Councilor E. Henry Twiggs
E. Henry Twiggs (Ward 4)
First Elected: 2009
Committees: Race & Civil Rights, Chair; Economic Development, Elder Affairs.
Prior Public Service: Zoning Board of Appeals, Chair.
Other Elections: None.
Political Distinctions: Chair, Springfield Democratic City Committee
Poll of last contested election: City Council Ward 4 2009 general:
|E. Henry Twiggs*||1130||60%|
Repeal biomass: Yes
Police Oversight Board: Yes
For Mayor’s FY2013 Budget: Absent
For Mayor’s FY2014 Budget: Yes
Limiting Residency Ordinance Waivers: Yes
Pawn shop regulations: Yes
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Twiggs was unopposed in 2013 and was not interviewed.
Political Note: Not quite the John Lewis of Springfield, but as the ward representative for the historical black neighborhood of Springfield, and and an active participant in the Civil Rights movement both locally and nationally, E. Henry Twiggs has commanded a level of moral authority on social justice. Twiggs was a long time proponent of ward representation and took a huge role in the lawsuit that sought ward representations (it was mooted by the city’s acceptance of ward seats in 2007). Twiggs spearheaded the ill-fated reform of police oversight in the city and was among the many vocal opponents of biomass. He, too, has taken a skeptical approach to the mayor’s initiatives, and often derides the lack of information provided to councilors ahead of votes. The leader of the City Democratic party and for a time before that the Ward 4 committee, he has been a visible member of Democratic politics in the area for some time. The extent to which this has had an impact is only clear to the extent that Twiggs became the Ward 4 Councilor, which was, according to available sources, his first run for office. Twiggs’s greatest asset is his ability to broker deals on the Council, including helping Michael Fenton, often a close ally, nab the Presidency. However, Twiggs has struggled with illness during his tenure as well. Early in his first term, he was hospitalized for a time and has missed recent meetings as well due to health. Whatever health concerns he may have, which have described in dire terms in the past, when at meetings he is an engaging, outspoken Councilor especially on issues that affect his and neighboring wards.