SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Members of the Illinois redistribution committees held two meetings Wednesday night. Still, Democrats did not explain the data they used for their proposed map in addition to information from the 2019 U.S. Community Survey.
Republican lawyers and lawmakers have asked Democrats when the public can see this data or more detailed maps. However, the majority party continued to say that it had presented a draft map. Democrats also plan to use information from the hearings to make necessary changes.
With the session due to end on Monday, many advocates for minority communities have voiced concerns about the lack of transparency. Pastor Julie Contreras, president of United Giving Hope, said the Latin American community is really concerned that lawmakers are rushing the process without using data from the 2020 census.
“The members of this committee have the responsibility and the authority to be transparent about their data so that we can have an honest conversation, let me repeat, honest about whether their cards are fair,” said Contreras.
The pastor also explained that most advocates don’t trust the current map because people can see a political agenda for Democrats.
Maps and maps
Republicans on the redistribution committees tried to align the indictment of former House Speaker Mike Madigan’s former chief of staff with the ethical decisions of the charting. Tim Mapes, Madigan’s longtime confidant, also served as executive director of the Illinois Democratic Party. Mapes fell from power after Madigan forced him to step down following a sexual harassment scandal in 2018.
Republicans recalled that Mapes helped draw the last two redistribution maps. Now, Mapes faces charges of lying to a grand jury over his knowledge of the President’s frequent involvement with lobbyists behind the ComEd corruption system. Rep. Tim Butler stressed that President Emanuel “Chris” Welch should not follow in Madigan’s footsteps for the redistribution.
“The old boss is gone. But the new boss has the same manners as the old boss, ”said Butler. “And he came home to roost today in the indictment of the man who ran this whole operation and whose shadow is cast over these proceedings today.”
Butler also pointed out that the Illinois want change. He demanded Democrats stop asking politicians to choose people in their districts.
“Let’s move on to a real process, let’s be transparent. Let’s get the data out, ”Butler said. “Stop blocking us and work together so that we can do something good for the people of Illinois. But I highly doubt that will happen in the next five days here.
Political calendar or constitutional requirement
Top Democratic leaders explained that they plan to hold another hearing to get input from the public once they make changes to the map. However, they did not provide a specific date or timeline for when this could happen. Democrats also addressed frequent attacks by Republicans throughout the process.
“Our colleagues across the aisle continue to push this political timeline instead of embracing what the Illinois constitution clearly defines as our timeline,” said Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) . “They continue to promote this false rhetoric that we should wait for this political decision that requires us to pull a name out of the hat.”
Sims explained the constitutional requirement for the legislature to pass a card by June 30. However, Republicans and good government groups often refer to this as the deadline for the partisan card. They would like to see Illinois wait until the last deadline of October 5. However, Sims says lawmakers would flip a coin to re-cut if they waited for census data.
“You are discreet, disinterested and you withhold information”
Froylan Jimenez, a civics teacher at John Hancock High School in Chicago, has also raised his concerns with lawmakers. Jimenez said he was disappointed with the map Democrats drafted, mainly due to lack of information. He drew a colored US map in the Zoom frame to show the committee members.
“A bunch of colors, a bunch of shapes, but no real markers. And in fact, this map is a map of the United States, ”Jimenez explained. “At least there are the capitals there.”
Jimenez also said his students want to believe their elected officials are transparent in the governance process and make decisions based on public input. He criticized Democrats for releasing maps without reference or advice.
“Your committee has passed the motions of Promise of Fairness, Transparency, and the Pretense to Listen and Be Inclusive while your actions demonstrate that you are secretive, dishonest and withhold information from the general public who trusts the government. . It’s actions like this that help prevent growing children from having full confidence in their government, ”Jimenez said.