Cynthia Canary is the director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR) a statewide non-partisan, education and advocacy project. ICPR, which was established by the late Sen. Paul Simon, conducts research and advocates reforms to promote civic participation, address the role of money in politics and encourage accountability in government. ICPR was actively involved in the passage of the groundbreaking 2003 Illinois State Officials Employees Ethics Act, the 2005 Omnibus Elections Reform Act and the 2009 ban on pay-to-play in contracting. Under Canary’s leadership, ICPR addresses a range of issues including campaign finance reform, governmental ethics, judicial independence, elections administration and media reform. ICPR maintains an award-winning website and campaign finance database at www.ilcampaign.org.
Previously, Cindi was executive director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, where she helped lead the successful effort to implement the National Voter Registration Act in Illinois. She has also worked in the Public Education Division of the American Bar Association and has had experience in both state and local government.
Canary serves on the boards of the Chicago Appleseed Foundation and as president of the Mikva Challenge Grant Foundation. She is a member of the Justice at Stake Campaign, and the National Center for State Court’s Ad Hoc Committee on Judicial Campaign Conduct. Canary also coordinates the Midwest Democracy Network, a five state collaborative devoted to enhancing governmental practices and public participation throughout the Midwest. Canary, whom the Chicago Tribune described as “the state’s most vocal advocate for good government,” is a nationally-known speaker and writer. She is a frequent media commentator on campaign finance, elections, ethics and judicial reform.
Canary received her B.A. in political science from Hampshire College and did graduate work at Georgetown University.