Fear often drives bad decisions. Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan’s recent decision to challenge in court the Independent Maps initiative is a case in point. Ironically, Speaker Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, a fellow Democrat, fear that establishing a truly democratic process for drawing the State’s legislative maps will hurt their chances of electing lots of Democrats. The legislative leaders of the current party in power, Democrats, draw the maps to expand their election reach. In previous years, Republicans used that same power to skew the maps to favor Republicans. That’s exactly why a proposed plan for an unbiased independent mapping process is so important for Illinois.
The current system of power party mapping ensures the continuation of uncompromising battles between parties that disrupt our legislative decision making in Illinois. This biased mapping process has contributed to the current refusal of Democrats to work with Republicans, which includes refusing to work with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. Thanks to the current biased mapping system, instead of working together to solve our State’s problems, the party in power focuses on working in these skewed districts to build more votes before the next election, so that they won’t be forced to work with the other party to make compromises. The new Independent Map Amendment is a great start to ending these stand offs that have become our State legislature’s mode of operation.
In February, President Barack Obama summarized the need for independent mapping better than anyone, saying, “In America, politicians should not pick their voters; voters should pick their politicians.” We couldn’t agree more.
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The first campaign ad is on the air across Illinois now. Share the ad and help spread the message that Illinois needs redistricting reform now. Polling shows that early education is necessary in order to guarantee the 60% majority we need in November to pass redistricting reform in Illinois.