Reform for Illinois (RFI) is a 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. Our vision is a government free of corruption and structural inequities—a government that Illinoisans trust because it serves the people, not just the powerful.
RFI was founded in 1997 as the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) 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.
Our work focuses on three broad issue areas:
Money in Politics - We advocate for public financing of elections and other campaign finance reforms to open the doors of government to more diverse candidates and to enable officials to represent the people they’re supposed to represent—not special interests or wealthy donors. We also conduct analyses of campaign finance data to inform the public about who is funding (and influencing) our public officials, and how.
Election Reform - We work to empower voters with policies that make it easier to vote and increase the power of their vote. This means exploring innovations like vote by mail, ranked choice voting, and other reforms that could increase voter choice and amplify voters’ voices.
Corruption Prevention and Oversight - We support measures to improve transparency and ethics oversight over elected officials and to reduce incentives for representatives to put their own private gain over the public good.
The burdens of corruption, voter disempowerment, and the dominance of wealthy donors in politics fall heaviest on vulnerable and marginalized communities. We view our work through an equity lens and take an inclusive approach to our civic engagement, policy development, and advocacy efforts.