A non-partisan statewide coalition sponsoring a petition to place the Independent Map Amendment before voters in this November’s election. “What’s at stake,” you might ask?
According to the group’s website, “Illinois government is broken. Career politicians go behind closed doors and rig elections by drawing legislative maps to benefit themselves. The Independent Map Amendment will reform the rules and require a process of drawing maps that is transparent, impartial and fair. Illinois elections should reflect the will of the people, not the politicians.”
The coalition claims to have prominent members of both major political parties, as well as leaders from the clergy, academia and philanthropic organizations. In addition, dozens of well-known business and civic organizations have signed a “friend of the court” brief filed with the Illinois Supreme Court: “to allow democracy to prevail and to let the people have their vote,” on the Independent Map Amendment in this coming November 2016 election.
According to their website, on July 22, the Illinois Supreme Court granted an emergency motion accepting a direct appeal of a Cook County Circuit Court judge’s ruling that the Independent Map Amendment does not meet state constitutional requirements for a citizen-initiated amendment. The Independent Map Amendment would establish an impartial commission to draw legislative district boundaries and require a process that is transparent, impartial and fair.
“Redistricting is broken in the State of Illinois,” the brief states. “For more than 40 years, with a single exception, every time Illinois legislators have approached the task of redistricting, they have reached an impasse, and then the party in power has created a highly-partisan plan that favors incumbency over any other consideration. As a consequence, the people of Illinois have been denied competitive elections and have been saddled with too many legislators who care more about their own self-interest than the will of the people.”
A partial list of co-signers of the brief
Better Government Association, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI), Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, CHANGE Illinois, Chicago Southside Branch NAACP, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Public Interest Research Group, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Org., Latino Policy Forum, League of Women Voters of Illinois, McCormick Foundation, Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Planning Council, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Small Business Advocacy Council, Union League Club of Chicago and West Rogers Park Community Organization.
Stay tuned for this developing story.