Biography



Sara Feigenholtz has spent her career fighting to improve the quality of life for seniors, women and children, and the uninsured.

Sara’s model of public service was shaped by her mother, Florence Buky, who came to this country from Bialystok, Poland and put herself through medical school. In those days, few hospitals would accept women doctors on staff, but Dr. Buky eventually got a job delivering babies at a hospital for women. Many of her patients were unable to care for their newborns, which is how she came to adopt Sara and her brother.

Growing up, patients in distress often arrived at their family home on Chicago’s Northwest Side. Sara’s mother never turned anyone away, even if they couldn’t pay. This idea that health care is a basic right would later influence Sara’s work in the state legislature.

After graduating from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in Political Science and Speech and Performing Arts, she became Chief of Staff to then-State Representative John Cullerton. Later, Sara established her own small business, SKF Consulting, becoming a prolific fund-raiser for progressive causes.

In 1994, Sara was elected to her first term as state representative of Illinois’ 12th District, unseating an 18-year incumbent, and quickly became one of the state's leading voices on health care and human services reform. Working with then-State Senator Barack Obama, she was a lead sponsor of the Family Care Bill, which expanded access to vital health services for the uninsured. Sara also championed passage of All Kids, a program that provides every child in Illinois with comprehensive, affordable health insurance.

Sara’s advocacy on behalf of Illinois residents who often struggle to be heard has gained her widespread acclaim from several organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition, the Jane Addams Senior Caucus and the Families and Children's AIDS Network.

Amid the petty politicking and gamesmanship in Springfield, Sara has emerged as a proven progressive. She understands that it’s time to abandon old ideas and models that simply haven’t worked in favor of new approaches that squarely address the everyday challenges facing so many working families. That’s the only agenda she’s pursued.

Sara is Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee and Adoption Reform Committee. She also serves on the Mass Transit, Tourism & Conventions and Insurance Committees. She resides in the Lakeview neighborhood and is a member of Anshe Emet Synagogue. A former Executive Director of the Central Lakeview Merchants Association, Sara remains active in the community and serves on many boards and organizations in the 12th district.

Over the years, Sara has been recognized for her tireless commitment to her community and all of Illinois’ citizens.

Sara Feigenholtz