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Independent Maps Urges Obama to Support Redistricting Reform in His Home State

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Independent Maps, a nonpartisan coalition seeking redistricting reform in Illinois, applauded President Obama Wednesday for making congressional redistricting reform a priority in his final State of the Union address. The group now urges the president to support independent redistricting in his home state.

“The President’s words in the State of the Union Address – ‘We have to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around.’ – hold true for redistricting of the Illinois General Assembly where he once served,” said Dennis FitzSimons, chair of Independent Maps, in a press release.

IVN previously reported that a 2014 effort (called Yes for Independent Maps) to get independent redistricting on the statewide ballot failed after the Illinois State Board of Elections determined that it did not have enough signatures and a Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled that the proposed amendment was unconstitutional.

Organizers rebranded their efforts in April 2015 under the name Independent Maps or Independent Maps Amendment. The group is calling for “an 11-member non-partisan commission whose decisions and process would be open to the public and to public comment.”

“Voters in Illinois are demanding change in the way the Illinois General Assembly is elected,” said Dave Mellet, campaign manager of Independent Maps. “Our coalition is diverse and includes many who have supported his past campaigns, as well as some opponents. We don’t agree on all policy issues, but we stand together for reform of the system, for elections to be fair, for votes to count and for voices to be heard.”

The Independent Maps coalition includes AARP-Illinois, the Illinois Farm Bureau, CHANGE Illinois, Common Cause Illinois, Latino Policy Forum, League of Women Voters of Illinois, IVI-IPO, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Union League Club of Chicago, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and many others (the full list can be found on the group’s website).

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17 comments
Greg Rapenchuk
Greg Rapenchuk

He can't even stop gun violence in Chicago. Not likely he can do that.

Joel Martinez
Joel Martinez

They make thier Rules! and WE the People Let Them!! We need change. The Presidant is Right. YES I 1support reform

Jeff Marston
Jeff Marston

It was a very pointed part of his speech.  I'm curious to see how's it's handled in Illinois which was the first thing I thought of when I heard it.

Anatole Evans
Anatole Evans

Stand up to Hillary Clinton first!! About as fair and balanced as the Corporate media! Feel the Bern! The two party system has been playing the same game for forty years! The only ones benefiting and getting what they want is the one percent! Just a trending news story brought to you by repetition creates reality inc. Also brought to you by just ignore Bernie Sanders inc. Not all that different from how Bill Cosby handled these questions! Bill Clinton is just a much better liar! Check out the list of allegations and the number of women making them! I believe victims and I don't trust the Clintons! Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby used power, intimidation, and a persona larger than life to silence a lot of women! Just wrong! Rape was part of the allegations and money was paid out! How many women need to come forward before we believe them? Hillary Clinton is enabler and chief!

Robert Weber
Robert Weber

AGAIN...... Constitution says in Amendment XIV section 1 and Amendment XV Section 1 ... " ONE LEGAL CITIZEN, ONE LEGAL VOTE" ... There is no mention of anything else. A person carrying the vote , votes, the winner is the winner... Districting is nothing but a scam. Party's are a scam, and the " ELECTORIAL college / caucuses are the Epitome of allowing parties.... George Washington pleaded for no parties for they were already known from the " mother land" to be rife with corruption. One legal citizen , one legal vote with a gathering of votes brought forth AS IS ... To the collection center for counting is Yes IS the system our Constitution is based on.......

Evelyn McKenzie
Evelyn McKenzie

I agree Terry Mingus. We in n.y. stzte get stuck with Cuomo beczuse he loads jo bs,money etc into Albzny area ,n.y. city manhatten where the highest # of voters are and upstate gets the shaft .

Debbie Parks
Debbie Parks

Obama owes favors just like all the rest. Bernie gets my vote!

Ben Hardin
Ben Hardin

Shawn, the article doesn't say how the 11 members of the commission would be chosen. Is the proposed commission truly nonpartisan or is it bi-partisan or multi-partisan?

Terry Mingus
Terry Mingus

Independents could redistrict every district if they just put them o the ballot which is why they don;t want to .Heaven forbid the people actually have a voice :P

Rick O'Connell
Rick O'Connell

Arizona has an independent commission, the Teapublicans sued to restore their "right" to gerrymander, even this rigged Supreme Court told them no, 5 to 4.

Bob Wolf
Bob Wolf

Gerrymandering exists in nearly every state, Repub. and Dem. alike, James.

Michael Anderson
Michael Anderson

It's in their best interest, both parties to some degree, to lock in their districts for their party, so after they leave office, someone from their own party can take over.

James Lentz
James Lentz

President Obama said gerrymandering must end. Why would he approve of gerrymandering when the democraticc party has been hurt much more then the republicans . Look at Michigan for gods sake. Shyster and friends have created a kingdom

Adam Jeffery
Adam Jeffery

Lol...He won't. He's as partisan as they come.

Sara Huff
Sara Huff

Yes, & have supported this for a long time. Congress could have changed this , but they did what they usually do.-- Nothing.

bob
bob

Odd how it's only now that he puts it in an actual national address. Would have been nice to have that whole gerrymandering thing taken care of a few election cycles ago