. It is an unacceptable policy that children from families with lower to medium incomes decide on their education based on their ability to pay, while at the same time trillions of dollars were transferred to financial institutions as a result of the crisis. It is an unacceptable policy that funds cannot be re-directed for a universal healthcare system for all Americans, where we gave corporations a tax break benefiting only the rich, which America did not need. Even during Covid-19, big businesses and large corporations received billions of dollars from PPP loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the first round over the hardest-hit smaller and less-connected businesses. Come on. We can do better.

 

Andrew's global multinational experience made him realize that many changes can be made in America, because they work in other highly-developed and democratic social economies. America is exceptional, it always will be, but why aren’t we proving to the world that our experience will always be unique? Why can’t we be at the forefront of the Green Revolution showing the world American technological advances in sustainable technology, which can be achieved directly by educating our populace, attracting the brightest students from around the world, and taking advantage of immigration? We know that his has worked before through the National Defense Education Act 1958. Why can't we have the best, but also the most affordable education in the world? Why can't we have a healthcare system that works for more than less? Andrew believes in the American creed, the basic principles and potential of the United States to achieve all of this. Now, as a lawyer, Andrew realizes that the political creation of appropriate conditions through law, similar to those experienced in Scotland, can lead to a situation in which every child and every young person should at least have a shot at an educational goal and become what they set their mind to. But even after accomplishment of this goal what does that mean if one is left with a six-digit debt with a huge interest rate that one might never be able to pay back? Andrew understands the struggle because of law school loans.

 

Andrew has shown a persistence in addressing global issues that are close to his heart such as clean water and women empowerment issues in Ghana and helping with various local issues while interning at Senator Dick Durbin's office and joining pro bono legal clinics. Andrew wants to dedicate his life to fight for what is right. Andrew believes in restoring the balance between our three common and equally balanced values of egalitarianism, individualism and capitalism, and correcting the balance in favor of fair and equal opportunity for all people. These values are not mutually-exclusive and an exceptional nation will find the correct balance. This is all at the heart of his new book, where he proposes how we can come together through a Deliberative Democracy model to be enacted nationwide to help enact common-sense policy and even reconcile with our difficult history. We need to do implement this in our Congressional Districts nationwide.

Andrew T. Heldut

"We must restore the balance in favor of fair and equal opportunity for all people, not just the few."

- Andrew Heldut

Andrew' Story