Daniel Biss

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Daniel Biss
Daniel Biss 2012 (cropped).jpg
Mayor-elect of Evanston, Illinois
Assuming office
May 2021[1]
SucceedingSteve Hagerty
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 9th district
In office
January 8, 2013 – January 6, 2019
Preceded byJeffrey Schoenberg
Succeeded byLaura Fine
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 17th district
In office
May 2011 – January 8, 2013
Preceded byElizabeth Coulson
Succeeded byLaura Fine
Personal details
Born
Daniel Kálmán Biss

(1977-08-27) August 27, 1977 (age 43)
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Karin Steinbrueck
Children2
EducationHarvard University (BA)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MA, PhD)
ProfessionMathematician
Signature
WebsiteOfficial website
Scientific career
FieldsAlgebraic topology
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago
ThesisThe Homotopy Type of the Matroid Grassmannian (2002)
Doctoral advisorMichael Hopkins

Daniel Kálmán Biss[2] (born August 27, 1977)[3] is an American mathematician and mayor-elect of Evanston, Illinois. He previously served as a member of both the Illinois House of Representatives and Illinois Senate.

Prior to pursuing a political career, Biss was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago from 2002 to 2008.

A Democrat, Biss began his political career by running unsuccessfully as his party's nominee for the 17th district seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in 2008. Biss was successful in 2010 at his second attempt at running for the Illinois House of Representatives, representing its 17th district from 2011 to 2013. In 2012, Biss was elected to the Illinois Senate, and represented its 9th district from 2013 through 2019. Biss unsuccessfully ran as a candidate in the Democratic primary for Governor of Illinois in the 2018 election. In 2021, he won the election for mayor of Evanston in the city's consolidated primary.

Early life and education[edit]

Biss was born into a Jewish Israeli family of musicians. His brother is the noted pianist Jonathan Biss, his parents are the violinists Paul Biss and Miriam Fried, and his grandmother was the Russian-born cellist Raya Garbousova.[4][5][6][7]

Biss attended Bloomington North High School in Bloomington, Indiana, and he was a finalist in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search in 1995.[8][9] He received an undergraduate degree from Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude in 1998, and a Ph.D. at MIT in 2002, both in mathematics.[10] He won the 1999 Morgan Prize for outstanding research as an undergraduate, and was a Clay Research Fellow from 2002 to 2007.[11] His doctoral advisor was Michael J. Hopkins. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in the fall of 2003.[12]

Biss also wrote an appendix for the 2006 young adult novel An Abundance of Katherines, written by John Green.[13]

Academic career[edit]

Prior to full-time pursuit of a political career, Biss was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of Chicago from 2002 to 2008.[14]

At least four of the mathematics papers that Biss published in academic journals were later discovered to contain major errors. Mathematician Nikolai Mnëv published a report in 2007 that there was a "serious flaw" in two of Biss's works published in Annals of Mathematics and Advances in Mathematics in 2003, saying "unfortunately this simple mistake destroys the main theorems of both papers".[15] In 2008 and 2009, Biss acknowledged the flaw and published erratum reports for the two papers, thanking Mnëv for drawing his attention to the error.[10][16][17] He and a co-author, Benson Farb, also acknowledged in 2009 that there was a "fatal error" in a paper they had published in Inventiones Mathematicae in 2006, thanking mathematicians Masatoshi Sato and Tom Church for helping to explain the problem.[18] Another of his papers published in Topology and its Applications was formally retracted by the publisher in 2017, fifteen years after its 2002 publication, with the journal saying "This article has been retracted at the request of the Editors-in-Chief after receiving a complaint about anomalies in this paper. The editors solicited further independent reviews which indicated that the definitions in the paper are ambiguous and most results are false. The author was contacted and does not dispute these findings."[19] The journal said they had identified twelve specific errors in the paper, but clarified that they had concluded that the paper's findings were merely inaccurate, not fraudulent.[20][21][22] When contacted by the journal, Biss had responded saying "Thank you for writing. I am no longer in mathematics and so don't feel equipped to fully evaluate these claims. I certainly do not dispute them. If you would like to publish a retraction to that effect, that would seem to me to be an appropriate approach."[20][22]

When the 2017 retraction and the previously identified errors were reported by the Chicago Sun-Times in September 2017, his campaign blamed operatives for the perceived front-runner for the Democratic Party candidate for governor of Illinois, J. B. Pritzker, for raising it as a political issue. They said "Whether it was training at MIT or the University of Chicago, Daniel has had dozens of academic papers reviewed by his peers and published. In a few cases, further research has found that the case posited in the original article didn't stand up, and he revised his findings."[20] They referred to the raising of the issue as "silly opposition research".[20]

Illinois House of Representatives[edit]

Biss ran for a seat in the Illinois State House of Representatives in 2008, losing to Republican Elizabeth Coulson in the 17th district.[23] Starting in 2009, he then worked as a policy adviser to Pat Quinn, the Democratic governor of Illinois.[14][24][25] He successfully ran for the same Illinois State House seat in 2010.[26]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Appropriations – Elementary & Secondary Education
  • Personnel & Pensions
  • Consumer Protection
  • Small Business Empowerment & Workforce Development
  • International Trade & Commerce
  • Bio-Technology
  • Appropriations – Higher Education[27]

Tenure[edit]

Illinois Senate[edit]

On November 10, 2011, Biss announced his intent to run for the Illinois Senate seat held by retiring Senator Jeffrey Schoenberg.[28] He won the election on November 6, 2012, receiving over 66% of the vote,[29] and was sworn in on January 8, 2013.[30] The district included a number of Chicago's northern suburbs, including Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette, and Winnetka.

Committee assignments[edit]

Tenure[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Biss at a rally against the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018

According to his responses in a 2008 "Political Courage Test", Daniel Biss supports carbon emissions limits and is pro-choice (supporting legal access to abortion services). He also supports allowing Illinois high school graduates to pay in-state tuition at public universities regardless of immigration status, as well as state funding to raise the salaries of teachers.[31] He received a 7% rating by the NRA in 2010.[32] Biss has expressed support of labor unions[33] and he received a $20,000 campaign contribution from AFSCME.[34] Biss also supports legalizing marijuana in Illinois.[35]

In 2013, Biss cosponsored SB 1, a bill that aimed to limit the annual growth of retirement annuities within state employee's pension plans in an attempt to reduce debts in the state retirement system.[36] In May 2015, the Illinois Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional.[37] In rejecting the constitutionality of SB 1, the Illinois Supreme Court stated: "These modifications to pension benefits unquestionably diminish the value of the retirement annuities the members…were promised when they joined the pension system. Accordingly, based on the plain language of the Act, these annuity-reducing provisions contravene the pension protection clause's absolute prohibition against diminishment of pension benefits and exceed the General Assembly’s authority," the ruling states.[38] Biss later said that his work on SB 1 was an error, saying "I decided this was the least bad of the bad options. I allowed myself to think we couldn't do better." Biss later expressed support for funding higher pension payments if necessary by instituting a tax system with a graduated income tax and a tax on financial transactions.[39]

In March 2017, Biss sponsored SB 1424, a bill proposing a system of matching state funds for small-donor political contributions[40] and SB 780, a bill proposing to elect a number of statewide offices by ranked-choice ballot.[41] He also co-sponsored SB 1933, a bill by State Sen. Andy Manar to allow for automatic voter registration when applying for an Illinois driver's license.[42]

Biss supports universal health care and advocates specifically for a state-level single-payer healthcare system.[43][44] In June 2017, Biss voted to reinforce the Affordable Care Act in Illinois by prohibiting insurance companies from discriminating against customers with pre-existing conditions.[45]

State comptroller candidacy[edit]

In 2015, Biss announced a run for Illinois Comptroller for the 2016 special election[46] but dropped out and endorsed opponent Susana Mendoza.[47]

2018 Illinois gubernatorial election[edit]

Biss 2018 gubernatorial campaign logo.

On March 20, 2017, Biss announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Illinois for the 2018 election on a Facebook Live video, attacking incumbent governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.[48] Biss joined a growing field of Democratic contenders, including businessman C. G. Kennedy and Chicago alderman Ameya Pawar.[49]

Biss briefly named Chicago alderman and Democratic Socialists of America member Carlos Ramirez-Rosa as his gubernatorial running mate, but dropped him from the ticket after just six days because Ramirez-Rosa had expressed some support for the BDS movement which seeks to impose comprehensive boycotts on Israel over alleged human rights violations against the Palestinians. Biss' ally, Representative Brad Schneider, had rescinded his endorsement of the ticket over his pick of Ramirez-Rosa as his running mate, though Biss denied that that affected his decision.[50] Biss later announced his selection of Rockford-based state representative Litesa Wallace, a single mother and former social worker.[51][52]

Biss was endorsed by many of his colleagues in the Illinois General Assembly, high-profile academics and activists including Nobel laureate Richard Thaler and presidential candidate Lawrence Lessig, National Nurses United, the largest organization of registered nurses in the United States, and Our Revolution, the successor organization to Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.[53][54][55] Biss received two-thirds of preferential votes from Illinois members of the progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org.[56]

On March 20, 2018, Biss lost the Democratic primary to J. B. Pritzker. He earned 26.70% of the total vote, behind Pritzker with 45.13% and ahead of Chris Kennedy with 24.37%. Biss carried two counties, McLean and Champaign.[57]

Post-Senate activities[edit]

Having not sought reelection in the 2018 Illinois Senate election (instead running for governor), Biss was succeeded in the Illinois Senate by Laura Fine on January 6, 2019.[58]

On September 18, 2018, Biss had announced in an email to supporters that he had accepted the position of executive director of the nonprofit Rust Belt Rising, which aims to train and support Democratic candidates in the Great Lakes states.[59]

On August 15, 2019, Biss announced his endorsement of Elizabeth Warren for president.[60][61] In January 2020, Biss was selected to be on Warren's slate of 101 potential Illinois delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention,[62][63] but Warren suspended her campaign on March 5, before the presidential primary in Illinois on March 17.[64]

2021 Evanston mayoral campaign[edit]

Biss' mayoral campaign logo

On September 16, 2020, Biss announced the launch of a campaign for mayor of Evanston, Illinois.[65][66][67][68] On October 28, 2020, the incumbent mayor, Steve Hagerty, announced that he would not be seeking reelection.[69]

Biss' mayoral campaign received many prominent endorsements. In December of 2020, his campaign rolled out a list of 100 endorsements, including those of nine Evanston aldermen, as well as United States congresswoman Jan Schakowsky; state senator Laura Fine; state representatives Kelly Cassidy, Robyn Gabel, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz; and Cook County commissioner Larry Suffredin. [70] The Democratic Party of Evanston gave Biss its endorsement,[71][72] as did Northside Democracy for America[73] and the Organization for Positive Action and Leadership (OPAL).[74] On February 18, Biss' former gubernatorial primary opponent J.B. Pritzker, now the governor of Illinois, endorsed his candidacy for mayor.[75]

Biss won a landslide victory in the consolidated primary, forgoing the need for a runoff by receiving an outright majority of the vote.[76]

Electoral history[edit]

Illinois House of Representatives[edit]

2008
2008 Illinois House of Representatives 17th district Democratic primary[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel Biss 16,756 100
Total votes 16,756 100
2008 Illinois House of Representatives 17th district election[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Elizabeth Coulson (incumbent) 27,540 51.48
Democratic Daniel Biss 25,959 48.52
Total votes 53,499 100
2010
2010 Illinois House of Representatives 17th district Democratic primary[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel K. Biss 11,636 100
Total votes 11,636 100
2010 Illinois House of Representatives 17th district election[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel K. Biss 23,134 54.78
Republican Hamilton Chang 19,096 45.22
Total votes 42,230 100

Illinois Senate[edit]

2012
2012 Illinois Senate 9th district Democratic primary[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel Biss 18,583 100
Total votes 18,583 100
2012 Illinois Senate 9th district election[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel K. Biss 68,064 66.63
Republican Glenn Farkas 34,081 33.37
Total votes 102,145 100
2014
2014 Illinois Senate 9th district Democratic primary[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel Biss (incumbent) 11,509 100
Total votes 11,509 100
2014 Illinois Senate 9th district election[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Daniel Biss (incumbent) 55,986 100
Total votes 55,986 100

Illinois gubernatorial[edit]

2018 Illinois Democratic gubernatorial primary results by county
Map legend
  •   Pritzker—70–80%
  •   Pritzker—60–70%
  •   Pritzker—50–60%
  •   Pritzker—40–50%
  •   Pritzker—30–40%
  •   Biss—40–50%
  •   Kennedy—30–40%
  •   Kennedy—40–50%
    [78]
2018 Illinois Democratic gubernatorial primary[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic J. B. Pritzker 597,756 45.13
Democratic Daniel Biss 353,625 26.70
Democratic Chris Kennedy 322,730 24.37
Democratic Tio Hardiman 21,075 1.59
Democratic Bob Daiber 15,009 1.13
Democratic Robert Marshall 14,353 1.08
Total votes 1,324,548 100

Evanston mayoral[edit]

2021 Evanston, Illinois mayoral election[79]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Daniel Biss 7,080 73.23
Nonpartisan Lori Keenan 1,681 17.39
Nonpartisan Sebastian Nalls 856 8.85
Nonpartisan Write-in 51 0.53
Total votes 9,668 100.00

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fulton, Jacob (23 February 2021). "Daniel Biss to become Evanston's next mayor Daniel Biss to become Evanston's next mayor". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
  2. ^ "Hoopes Prizes Awarded to Undergraduates and Thesis Advisers". Harvard Gazette. 28 May 1998. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  3. ^ Biss, Daniel K. (October 2000). "A Generalized Approach to the Fundamental Group" (PDF). The American Mathematical Monthly. Mathematical Association of America. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ Swinkels, Niels (June 12, 2013). "Jonathan Biss: A Super, Human, Musical Mission". San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Giovetti, Olivia (January 18, 2011). "Jonathan Biss". Time Out New York. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  6. ^ Jewish candidate for Illinois governor drops running mate over BDS, Jerusalem Post, September 7, 2017.
  7. ^ David Weigel, In Illinois, a Democrat chooses a socialist running mate, then dumps him, Washington Post, September 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "Bloomington youth stars in science". Jewish Post, Indianapolis. 22 February 1995. p. 3.
  9. ^ "What does science have to do with the race for governor in Illinois?". Society for Science & the Public. February 21, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Szpiro, George G. (2010). "20: Brilliant but Fallible". A mathematical medley: fifty easy pieces on mathematics. American Mathematical Society. pp. 97–99. ISBN 9780821890646.
  11. ^ Daniel Biss, Clay Mathematics Institute
  12. ^ Institute for Advanced Study: A Community of Scholars
  13. ^ Nir, Oaz (2008). "Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines" (PDF). Notices of the AMS. American Mathematical Society. 55 (9): 1096–98. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Spot the differences between the two Jewish candidates for Illinois governor". The Jerusalem Post. February 26, 2018. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Mnev, N (2007). "On D.K. Biss' papers "The homotopy type of the matroid Grassmannian" and "Oriented matroids, complex manifolds, and a combinatorial model for BU"". arXiv:0709.1291 [math.CO].
  16. ^ Biss, Daniel K. (July 2009). "Erratum to 'The homotopy type of the matroid Grassmannian'" (PDF). Annals of Mathematics. 2nd. 170–1: 493. doi:10.4007/annals.2009.170.493. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
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  18. ^ Biss, Daniel K.; Farb, Benson (October 2009). "Erratum to 'Kg is not finitely generated'". Inventiones Mathematicae. 178 (1): 229. arXiv:math/0405386. Bibcode:2009InMat.178..229B. doi:10.1007/s00222-009-0202-x.
  19. ^ Biss, Daniel K. (15 February 2017). "Retraction notice to 'The topological fundamental group and generalized covering spaces' [Topol. Appl. 124 (3) (2002) 355–371]". Topology and its Applications. 217: 116. doi:10.1016/j.topol.2016.12.016.
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  22. ^ a b "'False' results in retracted paper by senator are inaccurate, not fraudulent, say editors". Retraction Watch. February 23, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
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  29. ^ Chang, Chi-an (November 7, 2012). "Biss Wins 9th State Senate District Race". Patch Media. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
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  34. ^ "Wage increases slow, but not campaign contributions". Journal Standard (online ed.). Freeport, Illinois. Illinois Statehouse News. November 9, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  35. ^ "Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Where do the candidates stand on marijuana?". capitolfax.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
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  38. ^ http://chicago.suntimes.com/politics/pension-reforms-illinois-supreme-court/
  39. ^ "Biss' populist play: Tax LaSalle Street and rethink Amazon HQ2". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  40. ^ "Illinois General Assembly – Bill Status for SB1424". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  41. ^ "Illinois General Assembly – Bill Status for SB0780". www.ilga.gov. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
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  43. ^ Miller, Rich (1 August 2017). "Biss, Pawar respond *** Pritzker outlines Medicaid buy-in idea". capitolfax.com. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  44. ^ "The truth about single-payer". Daniel Biss for Governor. 5 August 2017. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  45. ^ Dugyala, Rishika (14 June 2017). "Biss joins fight to prevent denial of pre-existing conditions in Illinois". The Daily Northwestern. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  46. ^ Pearson, Rick (22 September 2015). "City Clerk Mendoza gets major union backing in state comptroller bid". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
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  51. ^ Vinicky, Amanda. "Daniel Biss Replaces Ramirez-Rosa with Rep. Litesa Wallace". Chicago Tonight | WTTW. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
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  60. ^ Biss, Daniel (August 15, 2019). "Endorsement of Elizabeth Warren". Twitter. Retrieved April 3, 2020. A presidential candidate whose rallying cry is "big structural change" -- yes, please! ... I'm proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren, who represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform our broken system. I hope you'll join me in supporting her. [pic.twitter.com/LNGu8Bufgb Video]
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  65. ^ Kapos, Shai; Carrasco, Maria (2020-09-17). "AT THE FEDS' BECK AND CALL — FOP RATCHETS UP RHETORIC — GEORGE RYAN'S BOOK — BISS IS BACK". POLITICO. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  66. ^ Biss, Daniel (2020-11-18). "THREAD: I've made a big decision: I'm running for mayor of Evanston!". Twitter. Retrieved 2020-11-18.
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  68. ^ "Daniel Biss Announces Run for Mayor". evanstonroundtable.com. Retrieved 2020-09-18.
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  74. ^ "2021 Election". OPAL. Retrieved 24 February 2021.
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  79. ^ "Suburban Cook County Election Results February 23, 2021 Consolidated Primary Election". electionnight.cookcountyclerkil.gov. Cook County Clerk. Retrieved 24 February 2021.

External links[edit]

Illinois House of Representatives
Preceded by
Elizabeth Coulson
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 17th district

May 2011 – January 8, 2013
Succeeded by
Laura Fine
Illinois Senate
Preceded by
Jeffrey Schoenberg
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 9th district

January 8, 2013 – January 6, 2019
Succeeded by
Laura Fine