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IL Coalition Offers "Inclusive" Redistricting Map

CHICAGO – Standing against the backdrop of the historic 122-year-old Metropolitan Church in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, a multiracial coalition of civil rights, civic, faith and advocacy groups reaffirmed their support for the proposed “remap” that would protect the interests of 1.8 million African Americans in Illinois, while proposing three minority-led “influence districts” in Springfield, Rockford and East St. Louis.

Juan Rangel, executive director of the United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), and C.W. Chan, executive director of the Coalition For A Better Chinese American Community, joined African Americans For Legislative Redistricting (AALR) in its campaign to have state lawmakers adopt their proposed map.

“Our map is a collective effort to ensure a fair redistricting process that will result in equal representation in the Illinois General Assembly,” said Lawrence Hill, president of the Cook County Bar Association. “We are consistent with federal and state law; and our map affirms the political influence of smaller populations of African Americans by drawing districts where their electoral participation can influence the outcomes of elections throughout Illinois, particularly in northeastern, central and southwestern Illinois.”

AALR’s proposed map maintains 18 African-American majority House districts and eight African-American majority Senate districts (52 percent Black) and creates one coalition Black/Latino House district (40 percent African American and 14.2 percent Hispanic). The number of proposed Senate and House districts is proportionate to the 2010 state Black population of 14.5 percent. More importantly, the proposed map maintains the same number of African-American majority districts that were drawn 10 years ago. In each of these districts, African-American voters have been able to elect the candidate of their choice to public office.

“I’m here, not only representing UNO, but the Latino Coalition for Fair Redistricting. Several weeks ago we revealed our maps to protect the gains Latinos have made over the last next decade,” Rangel said. “In doing so we are always mindful of other minority communities… We support this coalition’s map because we believe this map is not only fair representation of the Black community but it also mindful and respectful of the Latino community.”

“Over the last decade Chinatown has been split into four state representative districts and three state senate districts and also three congressional districts so this time we want to ensure Chinatown will be kept in one district while also protecting the voting rights of our African American and Latino neighbors,” said Chan. “This shows that as minority communities we have a shared experience and a shared destiny. I am proud to stand with our neighbors for equitable redistricting.”

“We feel these maps will continue the important representation of African Americans. They are consistent with the census data and they are consistent with the law and they are inclusive and we feel strongly these are the right maps. Therefore we proudly support AALR in submitting them,” said Andrea Zopp, CUL president and chief executive officer.

AALR, a coalition of civil rights, civic faith and business leaders from throughout the state, includes the Cook County Bar Association, The Woodlawn Organization, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Chicago Urban League, Woodlawn Community Development Corporation, Neighbors United for Economic Change, Cook County League of Democratic Women, among others.

“President Obama’s ascendency to the presidency started right here on the South Side of Chicago in 2001 when we worked for a fair and equitable map,” said Rev. Dr. Leon D. Finney, Jr, president of the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation and organizer of the group. “Don’t forget the map in 2011 that was signed into law and defended in federal court -and it provided an opportunity for four new state senatorial districts. Out of those four senatorial districts that State Sen. Emil Jones to emerge as president of the IL state senate. From that position it was then possible for him to leverage that position to get Obama elected to the U.S. Senate–and the rest is history.

 


STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News



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