About Us

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Reform for Illinois is a nonpartisan research and advocacy organization that empowers the public to participate in government, addresses the role of money in politics, and promotes integrity, accountability, and transparency in our political system.

History

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) was founded in 1997 by former U.S. Sen Paul Simon (D-IL) and then Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra (R). This bipartisan partnership laid the groundwork for ICPR to become a leading reform voice on Illinois campaign finance law, government ethics, and expanding voter education and engagement.

From the 1998 Gift Ban Act, to the 2009 law instituting state campaign finance contribution caps and disclosure requirements, to the 2018 Voter Equipment Modernization Project, our organization has been instrumental in bringing about meaningful reforms that strengthen our democracy and make it work better for everyone.

We were also the nation’s first organization to put state-level campaign finance reports into a searchable, online database, Illinois Sunshine. Along with our research and advocacy, Illinois Sunshine is frequently acknowledged by state, national, and international news media outlets as a key resource for Illinois politics and government.

In September 2018, we relaunched our organization with its new name, Reform for Illinois.

Click here to read more about our history and our legislative and legal achievements.

Current Initiatives

  • Election Reform & Voter Turnout: RFI is collaborating with election officials and community groups to develop a reform plan that will make our elections more efficient while improving the voting experience and voter turnout.
  • Sexual Harassment: In 2017, RFI created a set of recommendations for improving the investigation and reporting of sexual harassment complaints in the Illinois legislature. While some of the recommendations have been implemented, much remains to be done, and RFI continues to advocate for changes that will increase the transparency and independence of the process. You can read RFI Policy Director Alisa Kaplan’s testimony before the Illinois Senate and House’s Task Forces on Sexual Harassment here.
  • Ballot Access: RFI is engaged in efforts to lower barriers for non-insider candidates seeking to run for office, such as reducing overly burdensome petition signature requirements and the haphazard petition challenge process.
  • Campaign Finance Reform: Addressing the role of money in politics has always been a central policy priority for RFI. In addition to providing comprehensive campaign finance data on its Illinois Sunshine database, RFI advocates for reforms like public financing that would make our government more equitable, representative, and accountable to the people it serves. Read RFI Board member and Senior Advisor David Melton’s testimony before the Illinois House on public campaign financing here.

Advancing transparency, accountability, & integrity in government.

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Reform for Illinois
500 N Dearborn St, Suite 518
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 436-1274
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