* Press release…
The Illinois House and Senate Redistricting Committees have relaunched an online map making portal which will allow residents to draw and submit proposed congressional boundaries for lawmakers to consider as redistricting efforts continue.
The map making portal can be accessed at www.ilsenateredistricting.com and www.ilhousedems.com/redistricting. Returning users that have previously used the portal do not need to create a new account.
The relaunch of the portal comes ahead of a series of public hearings the committees will hold in October to gather input on the makeup of new congressional districts. Additional details about hearings will be announced in the coming days as Democrats remain committed to a redistricting process centered on public participation with more accessibility than ever before. Members of the public may also submit written testimony or draft congressional maps at any time at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s never been more important that every resident of Illinois has a strong voice in Congress, and that starts with ensuring everyone has a voice in the mapmaking process,” said Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, D-Cicero, Chairperson of the House Redistricting Committee. “This mapmaking tool gives everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts and help us create districts that reflect our state.”
“Now is the time for residents across Illinois to make their voices heard to ensure our state has strong representation in Washington,” said Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, Chair of the Senate Redistricting Committee. “We encourage residents to take advantage of these opportunities to directly participate in the map making process, as the best map is one that reflects the diverse voices across our state.”
* Lynn Sweet asked Senate President Don Harmon about the congressional remap process last week. Some of Sweet’s questions are paraphrased here…
LS: Will the congressional remap be passed in the veto session?
DH: Yes. We will be returning to Springfield in October, and the first priority is to pass a congressional map.
LS: Do you have a draft already, or drafts?
DH: We do not. We are just beginning the process, we’re beginning to schedule the public hearings. We want to take testimony from Illinoisans from the top to the bottom, from the east to the west, and make sure that all that public input is factored in to any map that we produce.
LS: Have you had meetings with any of the delegation members to get their views, or when does that happen?
DH: I expect that we will be having subsequent conversations going forward. There have been no formal sit-downs with any members to talk about redistricting.
LS: We have to lose a district, where do you think it will come from?
DH: This is a great question and I wanted to remind folks, in reapportionment, we went from 18 districts to 17 districts. That doesn’t mean that the district disappears so much as all the other districts get a little bit larger, and everybody in Illinois, including the entire congressional district, lives in one district or another. We’re going to follow the population shifts, we’re going to try to draw districts that are fair and reflect the diversity of the state of Illinois, we’re going to follow the Federal Voting Rights Act as well as the Illinois Voting Rights Act, and try to build districts that best represent all of Illinois.
LS: Have you looked at the maps drawn by Cook Political Report US House editor Dave Wasserman?
DH: I have not. I don’t know him. I know that the map caused a fair amount of controversy, but I also knew that nobody in charge of passing the maps, participated in drawing it.
Please pardon all transcription errors.
State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) issued the following statement today in response to House and Senate Democrats announcing the relaunch of their much-maligned public map-making portal for new congressional boundaries:
“The sad truth is that this is just another attempt by Democrats to act like this is a free and fair process, but the facts have proven otherwise,” said Butler. “The relaunching of a portal that included a multitude of malfunctions that went unaddressed by them before, I don’t expect much to be different this time around.”
*** UPDATE *** Press release…
The Latino Policy Forum is gravely disappointed in the Illinois legislative maps that were signed into law last week, which do not provide equitable opportunities for Latinos to elect the representatives of their choice. These maps do not accurately reflect the state’s Latino population, nor its true diversity within the halls of government, and they do not bode well for a more equitable future of our election systems.
“Despite Illinois adding 309,832 Latinos to its overall population according to 2020 census data, the state did not add any Latino-majority districts. In fact, we lost one Latino-majority House district, from 14 to 13,” says Latino Policy Forum President and CEO Sylvia Puente. “This is not fair, just, or equitable.”
“The map signed into law by the Governor, after having had a second opportunity to get it right and after an increase in the state Latino population that should result in an increase in Latino-majority districts, falls very short,” says former State Senator and former Chicago City Clerk Miguel del Valle, who testified alongside the Forum in hearings on redistricting this year. “I’m very disappointed that the general assembly and the Latino caucus voted for this inequitable map, which is an injustice to Latinos statewide.”