A new politics for the 12th District.

My name is Jimmy Garfield, and I am running for state representative in the 12th District. I believe that a lot of people have lost interest in these state races because they aren’t inspired by the candidates who run and aren’t sure what they can accomplish. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Springfield shouldn’t be blocking basic reform, but it does. Instead, it should be leading. We don’t have to wait for the federal government to improve the quality of our air and water, to provide healthcare to our citizenry, to reform our criminal justice system, or to improve our schools. I promise to build on some of the potential that has come out of the election of a Democratic governor and the progressive mood in Chicago to build coalitions committed to making a real difference.

I believe our district can make a big difference with the right leader supported by a grassroots movement to make change. I am committed to being that leader for all of us and to building the foundation of citizen engagement that will make that possible. Please keep your eye on this page for a site launch in the coming days, including ways to get involved with the campaign.

The urgency of ethics reform

Jimmy Garfield Vows to Turn Down Appointment and Proposes Ethics Plan 

CHICAGO – Within days, state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) is expected to accept an appointment to the state Senate, and with her exit, a replacement will be chosen for the hotly contested 12th District seat.

One of the people seeking to succeed her, Independent Democrat Jimmy Garfield is declaring that, if offered, he will decline the appointment. He is also calling on his fellow 12th District candidates to do the same and recently announced his bold, new ethics and government reform plan known as “Reform First.” 

“The people of the 12th District deserve someone who will champion the liberal ideals and policies of Rep. Feigenholtz and be a champion for ethics and government reform in Springfield.  That is why I am announcing that, if offered, I will not accept the appointment to fill the 12th District vacancy,” Garfield said. 

“Furthermore, I am calling on my fellow candidates not to accept an appointment either. I urge the committeepeople tasked with filling the vacancy to select someone who is not running to serve out the rest of Rep. Feigenholtz’s term and allow the voters to decide who should serve after the term is completed.”

Garfield’s calls are part of his first legislative priority to promote good government and a part of his new “Reform First” agenda which includes:

Term Limits: Illinois has a sad history of protecting incumbents for decades, which stifles new candidates and ideas, so they have no chance to ever be heard.  If elected, Garfield will push for term limits, both for legislative leadership positions, and for legislators in general.

Special Elections: In the event a political vacancy occurs, voters—rather than party bosses—should vote for their elected officials. Appointments mustn’t happen behind closed doors in smoke filled rooms by those already in control. If appointed to fill the seat vacated by Sara Feigenholtz, he will reject it, and he calls on others in the race to do so as well.  

Recall Elections: Garfield supports allowing the recall of elected officials indicted for crimes or ethics violations.  Those officials who are convicted should lose whatever state pensions they had.

Springfield Culture: Garfield firmly believes we cannot allow a culture of bullying, intimidation or misogyny to fester in our Capitol or anywhere throughout our state and will propose legislation to improve conditions and protect workers.  

Campaign Finance: Garfield strongly disagrees with the Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited corporate contributions to campaigns and believes that ultimately campaigns should be publicly funded.  He will work to cap contributions political parties and leadership can provide to a campaign and has no major PAC or institutional backers. 

Gerrymandering: A system where politicians pick their voters and not the other way around is not healthy for democracy or good for its citizens. Garfield believes we should not design districts with the goal of protecting incumbents and will support independent commissions to draw legislative maps. 

Lobbying Reform: Garfield will work to ban elected officials from being lobbyists or “consultants” at the same time as they hold office.  Elected office is a privilege, dedicated to service, not a vehicle to enrich the legislator.

Strengthening Inspector General’s Office:  Garfield will work to strengthen the Illinois Legislative Inspector General (LIG) Office whose current position has been rendered far less effective and independent by entrenched career politicians.

Garfield is an attorney currently residing in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood. He has a BA and JD from DePaul University, and has worked on numerous progressive campaigns. He is running in the March 17 Democratic Primary. For more information about Jimmy, his campaign, or his “Reform First” agenda, please email Jimmy@jimmygarfield.com, call 773-540-8370 or follow him on social media at Twitter (@jimmygarfield) and Facebook

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Paid for by Garfield for State Representative.