Sam Cahnman – Ward 5

Download Sam Cahnman’s 2023 Candidate Survey…

Sam Cahnman, Ward 5

(217) 691-6207
915 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, Illinois, 62704

I am the only candidate in this race who has been elected by the voters of Ward 5.  At the end of my 2 terms on the City Council, the SJ-R rated me one of the top 2 Alderpersons in  passing ordinances, (SJ-R 5/11/14)

It is important for an Alderperson to not just sit there and react, but also to be proactive and try reasonable solutions to problems facing out city.  I passed the round-up your CWLP to help the homeless, which kept the homeless shelter going during the Rauner budget shut down, and is still working today.

As an inner city Alderperson, I would propose solutions to revitalize and maintain our older neighborhoods.  I advocate using fees from the registration of boarded buildings to help the owners of those buildings bring them up to code.

To enhance public safety, I would pass an ordinance requiring EMTs to wear body cams, and cameras in back of ambulances.

Sam Cahnman would be a strong advocate for good people of Ward 5.

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ICON 2019 Questionnaire Response Sam Cahnman…


Sam Cahnman has spent a lifetime fighting for consumers, citizens and open government. He spent the 8 years being the hands-on Alderperson of Ward 5. Prior to that Cahnman represented this area on the County Board, where he was rated Best County Board Member by Illinois Times readers. Cahnman wrote a monthly View From City Hall column for his constituents.

  • On the City Council, Cahnman’s hard work resulted in the State Journal-Register ranking him 2nd out of the 10 Aldermen in number of ordinances introduced and passed (5/11/14). The Illinois Dermatological Association gave Cahnman an award for passing the under 18 tanning ban to protect our young people from the ravages of skin cancer. This ordinance led the State Legislature to expand this life saving measure statewide a year later.
  • Cahnman co-sponsored the new problem properties ordinance that finally put a limit on the formerly endless cycle of registering vacant properties. Cahnman voted for the 3 year infrastructure rehab program that revamped a record amount of streets and sidewalks. He pushed for more resources to demolish abandoned buildings that led to a record number of demolitions. Cahnman also passed ordinances giving a preference to local businesses, to prevent another paper shredding scandal, and creating the Round Up program to help the homeless. He also sponsored and passed the ordinance prohibiting gender discrimination at Lake Springfield clubs.
  • Cahnman led the fight for the open primary so voters can have a secret ballot and not have to publicly declare their party. He put the open primary question on local ballots all across the state, resulting in overwhelming votes of 75 – 95% for the open primary.
  • Cahnman received his law and undergraduate degrees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
  • After law school, Cahnman assisted our Appellate Court, and then drafted legislation for the Illinois General Assembly, and used those drafting skills as the Ward 5 Alderperson. Former Mayor Ossie Langfelder appointed Cahnman to the Human Relations Commission, where his fellow Commissioners elected him Chairman. Cahnman co-founded the Citizens Utility Board. CUB has saved Illinois consumers more than $1 billion. Cahnman served as CUB’s first Vice President and represented the Springfield area on CUB’s Board.
  • Cahnman is a lawyer in private practice. He has served as an Appellate Prosecutor and represented our veterans in a winning case in the Illinois Supreme Court.

Sam’s Vision For Springfield

  • Revitalize our older neighborhoods, the gem of our Capital City, by forcing owners of rundown properties in violation of City Code to fix or demolish them. Attract redevelopers and younger families to our urban core with neighborhood improvements and incentives. Better regulation and scrutiny of group homes in residential areas.
  • Continue revitalization of downtown by creating downtown UIS campus and creating more housing to fill the growing demand. More residents will result in more new downtown businesses.
  • Improve public safety by creating more trust between police and citizens through use of body cameras and neighborhood policing.

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