The elephant in the room
Tuesday, Nov 22, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* House Speaker Chris Welch was interviewed by Capitol News Illinois…
When asked whether gerrymandering played a role in those results, Welch said it did not.
“What I would say is that the maps reflect the diversity of our state,” he said. “And one of the things that I said as the leader of our caucus and the speaker of the House last year when we were going through that process, that any fair map would reflect the diversity of our state. And if you look at the election results, the election results show that.”
He said the results in the House were an example of that.
“We elected our first Vietnamese American to the House,” he said. “We elected our first Korean American to the House. We elected our first Arab American Muslim to the House. We elected our first Indian American Muslim to the House. We elected our first South Asian, Pacific Islander American to the House. Diversity is well represented in the Illinois House, and we look like Illinois, and we look like America. And we should be proud of that.”
The House is significantly more diverse. No argument there.
But the East St. Louis-based House district has been represented by a Black person for what seems like forever, but it lost about a fifth of its Black population in the remap and was then lost on election day to a white Republican named Kevin Schmidt, who was backed by Eastern Bloc members, campaigned against the SAFE-T Act, blamed Rep. LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis) for those refugees being bused to Chicago, blasted the Climate Equity and Jobs Act as “radical” legislation and opposes abortion rights.