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Sara Feigenholtz

Page history last edited by Mark Arnold Fredrickson 10 years, 9 months ago



Sara Feigenholtz is an Illinois State Representative and a candidate for Congress in Illinois's 5th congressional district Special Election.


On the issues



Sara will work with President Obama to pass an economic recovery plan that will put millions of Americans back to work and get our economy back on track. Sara agrees with President Obama that we must immediately invest in projects that will build our economy while putting people back to work, including efforts to modernize our health care system and promote the development of alternative energy.

In the Illinois House, Sara sponsored the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to give tax relief for working families throughout Illinois. In Congress, Sara will continue to make sure middle class families are at the center of any plan to stimulate our economy.



Sara believes that health care is a basic right for all, not a privilege for a few. As Chair of theHuman Services Appropriations Committee in the Illinois House, Sara was Chief Sponsor of theFamilyCare Bill with then-State Senator Barack Obama, expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare for thousands of working families. In 2005, Sara championed passage of the groundbreaking All Kids legislation, which provides every child in Illinois with comprehensive, affordable health care.

Sara was the chief sponsor of legislation promoting stem cell research in Illinois to help find cures for juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

In her 14 years in Springfield, Sara has been a fierce advocate for persons living with mental illness and developmental disabilities and a commanding voice for women's health. Sara fought to make insurance companies cover routine mammograms, earning her an award fromSusan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization committed to bringing survivors and activists together by raising awareness about breast cancer.



Sara believes that providing a quality public education to all children and making college affordable for all families are key to economic opportunity and a stronger, more competitive America.

Sara knows that we must overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The goal of NCLB is laudable, but the implementation of the law by the Bush administration has hurt schools more than it has helped. Education policy should be driven by supporting teachers with the resources they need - not standardized tests.

Young people across our state have been able to attend college because of expansions to the Monetary Award Program that Sara supported.



Sara fought to make sure woman receive the same pay as men for the same work performed through Illinois' equal pay for equal work law.

In the last legislative session of the Illinois General Assembly, Sara sponsored House Bill 5615, the Reproductive Justice and Access Act, which codifies the central tenets of Roe v. Wade and guarantees women's access to prenatal care, unbiased information about adoption and full coverage for screening and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. She was also Chief Sponsor of the Contraceptive Equity Act, which requires insurance companies that offer prescription drug coverage to also cover contraception for women.



How we take care of our seniors says a lot about us as a community. Sara earned the praise of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus for her work to expand the Community Care program in Illinois, which allows seniors to receive the in-home care they need and live with dignity in their own homes.

In Congress, Sara will make sure the needs of our seniors are included in comprehensive health care reform.

Sara opposes efforts to privatize Social Security, raise the retirement age or reduce the cost-of-living adjustment.



The Illinois Environmental Council and the Sierra Club have awarded Sara a 100% environmental voting record. A member of the Illinois General Assembly Environmental Caucus, Sara has passed legislation promoting environment-friendly building designs for new school construction and championed a bill that would bring Illinois in line with the federal Clean Car Act.

Congress must work to immediately address the crisis of global climate change by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol and creating incentives for businesses to reduce carbon emissions.

Sara also wants greater federal support to create green collar jobs to harness the power of alternative energy sources like wind, solar, biomass and geothermal.

Fighting the war on terror


Sara is under no illusions about the threat of terrorism. We must fight those who seek to harm us, but Sara knows we need to be smart as well as tough. Sara will work with President-elect Obama to bring our troops home from Iraq as safely and quickly as possible, destroy Al Qaeda and support our foreign allies in their own fights against terrorist groups.


securing our borders

Sara knows that making our borders secure while keeping families intact should be the backbone of comprehensive immigration reform. As a first-generation American, Sara knows that most immigrants come to America in search of a better life and a chance to succeed. Representing one of the most diverse House Districts in Illinois, Sara supports smarter immigration policies that make us safe and keep families intact.

restoring civil liberties

Over the past eight years, the Bush Administration has eroded our civil liberties under the guise of fighting the war on terror. Sara will work with President Obama to restore the freedoms we have lost - work that must include revision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Patriot Act.



Sara learned about public service from her mother, a physician, who provided health care services to many women and families who had nowhere else to turn. Rather than engaging in pay-for-play politics and partisan fights in Springfield, she has been focused like a laser on helping people and getting things done.

Sara successfully pushed for a law prohibiting anyone with a state contract worth more than $50,000 from making campaign contributions to lawmakers who oversee the awarding of contracts. Sara also passed House Bill 419, which prevents elected officials convicted of felonies related to their official duties from being appointed or running for office again.

Sara has been recognized by the Illinois Committee For Honest Government for her commitment to transparency in government. She will continue to serve honestly and effectively in Congress.



Illinois' GLBT community has had no stronger ally in Springfield than Sara. She sponsored theHuman Rights Law, which protects against unfair discrimination based on sexual orientation. She has also consistently supported hate crimes legislation.

Sara also secured funding for ADAP, a program designed to make sure life-saving drugs are available to those who need them. She worked to clarify existing legislation regarding the Illinois Cares Rx prescription drug program to help Illinois residents reap the full benefits of the ADAP program.




A lifelong resident of the 5th Congressional District, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz is a product of both her community and the person who had the greatest influence on her life - her mother.

Sara was raised in Hollywood Park on Chicago's Northwest side by her mother, Dr. Florence Buky, a community doctor who was widowed when Sara and her brother were young children.

Dr. Buky came to this country from Eastern Europe and put herself through medical school during a time when few hospitals accepted women doctors on staff, but she worked hard and got a job at a local hospital serving women and children.

Sara's mother never left her work behind at the hospital. She often welcomed parents from the neighborhood into her home to provide care for their children when they had nowhere else to turn - Sara's mom even examined sick children right on the kitchen table.

Sara learned from her mother that health care is a right, not a privilege. That's why Sara has spent her life fighting on behalf of those who often don't have a voice. She has always put the community before the special interests in Springfield and has led the fight to put the needs of women, families and children first.

After spending several years working to elect progressive candidates, Sara was elected to her first term as state representative of Illinois' 12th District in 1994, unseating an 16-year incumbent. She quickly became one of the state's leading voices on health care expansion and reform. Working with then-State Senator Barack Obama, she was a lead sponsor of the FamilyCare bill, which provides health care to uninsured working parents and their kids. Sara later championed passage of the All Kids bill, which provides every child in Illinois with comprehensive, affordable health care.

Sara has never backed down from taking on the special interests. She fought to get the insurance companies to cover birth control and annual mammograms. She also has a reputation for rising above the politics of Springfield and bringing people together to get things done. She did exactly that when she brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass funding for critical stem cell research.

Sara's advocacy on behalf of women and children has gained her widespread acclaim from several organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, the Families and Children's AIDS Network andSusan G. Komen for the Cure.

Sara is Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee in the Illinois General Assembly.





Cash edge will help get Feigenholtz message out in crowded primary field

Chicago, IL - Relying on an energized grassroots base, state Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-12th) raised $325,000 in the first weeks of her bid to replace Rahm Emanuel in the fifth congressional district, her campaign said today.

In a report filed with the Federal Elections Commission yesterday, Feigenholtz reported that more than 500 individuals contributed $325,000 to her campaign for Congress. Ninety-six percent of all contributions to Feigenholtz's campaign were from Illinois. In addition, Feigenholtz reported having $300,000 cash on hand. Feigenholtz has made no personal loans to her campaign.

"Sara's early fundraising start is an indication of the enthusiasm and excitement generated by this grassroots campaign," said Feigenholtz campaign manager Mike Rendina. "Our fundraising edge will allow Sara to effectively get her message out over the next 30 days to voters, most of whom are currently undecided."

In the two weeks following her first volunteer kick-off on January 10, the Feigenholtz campaign recruited more than 200 new volunteers who made contact with 20,000 voters during that period. Last week, the campaign opened a second office in the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago's Northwest side and is the only campaign to have two offices opened in the district thus far.

"Our fundraising advantage coupled with our grassroots field operation gives Representative Feigenholtz a clear advantage in a crowded field of candidates," Rendina said. "Whether it's knocking on doors, making calls or sending mail, we'll have the resources needed to get Sara's message out to voters about her 14-year record of fighting for families and expanding affordable health care to working parents and kids."



Endorsed by:

Since entering the race to fill the congressional seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel, she has received the endorsement of several progressive organizations, including EMILY's List, NOW, SEIU, Women's Action for New Direction (WAND), and Americans for Democratic Action.


What the papers say:



What's a health care/social services-focused legislator such as Sara Feigenholtz to do when a Democratic president takes office promising to reform the health care system?


Run for Congress to help.


One of only two women on a ballot with nine men in the March 3 Democratic primary election to succeed Rahm Emanuel in the 5th Congressional District, with more money raised than any of them, Sara Feigenholtz finds herself well-positioned to bring her know-how about health care and social services to Washington.




In just a few short months since she got into the race to replace Congressman Rahm Emanuel, Sara Feigenholtz has put together a top-notch campaign staff, secured the services of some of the best political consultants in the country and raised over half a million dolloars. Sara is up against 12 candidates in the March 3rd Democratic primary election. Feigenholtz says she's up to the challenge.


Even in the dead of winter, Sara has been meeting and talking with voters, often early in the morning chatting with people at bus stops. She is a tireless campaigner who has been going door-to-door and making phone calls non-stop.



Chicago Tribune (2/12/09)

One of the leading Democratic candidates to replace Rahm Emanuel in Congress repeatedly declined to say Thursday whether her campaign conducted a phone survey last month in which pollsters raised allegations about foes in the March 3 special primary...

In an appearance before the Tribune’s editorial board Thursday, Feigenholtz was asked at least a half-dozen times about the issue, but would neither confirm nor deny her campaign was behind the negative poll. She maintained she’s running as a reformer.



"Sara Feigenholtz will help President Barack Obama get this nation's economy going again and that means creating jobs," said SEIU Illinois Council President Thomas Balanoff. "Her get-things-done reputation means working families will have the right person, at the right time, fighting for their needs in Washington. She knows this recovery must begin in our neighborhoods," he added.




For the past 14 years that she has served in the General Assembly, Feigenholtz has proven to be quite a progressive politician, vocally advocating for women's rights and going to bat for GLBT equality.


Among the laundry list of accomplishments include helping improve access to breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings and treatments. She was chief sponsor of a bill that required insurance companies to pay for contraceptives. She's also the proprietary of the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which has helped thousands in Illinois gain access to lifesaving drugs. Just this past year, she worked to put an extra $1.5 million into that appropriation line so that the poverty level could be raised, enabling more people to access HIV/AIDS medications. She also tried to push a bill through that would eliminate an old law that requires HIV-positive students to reveal their status to school principals, although it failed.




According to my highly scientific reading, three ladies registered the highest decibels on the applause-o-meter: Netsch, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez, and state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.


Feigenholtz, who is running in the 5th Congressional District to replace Rahm Emanuel, was one of at least six candidates who showed up to kiss the GLBT ring. Most of the city's GLBT voters live in the district, making them a coveted constituency in the competitive March 3 Democratic primary.

They worked the cocktail hour with political sturm und drang. Feigenholtz sported a well-known cadre of supporters, including endorsements from Equality Illinois Political Director Rick Garcia and Art Johnston, a popular co-founder of the gay rights group.




"The Feminist Majority PAC enthusiastically supports Sara Feigenholtz for Congress", said Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority PAC. "Feigenholtz passionately supports women's and family issues, and in her 14 years as a State Legislator she has proven her commitment and leadership on women's rights. We need more representatives like Sara in Congress."


"I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Feminist Majority PAC, a leading feminist organization that's supporting my grassroots campaign," said Feigenholtz. "They have a proven track record of electing progressive, women candidates to Congress and fighting for issues that impact women and families. I am happy to be joining them in the fight to ensure that human infrastructure dollars for health care, child care, and other critical needs that will create jobs and serve women and families are at the center the economic stimulus package before Congress."




Which brings me to the special election in Illinois's fifth congressional district, where on March 3, Democrats will choose a nominee to replace Rahm Emanuel. This Chicago-based district is heavily Democratic, so whoever wins the nomination will be the odds-on favorite to go to Congress. This open-seat race has attracted a large crowd, but there's only one woman in the top tier, and she's got a 14-year record of passing progressive legislation that's really made a difference in the lives of women and families: state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz.


Sara's record is dazzling. She's behind laws guaranteeing equal pay, requiring insurance companies to cover contraception, and increasing access to breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment. She led the fight to expand the state's FamilyCare program to cover low-income parents. She increased funding for AIDS treatment and for in-home care for the elderly. She is 100 percent pro-choice and cosponsored legislation codifying reproductive rights in Illinois should Roe v. Wade be overturned. She sponsored the law protecting Illinois citizens from discrimination based on sexual orientation and has consistently supported hate crimes legislation. And Sara has consistently received high ratings from both the AFL-CIO and the Sierra Club. Sara Feigenholtz is a true blue progressive with a record of results.




State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, was endorsed Monday by the National Organization for Women in her quest for the vacant congressional seat of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

“With her experience writing and passing health care legislation and chairing the Human Service Appropriations Committee in Illinois, we are confident that Sara will be a leader for Illinois and the country,” Kim Gandy, NOW president and NOW Political Action Committee chairman, said in a statement.

As the only female elected official in the crowded race, the Northwest Side Democrat also was endorsed earlier this month by Emily’s List, a national political group that supports pro-choice Democratic women.




"Rep. Sara Feigenholtz is a progressive state legislator and community leader who has made a life-long commitment to improve women's health and lower health care costs for working families," said Ellen R. Malcolm, president of EMILY's List. "Illinois needs Sara's leadership in Congress to work with President-elect Obama to create real change for our nation. EMILY's List and its members are proud to support Sara Feigenholtz in her campaign to represent Illinois's fifth congressional district."


State Representative Feigenholtz has the experience needed to bring change from the city of Chicago to the halls of Congress. She has served seven terms in the Illinois House of Representatives, where she successfully championed issues pertaining to women, children, and seniors. In the state legislature, Feigenholtz led the charge to expand the state's Family Care program to cover uninsured working parents and fought for legislation that helped improve health care for senior citizens.




Sara Feigenholtz, the independent-minded lakefront liberal state representative, believes she has the legislative record and the growing war chest that will lead her to victory




"Sara Feigenholtz will be a strong and progressive voice in Congress, advocating for expanded health care, greater employment opportunities at a living wage, mortgage protection for home owners and affordable housing for renters, and reversing the government excesses and abuses of the Bush administration," declared John Ostenburg, President of ADA's local chapter. "Her stellar reputation for honesty and integrity, hard work, and diligent constituent service has earned our confidence and respect, and we look forward to working with her for positive change at this crucial time for our nation."





What the bloggers say:



What is clear though is that Sara Feigenholtz has demonstrated to run the most organized campaign of all the candidates so far. The online outreach, endorsements and fundraising levels seem to be dwarfing the competition. She seems to have settled on her message and issues while making it clear that she is a champion on an issue set that one else is. If her candidates are going to compete, they better start to get serious and start communicating their value as potential members of congress before it's too late.



DAILY KOS 01/30/09

We have achieved More Democrats, now we need Better Democrats.

While we are at it, we need More Women and Better Women.


That brings us to Sara Feigenholtz. She is the right person to send to Congress and we don't have to wait until 2010. She is running to fill Rahm's vacant seat in IL-05 and it would give us an opportunity to not only bring the number of women in the House to 62 (or 14.05%) it would allow us to add a true blue, time tested progressive to the House at the same time.



DAILY KOS 01/26/09

Sara is not just a Progressive in name, she is one in action; her fourteen-year record as an Illinois State Legislator proves that she has always championed progressive causes and fought to improve the quality of life for everyone in Illinois. Sara took on the insurance companies and required them to cover the cost of annual mammograms and contraceptives. She worked with a little known Springfield State Senator, some guy named Barack Obama - I wonder what he is doing these days - to extend health insurance to hundreds of thousands of children.


While it is not the end all be all, a woman before has never held IL-05 and in this year of shattering glass ceilings I cannot imagine a more qualified person to shatter this ceiling than Sara.


While there are a number of candidates in this race, each impressive in their own right, Sara has the proven progressive record, none of whom can match her fourteen year record of expanding health care and fighting the insurance companies on behalf of you and me.



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Comments (6)

edwardkarlos said

at 10:35 pm on Jun 28, 2011

I agreed Sara will work with President Obama to pass an economic recovery plan that will put millions of Americans back to work and get our economy back on track.
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edwardkarlos said

at 10:35 pm on Jun 28, 2011

I agreed Sara will work with President Obama to pass an economic recovery plan that will put millions of Americans back to work and get our economy back on track.
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edwardkarlos said

at 9:38 am on Jul 3, 2011

I agreed invest in projects that will build our economy while putting people back to work, including efforts to modernize our health care system and promote the development of alternative energy.


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edwardkarlos said

at 8:36 am on Jul 11, 2011

I AGREED invest in projects that will build our economy while putting people back to work, including efforts to modernize our health care system and promote the development of alternative energy.
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edwardkarlos said

at 5:57 am on Jul 13, 2011

I AGREED including efforts to modernize our health care system and promote the development of alternative energy.
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edwardkarlos said

at 4:49 am on Jul 17, 2011

I AGREED Sara Feigenholtz is an Illinois State Representative and a candidate for Congress in
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