Saturday, November 26, 2022

Play

An investigative probe into how rules written for distressed rust belt property may benefit a select few; Small Business Saturday highlights local Economies; FL nonprofit helps offset the high cost of insulin.

Play

A Supreme Court case could have broad implications for the future of U.S. elections, results show voters rejected election deniers in many statewide races, and the concession phone call may be a thing of the past.

Play

A water war in Southwest Utah has ranchers and Native tribes concerned, federal solar subsidies could help communities transition to renewable energy, and Starbucks workers attempt to unionize.

Advocate: Fair Redistricting Process in IL Could Curb Power Brokering

Play

Tuesday, March 15, 2022   

Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is facing 22 charges of bribery and racketeering.

The Chicago Democrat led the chamber for decades, and one ethical-government advocate said his control of the redistricting process was one way he maintained power in the General Assembly.

Madeleine Doubek, executive director of the organization Change Illinois, said during last year's redistricting process, lawmakers followed a path favored by Madigan - a secretive approach that largely disregarded public input.

Democrats, meanwhile, argue the process had numerous public hearings.

"But those hearings, people who participated in them felt they were pretty meaningless," said Doubek. "And we still had maps that were drawn in a back room and unveiled at the last minute and voted on a few hours later."

In a statement, Madigan denied any wrongdoing and argued the charges leveled against him were unfounded.

Doubek and other ethical-government advocates are calling for a nonpartisan redistricting commission for future cycles, in an effort to end political power brokering.

The nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave the new House map a passing grade, but failed both the Senate and Congressional map for favoring Democratic candidates.

Doubek previously worked as a journalist covering state politics. She said both Gov. J.B. Pritzker and current House Speaker Emanuel Welch previously supported an independent, citizen-led redistricting commission.

"And they set that previous record and promises aside and oversaw the gerrymandering that we have been subjected to yet again," said Doubek.

Redistricting is done once every decade, typically after states receive returns from the U.S. Census.

While the state won't redraw the maps until 2031, Doubek said folks can take steps today to ensure fair representation in the next redistricting cycle.

"This is an election year," said Doubek, "and it's important that we all hold our lawmakers accountable and let them know that we expect change."

Illinois' Democrat-drafted legislative maps were initially created using the Census Bureau's less-accurate American Community Survey, and were later revised based on census returns.

The state's congressional districts were also drafted based on census returns.




get more stories like this via email
During open enrollment for 2022 coverage, Georgia saw a record number of individuals, more than 700,000, sign up for health insurance. (Rawpixel.com/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act is already underway, and ends on Jan. 15. More than 1.3 million Georgians do …


Social Issues

Holiday shoppers this week have no shortage of options with Small Business Saturday being observed on Nov. 26. Sandwiched between Black Friday and …

Health and Wellness

The American Heart Association has developed a series of videos to educate women about heart disease. The Red Chair Series is a four-episode series …


Chris Powers stands in front of the Land Bank lot that he tried to bid on in Southern Ohio. (Eye on Ohio)

Social Issues

By Lucia Walinchus for Eye on Ohio.Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan for Ohio News Connection Collaboration reporting for the Ohio Center for Invest…

Social Issues

While many Iowa families gather through this weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving in traditional ways with food and family, thousands of people take to …

The EPA claims that the EES Coke Battery plant has emitted thousands of tons of sulfur dioxide annually beyond its permitted limit of 2,100 tons. (Wikipedia)

Environment

Members of a Detroit-area community are intervening in an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit against a DTE Energy subsidiary charged with dumping…

Health and Wellness

A bill headed to President Joe Biden's desk addresses a long-standing problem for domestic violence survivors, ending their ties to their abusers' …

Environment

Oregon is home to a plethora of rivers, but those waterways are not always accessible to every community. A new video series highlights how …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021