To the Editor:
On November 4, voters may decide the Illinois Independent Redistricting Amendment. Currently, after each census politicians conduct re-districting behind closed doors. Their decisions profit special interests and individuals. The Independent Redistricting Amendment, crafted by citizens across the state, creates a fair and transparent process.
Why is this important? Many people think Illinois is headed the wrong way. Recent University of Chicago, University of Illinois, and Southern Illinois University studies all rank Illinois as the third most corrupt state. Unfortunately, candidates pick their voters rather than voters picking their candidates. The reversal of roles leads to corruption which costs Illinois $500 million a year. There is little belief in the integrity of Illinois government.
‘Independent Redistricting’ puts power back in the hands of the people! An 11-member commission comprised of at least two Democrats, two Republicans and two unaffiliated members would draw district boundaries that respect the integrity of cities and towns, ensure the geographical integrity of communities sharing economic interests, and not draw lines that favor any specific party, group, or politician. All commission records would be open to the public. Open hearings, announced two days ahead of time held throughout Illinois would discuss districting maps.
Mutually reinforcing reforms, like independent redistricting and the term limit amendment are a corrupt politician’s nightmare! What do you think? Is it time for a change? Is it time to restore power to the voter on November 4?
Philip W. Chapman