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Sara Feigenholtz: Illinois State Representative

Updated on November 20, 2012

Sara Feigenholtz: Illinois State Representative

Sara Feigenholtz is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 12th District since 1995. Feigenholtz lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Sara recently ran in a special election on to fill the congressional seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel, who has resigned to serve as President-elect Barack Obama's Chief of Staff, but lost to Mike Quigley.

Who is Sara Feigenholtz?

A biography of Sara Feigenholtz...


Sara is the daughter of a doctor who adopted her and her brother as children. She earned her bachelor's degree from Northeastern Illinois University and went on to earn her fellowship degree from the University of Illinois School Of Public Health. Prior to getting elected State Represenatative, she served as chief of staff to Senator John Cullerton, aiding the Senator in many legislative and community efforts.


Sara was elected to her first term as state representative of Illinois' 12th District in 1994, unseating an 18-year incumbent . She has served seven terms in office representing three very progressive areas in the city of Chicago, which include Lakeview, Lincoln Park and the Near North Side.

As a state lawmaker, Sara has authored and championed legislation that runs a gamut of issues including adoption reform, AIDS funding, stem cell research, contraceptive equity for women, affordable and accessible health care, environmental issues and improving the quality of education in Illinois.

Feigenholtz is Chairperson for both the House Appropriations Committee for Human Services and the House Adoption Reform Committee. Additionally, she serves on the House Committees for Insurance, Juvenile Justice Reform, Mass Transit, and Tourism and Conventions.

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 and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Feigenholtz is active with several community organizations. She serves on the governing council of the American Jewish Council. She is the Illinois State Director of Women in Government, and she serves on the advisory boards of the AIDS Living Remembrance Project, the Theater Building, and Friends of Lincoln Park.She was formerly the Executive Director of the Central Lakeview Merchants Association and founder of her own consulting firm which raised over $1 million for pro-choice political candidates and charitable organizations. Now she continues her active involvement in leadership councils and governing boards of many local community organizations, including the American Jewish Congress, Women in Government, the Illinois Masonic Medicare Center, Lincoln Park Conservancy, Chicago Baseball Museum, and Northeastern Illinois University.


Sara ran to fill the congressional seat vacated by Rahm Emanuel, who resigned to serve as President-elect Barack Obama's Chief of Staff. A special primary election was held on March 3, 2009, to determine the Democratic and Republican nominees. She received the endorsement of several progressive organizations, including EMILY's List, NOW and Americans for Democratic Action. She lost to Mike Quigley.

What do you think of Sara Feigenholtz?

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    • michelleart profile image

      Michelle Collins 7 years ago from Florida

      Great lens idea!!! There should be more like this!

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Being a Brit and living in Ohio, much of the American political scene, particularly its public figures, fly right over my head. But it's great that more information can be found on excellent pages such as this :)

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 7 years ago

      @squidoohelp: Hey Squidoohelp, she's actually into Adoption reform - she was adopted as was her brother, and she's worked on laws to raise the profile of adoption as an option for pregnant women as well as potential adoptive parents, make it easier for adopted individuals to find out medical record information and contact their birth parents (and vice versa), and created some financial support via the state, tax breaks, etc for people who choose to adopt, especially those who choose to adopt children with special needs. Many of our adoption laws were out of date, as they are in many states, and did not take into account technological advances in the past 50 years. I really admire her leadership on the adoption issue - its really a case of someone's personal experience informing their politics, which is wonderful to see.

      As for abortion, she is pro-choice.

    • squidoohelp profile image

      squidoohelp 7 years ago

      I'm missing some information here. She's into abortion reform... does that mean she's helped legalize it, or make it more accessible, or the other way around? Same with the other issues. What does she stand for?

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 7 years ago from Benson, IL

      Neato idea, making SquidWho Lenses on political figures! Sometimes you get so swamped with conflicting political ads that it's hard to know who these people are and what they stand for. Kudos and a "like" for you. :)

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      ohcaroline 7 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about her. She represents my home where I grew up. 5*

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 7 years ago from U.S.

      Sara sounds like someone I'd like to know. We need more people like her in our Michigan government!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 7 years ago

      This looks like a valuable resource for the people of Illinois.