INGALLS ST MAM AD 728x90px 03 30 21
IllinoisRedistricting

New legislative maps may bring new faces to some voters

GOP, Hispanic group challenge remap in court

By Bob Bong and Peter Hancock

Illinois lawmakers gave quick approval last month to new maps for Illinois House and Senate districts that may change who will represent our local communities after the 2022 elections.

Illinois lawmakers passed the measures May 28, less than 24 hours after the bills implementing the maps were introduced.

kelly Burke state rep cropped

Kelly Burke

The latest versions of the legislative maps were released about 6:30 p.m. May 27 and while locally they don’t change much, in some areas they will lead to drastic shifts in who represents who starting in 2023.

Check out the maps here.

Locally, state Sen. Jacqueline Collins is expected to remain in the 16th District, which will run from Willow Springs east to Greater Grand Crossing and take in portions of Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn, Hometown and Burbank.

Sen. Bill Cunningham’s 18th District hasn’t changed much. It now runs from Palos Park east to Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood and south from Oak Lawn to Orland Park. It takes in Palos Hills, Worth, Chicago Ridge, Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, and Palos Heights.

District 14 starts in Orland Park and runs northeast to Roseland. It takes in Robbins, Blue Island and Calumet Park. Emil Jones III is the current senator.

As for state House districts, Fran Hurley’s 35th District will now run from Orland Park north to Beverly and takes in Palos Heights, Alsip and Merrionette Park along the way.

Kelly Burke’s 36th District runs from Palos Park east to Beverly and includes Palos Hills, Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Chicago Ridge, and Worth.

The 31st District runs east from Willow Springs to Auburn-Gresham and includes portions of Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn and Hometown. Mary Flowers is the current representative.

Part of the new 32nd District starts in Hickory Hills and runs east to Greater Grand Crossing. Cyril Nichols is the current representative.

The 27th District starts in Orland Park and runs northeast to Roseland. Justin Slaughter is the current representative.

bill cunningham state senator cropped

Bill Cunningham

Of course, the new maps must survive legal challenges from Illinois Republicans and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Those revised maps are similar to a draft set of maps that were released earlier and were the subject of joint committee hearings. During those hearings, the maps drew wide criticism from racial, ethnic and religious communities, particularly in the Chicago area, who complained that they broke up communities of interest and diluted minority voting power.

Democrats said they took those comments into consideration, along with concerns of some Republicans.

“After 50 public hearings across the state and listening to hours of testimony, the House and Senate Democrats have put together a product our state can be proud of,” Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez, chair of the House Redistricting Committee, said in a release. “What should stand out about this proposed map is how similar districts look compared to our current map.”

Those changes included keeping more of the Chicago-area Orthodox Jewish community in a single district and keeping the North Lawndale neighborhood, a predominantly Black community, in one district.

The revised maps also reconfigure some Republican districts to reduce the number of districts that would have multiple GOP incumbents.

But those changes did not appear to satisfy many of the concerns that were raised about the earlier proposal, including one that called for a district made up largely of Middle Eastern and Arab American residents.

“I think our question now is, what else can we do?” Dilara Sayeed, of the Illinois Muslim Civic Coalition, asked during a House committee hearing. “What else can we do to ensure that our voices have not just been audio heard, but our voices have been respected and listened to?”

During that hearing, Hernandez acknowledged for the first time that the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey was the only data source for population estimates that were used in the mapmaking process, but that voting data from previous elections had been used to determine the partisan tilt of each district.

She had previously said that was just one of several data sources for population estimates.

Republicans also were harshly critical of how the latest redistricting proposal was released and the short notice members of the public had to offer public comment at the hearings.

Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said the process by which the proposed maps were developed demonstrated the need for handing over the redistricting process to an independent commission.

“The people of Illinois deserve better than this,” she said. “They deserve better than the bad data, fake deadlines and sham hearings. They deserve the chance to pick their politicians, instead of once again letting politicians, pick their voters.”

fran Hurley state rep cropped

Fran Hurley

The bill passed the Senate on a party-line vote of 41-18. A few hours later it came up in the House where the debate became even more partisan and acrimonious before it passed 71-45 on partisan lines.

Judicial Redistricting

Lawmakers also approved new maps for the Supreme Court districts outside of Cook County.

The Illinois Constitution requires that those districts have “substantially equal” populations, but the district maps have not been redrawn since the early 1960s.

Voters in those districts also elect judges for the appellate courts. Each of those districts also elects a justice for the Illinois Supreme Court.

Democrats currently have a 4-3 majority on the Supreme Court. But last year, Justice Thomas Kilbride, a Democrat from the 3rd District covering north-central Illinois, lost his bid for retention, setting up an open race in 2022.

The proposed new map completely reconfigures that district so that it would cover most of western Illinois, from a point just north of St. Louis, northward to the Wisconsin border, taking in Springfield, Bloomington, Peoria, the Quad Cities and Rockford.

Legal challenges

Two lawsuits have been filed asking the remaps to be thrown out.

“Illinois voters, including the growing Latino voter community, are entitled to districts that accurately reflect the population as determined by the constitutionally mandated decennial census,” MALDEF president and general counsel Thomas Saenz said in a statement explaining why the group is challenging the new maps. “Ultimately, the General Assembly will have to redraw lines for the 2022 elections using the proper decennial census data.”

The lawsuit is similar to one filed by House and Senate Republican leaders. It alleges that the use of American Community Survey population estimates, rather than actual census data, will produce districts of unequal size, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

“ACS data is not adequate to ensure the constitutional guarantee of one-person-one-vote,” said MALDEF attorney Francisco Fernandez-del Castillo in the statement. “Using the ACS estimates to draw district boundaries puts all Illinois voters — especially those in traditionally underrepresented communities, such as Latinos — at risk of being disenfranchised.”

The Illinois Constitution requires lawmakers to complete the redistricting process by June 30 of the year after each decennial census. After that, the process is assigned to a bipartisan commission in which partisan advantage could be determined by drawing a name out of a hat.

But the process was complicated this year because the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors slowed the official headcount of all U.S. residents, forcing the Census Bureau to delay release of the detailed, block-level data needed for redistricting until mid-August.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Local News

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound PDF October 27, 2021

Brother Rice lineman Zak Bowden motions forward as quarterback Jack Lausch scores one of his three rushing touchdowns in Friday’s 40-21 road victory over Marist. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Football: Rice tops Marist as both powers eye playoffs

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent The buzz and postgame emotions from Brother Rice’s 40-21 victory over Marist on Friday was abbreviated. Because the heralded game was played on the final regular season weekend of the year, these area and state powers and bitter rivals quickly turned their attention to the playoff pairings announcements, which came less…

Chicago-Red-Stars-Logo

Last home game a winner for Red Stars

By Alison Moran What a way to end a season at home. It was a perfect night for a cool game of soccer, with temperatures in the upper 50s and no rain dampening the field. In front of 4,488 of the Red Stars’ faithful at SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, the Chicago Red Stars defeated KC…

Marie Vachata was the second woman to serve as mayor of Lyons. Her term was 2001 to 2005. (Supplied photo)

Marie Vachata gets a fond farewell from Lyons

By Steve Metsch Pat Wideman will never forget the first time she met Marie Vachata. “When I first moved to Lyons 50 years ago, she was the very first neighbor who welcomed me to Lyons,” Wideman said while sitting on a bench outside the village hall. Vachata resided two doors down on 46th Street when…

The Bridgeview Sports Dome before it was damaged in a storm in December of 2015. (File photo)

Bridgeview rents out former golf dome site for parking

By Steve Metsch The village of Bridgeview stands to make nearly $5 million by renting out space to park trucks where the golf dome formerly stood. The village will be paid $45,000 per month in an agreement that runs through September 2030. That comes to $540,000 per year and $4.86 million over the nine-year contract.…

Evergreen Park wide receiver Elijah Matthews catches a touchdown pass over Oak Lawn’s Gavin Butler. Photo by Steve Metsch

High School Football: Mustangs buck Spartans into offseason

By Steve Metsch Correspondent Coming into the regular-season finale, Evergreen Park knew Oak Lawn needed a victory to possibly make the playoffs. The Mustangs, most likely already in the tournament but with a chance to improve their seed, had other plans. “Not on our watch,” senior wide receiver Elijah Matthews said after Evergreen Park defeated…

Ray Hanania

New map leads to nowhere

By Ray Hanania Chicago politics is a politics of race and ethnicity. It always has been. It’s one reason why in Illinois, race means more than good ideas. Every 10 years, based on a flawed U.S. Census that excludes some races while exaggerating others, states redraw congressional district boundaries. Illinois will lose one seat, reducing…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Soccer: LW Central tops Reavis on PKs for regional crown

By Steve Millar Correspondent Reavis experienced the exhilarating highs and excruciating lows of overtime playoff soccer in the same week during its own IHSA Class 3A regional. After rallying for a thrilling 3-2 overtime over Thornton co-op in the regional semifinals Oct. 19, the Rams dropped a heartbreaker by the same score to top-seeded Lincoln-Way…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

High School Football: Richards tops Reavis, wins SSC Red title

By Steve Millar Correspondent A shortened spring season with no playoffs, a 3-3 record and losses to District 218 rivals Shepard and Eisenhower brought some new perspective to a Richards program that is used to dominating the South Suburban Red. The Bulldogs have a new appreciation for accomplishments like the outright SSC Red championship they…

Sandburg’s Maia Loureiro, shown in a first-round match in Barrington, is the fifth area player to finish in the top 10 in the state in girls tennis. Photo by Jeff Vorva

High School Sports Postseason Roundup: Maia, oh, Maia — Sandburg soph finishes in top 8

By Jeff Vorva Correspondent It was cloudy. It was windy. It was rainy. Many people might describe it as a lousy day, but Sandburg sophomore tennis star Maia Loureiro wasn’t complaining. She was playing tennis. In the state tournament. She opened her state career on that crummy Oct. 21 day at Barrington High School with…

Neighbors

Northwestern Home Team 250x250 1
Subscribe today.4
UPDATED: Senate passes Parental Notice of Abortion Act repeal amid faith leader, GOP opposition

UPDATED: Senate passes Parental Notice of Abortion Act repeal amid faith leader, GOP opposition

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate advanced a measure to repeal the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act early Tuesday evening amid staunch opposition from Republicans and religious groups. The repeal bill passed the Senate Executive Committee on a 9-6-1 vote Tuesday shortly after 5 p.m., and passed the…

Parental Notice of Abortion Act repeal passes committee amid faith leader, GOP opposition

Parental Notice of Abortion Act repeal passes committee amid faith leader, GOP opposition

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate Executive Committee advanced a measure to repeal the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act early Tuesday evening amid staunch opposition from Republicans and religious groups. The repeal bill advanced to the full Senate, which could vote on it as early as Tuesday night.…

Latest congressional maps draw more criticism

Latest congressional maps draw more criticism

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The latest draft of a new congressional district map for Illinois met with much of the same criticism as the first draft during a House committee hearing Tuesday. The latest proposal from legislative Democratic leaders was released Saturday. It divides the state into 17 congressional districts,…

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional map draft unveiled

CAPITOL RECAP: New congressional map draft unveiled

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly released a second draft of proposed congressional district maps over the weekend as they prepare to head into the final three days of their fall veto session. Like the first set of maps that were released Oct. 15, the latest draft would create…

Pritzker urges child vaccination as changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act emerge

Pritzker urges child vaccination as changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act emerge

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – An amendment to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act that allows an employer to fire a worker for noncompliance with COVID-19 vaccine or test requirements surfaced Monday ahead of the final three scheduled days of legislative action this year. That bill language was introduced in…

Democrats unveil 2nd draft of congressional maps

Democrats unveil 2nd draft of congressional maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Democratic leaders in the General Assembly released a second draft of proposed congressional district maps over the weekend as they prepare to head into the final three days of their fall veto session. Like the first set of maps that were released Oct. 15, the latest…

CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session's second week

CAPITOL RECAP: Major action expected in veto session’s second week

By CAPITOL NEWS ILLINOIS SPRINGFIELD – The legislative action was light during the General Assembly’s first week of fall session, and lawmakers in both chambers left town a day early after leadership canceled the Thursday session. That means bigger items, such as a vote on congressional maps and potential changes to the Health Care Right…

Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals

Pritzker mandates vaccine for day care professionals

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker announced an executive order Friday that will add day care personnel to the list of professions that must either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing. The governor’s office said it expects the order to affect 55,000 individuals in the state,…

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down Cook County tax on guns

By JERRY NOWICKI Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Cook County tax on gun purchases is unconstitutional, but it left the door open for a more tailored tax that specifically goes toward mitigating gun violence and its effects. The Cook County gun tax, which took effect in…

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

Public speaks out on proposed congressional maps

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois [email protected] SPRINGFIELD – Members of the public got their first chance to speak directly to state lawmakers Wednesday about a proposed set of new congressional district maps, and most of those who did were critical of the plan. Democrats in the General Assembly released a proposed new map Friday…

Regional Natural Healing House Ad
Regional Capri Restaurant House Ad