ST. CHARLES – After marching 187 miles from his house in Campton Hills to Springfield to draw attention to the need for political reform, St. Charles businessman Jim Coxworth is ready to give his blistered feet a rest.
"I held up pretty well, but my feet kind of really got the brunt of it," he said, after finishing the march on Oct. 23 with a stop at the Illinois State Capitol. "I got a lot of blisters after walking 15 to 16 miles every day. My left foot took the worst of it."
The march started on Oct. 11 with a seven-mile walk from his house in Campton Hills to his office in downtown St. Charles, which is also the headquarters of his nonprofit group Illinois Citizen Uprising.
Coxworth said he is happy he did the march.
"It got a lot of attention," he said. "I talked to a lot of people on the way that very upset with the state government. So I think it gave us the kind of attention we needed to get this whole movement rolling."
Coxworth and his group are calling for two separate amendments to the Illinois Constitution. The amendments call for eight year term limits for all members of the Illinois General Assembly along with an independent commission to draw the legislative maps.
He is funding Illinois Citizen Uprising himself. He is president of Cratos LLC, a business consulting company. Coxworth also runs Hammerman USA, a nonprofit organization committed to training young, disadvantaged boys in the sport of hammer throwing. Coxworth, a former All-American hammer thrower from the University of Illinois, serves as head coach at Hammerman USA.
On most days, he was walking eight hours a day, from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Coxworth found himself battling the natural elements during the walk.
"It was quite a bit colder and windier than I anticipated," he said. "Some of the days were downright cold. The wind out there was brutal. I had fleece on and a long undershirt underneath. And then when it really got cold, I had a windbreaker and also another down jacket. I had to have them all on, on some days."
Even though the walk is done, Coxworth said his group will not be letting up its efforts in pushing for political reform. His group is pushing to get both term limits and fair map amendments on the ballot.
But now, he is just happy to be home.
"It's nice to be home in my own bed," Coxworth said.