Political courage. Jeff at age 29 was elected State Central Committeeman for the 9th Congressional District, which included all of Evanston, challenging and defeating the then-incumbent chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party on a reform platform. The party during the four years that Jeff represented Evanston and the rest of the 9th CD elected the first non-Cook County chairman in decades, put in place the framework of the proportional national convention delegate nominating system for Illinois, and worked to rebuild a frayed downstate organization. In 1988, Jeff received almost a quarter-million Cook County votes as the reform candidate in a close special election for the Board of Tax Appeals, getting strong support from Evanston Township and many good-government endorsements. Since leaving office in 1990, Jeff has served twice, for a total of over 10 years, on the board of the Democratic Party of Evanston, carrying the Evanston banner while challenging machine politics in a three-way race for the Cook County Board in 1994, and mounting an influential, issue-based race for the state legislature in 2010.