Qasim Rashid Champions Democratic Values at Candidate Forum, Rep. Foster Fails to Show

NAPERVILLE, IL – On Tuesday, March 5, the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority hosted a Candidate Forum for Illinois’ 11th congressional District. Democrat and human rights lawyer Qasim Rashid showcased his unwavering commitment to Democratic values, while his opponent, incumbent Rep. Bill Foster, failed to appear.

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, founded in 1908 at Howard University, is America’s premier Greek-letter organization for African American women. The forum was hosted on Zoom with more than 120 attendees, encouraging residents of the 11th District to engage directly with candidates.

Qasim Rashid’s presence at the forum underscored his dedication to transparency and accountability in government. Throughout the event, he emphasized the importance of earning constituents’ votes daily and the need for Democrats to show up and defend their records.

Even when faced with Republican candidate Dr. Kent Mercado, who attended the forum, Rashid confidently defended his policies to the event attendees, demonstrating his readiness to face off against opponents from any party.

“You need to lead with your values and show up for people,” Rashid said during the forum. “I am disappointed that my opponent refused to show up today…to me, it’s important to let voters know that you are accessible, that you are transparent––because transparency leads to trust.”

In stark contrast, incumbent Rep. Bill Foster’s absence at this Black women-led forum speaks volumes about his lack of commitment to the district. This is the fifth candidate forum hosted by a women-led organization that Foster has declined to attend since January 31.

“The need for Democratic candidates prepared to stand up to Republicans and defend democracy has never been more urgent,” said Qasim for Congress Communications Director, Sydney Nelson. “With the looming threat of an aspiring dictator coming to power, we need leaders like Rashid who confront challenges head-on and protect our democratic institutions.”

With less than two weeks until Election Day for the Democratic primary on March 19th, the Qasim for Congress campaign urges the community to finalize their voting plans. To learn more about the campaign, visit or email us at For press inquiries, contact Sydney Nelson at