Change the Districts
Posted in the Dixmoor Forum
#1 May 26, 2013
CHANGE THE DISTRICTS
It's time to return the power to the people. It's time to hold politicians accountable. It's time for an independent commission to draw our maps.
We are spending the next month traveling throughout the State of Illinois, reaching out to as many organizations and Illinois residents as we can to discuss what is wrong with the way redistricting works in our state and how it might be improved. Our nonpartisan campaign will bring together community leaders, people at the grassroots, and everyone in between. Please read below for more details, and follow along on Twitter (@changeil) to see where we go...
The Issue on the Table
Seventy-seven percent of Illinois voters believe corruption in Illinois government is widespread, according to the 2012 Simon Poll. They’re right: A recent University of Illinois study ranked Illinois the third most corrupt state. Voter cynicism is widespread. According to the National Conference on Citizenship, only 15% of Illinoisans believe state government does the right thing most of time. Yet we can’t hold politicians accountable, because they have taken over the redistricting process.
Redistricting is the vise-like grip that the powerful hold over the people. Behind closed doors, politicians draw General Assembly district maps, deciding who will be elected, and leaving voters without a voice in the process. Politicians select their voters, instead of the people deciding who will represent them. Last year, Illinois House incumbents won 97% of their general election races; two-thirds of them did not even face a challenger. That’s not democracy.
CHANGE is launching a grassroots campaign to fix the broken process by putting an amendment on the November 2014 ballot. Our proposed constitutional amendment would take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and give the power back to the people, so we can hold politicians accountable. We have spent the last two years soliciting input and drafting an amendment with the help of diverse organizations and experts. Our proposed system is transparent, nonpartisan, and independent from the legislature.
Our nonpartisan initiative is receiving enthusiastic, diverse, statewide support. Over 70% of Illinois voters support an independent redistricting commission, with 38% strongly favoring. This holds for men and women, Chicagoans and downstaters, Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
We are committed to a transparent campaign—the opposite of the current redistricting process. We are releasing our draft amendment for public comment, and will spend the next month traveling throughout the state, reaching out to as many organizations and Illinois residents as we can. We will bring together community leaders, people at the grassroots, and everyone in between to solicit feedback on the proposal.
We will then make any needed revisions and place the final amendment language on petitions. Thousands of grassroots volunteers will begin collecting the 298,399 signatures necessary to place the initiative on the November 2014 ballot. Petitioning will continue through April 2014, and then Illinoisans will be able to vote for real change in state government on Nov. 4, 2014.
#2 Jun 14, 2013
Go for it---needs to be completed sonner the better for Illinois.
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