Sneha Girap (Editor)

Robert F. Martwick Jr.

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Preceded by  Joseph M. Lyons
Name  Robert Martwick,
Religion  Catholic

Profession  Lawyer
Spouse(s)  Sharon Martwick
Political party  Democratic Party
Robert F. Martwick, Jr wwwfmctaxlawcomimagesrobmartwickpicjpg

Alma mater  Boston College John Marshall Law School
Residence  Norridge, Illinois, United States
Education  John Marshall Law School, Boston College

Robert F. Martwick Jr. is a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 19th District since 2013. His district on Chicago’s Northwest Side includes parts of the Dunning, Gladstone Park, Jefferson Park, and Portage Park neighborhoods, in addition to portions of the suburbs of Elmwood Park, Harwood Heights, Norridge, and River Grove.

Contents

Biography

Robert F. Martwick Jr. httpspbstwimgcomprofileimages5605516672050

Robert F. Martwick Jr. is descended from a civically active Polish American family traditionally associated with Chicago Polonia.

Martwick is the son of Robert F. Martwick Sr., a property tax appeal attorney with the seven-member real estate tax law firm Finkel, Martwick & Colson PC. Martwick Sr. is the Democratic committeeman of Norwood Park Township and secretary of the Democratic Party of Cook County. Robert F. Martwick Jr. is also a tax appeals attorney with Finkel, Martwick & Colson PC. Martwick Jr. runs a political consulting firm whose clients include Joseph Berrios, the Assessor of Cook County and chairman of the Democratic Party of Cook County.

Martwick earned his BA from Boston College in 1988, and went on to receive his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1996.

Martwick began his legal career as an Assistant State's Attorney in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. During his 5 years, he prosecuted various crimes including Delinquent Child Support, DUI and general misdemeanors, and spent 18 months as the lead prosecutor of the Domestic Violence Unit at the 2nd Municipal District courthouse. Martwick also spent 9 months in the Property Tax unit before leaving the office and entering private practice.

Political career

First elected to office as trustee for Norwood Park Township in 1993, he narrowly lost a race against the Deputy Majority Leader of the Illinois Senate Walter Dudycz by less than 1% in 1996. Martwick went on to run for Trustee of the Village of Norridge in 1999 at the behest of Mayor Earl Field. Winning more votes than any other candidate in that election, Martwick served for 12 years in this position before retiring. In 2002, Martwick unsuccessfully challenged Republican Peter N. Silvestri for the position of Cook County Commissioner in the 9th district. After incumbent Representative Joseph M. Lyons announced he would not seek another term in September 2011, Robert Martwick announced his intent to run for the open seat. Martwick defeated Sandra Stoppa in the March 20 Democratic primary, and was unopposed in the general election, which took place on November 6, 2012.

Illinois General Assembly

In his two terms as a Representative, Martwick has served on numerous committees including:Economic Development and Housing, Judiciary-Civil, Human Services, Financial Institutions, Insurance, Elementary Education/Charter School Policy, Renewable Energy and Sustainability, Veterans Affairs, Museums Arts and Cultural Enhancement, International Trade and Commerce, Business and Occupational Licenses, Transportation/Vehicle & Safety, and Public Safety/Police and Fire.

As a freshman legislator, Martwick introduced a bill (HB5318) that became an important part of the Illinois Conceal Carry Legislation. Martwick's provision created an "automatic objection" to the application for a conceal and carry permit made by persons who had been arrested 5 or more times in the previous 7 years (for any reason) and by persons who had been arrested 3 or more times in the previous 7 years for gang related activity. Any person whose application has been objected to must appear before a 7 panel license review committee which holds a hearing and decides whether to grant the license to the applicant. This automatic objection process helped make Illinois' Conceal Carry law into a "hybrid" Shall Issue/May Issue law, providing for a tool to deny licenses to people who repeatedly run afoul of the law, while at the same time ensuring that law abiding citizens would not have their rights infringed upon. Martwick's provision was widely backed by both 2nd Amendment and gun control advocates, and it received more votes than any other provision. Shortly after it became law, a known gang leader was denied a conceal carry permit due to this provision.

On February 14, 2013, Illinois Senate Bill SB10, the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, passed the Illinois Senate, was introduced into the Illinois House, and had its first reading in the Illinois House. On February 21, 2013 Martwick was added as an Alternate Co-Sponsor of SB10 in the Illinois House of Representatives. He was one of 24 Representatives to sign on as Chief Sponsor, Alternate Chief Co-sponsor, or Alternate Co-Sponsor, and one of 19 Alternate Co-Sponsors, in the Illinois House. The Illinois House passed SB10 and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill into law in November, 2013.

Martwick is the chief sponsor of HB557, a bill that would create an elected school board for the city of Chicago. The bill passed the House 110-4 in March 2016, and currently awaits action in the Illinois Senate.

Property tax law firm connections

Martwick’s law firm lobbies Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios to lower property valuations. Martwick and his father are politically connected to a number of property tax law firms in Cook County. Those firms make their profits by helping corporations lower their property tax bills. (As a side note, the Illinois House speaker, Michael Madigan, also runs a property tax firm in Cook County).

In 2016, Berrios has hired Martwick as a consultant. In addition to serving as Cook County Assessor, Berrios also works a side job as a lobbyist in Springfield.

An investigative journalism piece by the New York Times in 2010 found that lawyers who worked at Martwick’s law firm were the top campaign contribution donors to Berrios’ campaign. They were also the top donors to the campaign of Berrios’ daughter, Maria Antonia Berrios, who was a state representative. Over ten years, the lawyers gave around $164,000 to the two Berrios’ campaigns.

References

Robert F. Martwick Jr. Wikipedia