On September 10th, Moving Forward hosted IL State Representative Sara Feigenholtz at its monthly meeting. Representative Feigenholtz represents the 12th district, which includes East Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Near North neighborhoods.
A champion of progressive causes, Sara recounted tales of her life in state politics, noting instances where she either had to convince others of her position or work for compromise all could live with. A recent example of this is the education budget, passed in 2017. A major step towards stabilizing funding for CPS, the bill also included a small allowance for private school scholarship donations, a practical concession required to pass the bill.
Candid and sincere, Sara expressed interest in continually learning more about the needs of her constituents and encouraged all to email her or stop by her office. She also highlighted that since the Presidential election outcome, she and others were doing everything they could to change or strengthen laws at the state level to mitigate the impact of potential policy changes at the federal level. In that context, she gave Moving Forward some insight about hot to get involved locally with an eye on national issues:
1. Get to know your state level representatives and don't be afraid to contact them with your views. Reps are always looking for good ideas!
2. Join a civic or other professional organization in your area of expertise so that you can help influence the views they share with state officials.
3. Get to know the democratic candidates for Governor and become involved in supporting your candidate ahead of the primary on March 20th. It is crucial for the Democratic Party to put forth a candidate that is electable given the diverse electorate in Illiniois.
As for Sara's focus in the months ahead, she is actively engaged in the upcoming gubernatorial primary, but is also focused on tackling existing legislative challenges. Since the meeting, HB 40 has been signed. HB40, sponsored by Rep. Feigenholtz, reverses a 1970's era statute that, among other things, would automatically eliminate abortion right in IL if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. The passing of this bill puts Illinois in the vanguard of women's reproductive rights legislation.
Find your representatives: http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx
Sign up for Representative Feigenholtz's newsletter and stay up to date on what is going on in Springfield and district 12: www.staterepsara.com