Hello blog readers, we've got an important announcement! We've officially endorsed an independent, non-partisan redistricting effort in order give voters back their say....
With Illinois being the worst state in the nation regarding trust in government according to a recent Gallup poll, (and really who can blame us?!) it is urgent that voters get their voice back in a system that has been broken by gerrymandering and that no longer holds elected officials accountable to their constituents. This is a critical issue to AARP members, who have the highest voter participation of any age group and vote in every single election. This is why, today, AARP Illinois is announcing, on behalf of its 1.7 million Illinois members, the Association’s endorsement of the Yes For Independent Maps campaign.
“We believe that states should enact legislation vesting the authority for redrawing districts in independent commissions that truly represents the political, ethnic and geographic diversity of voters,” ~ AARP State President, Merri Dee.
The Yes For Independent Maps campaign is a broad coalition aiming to fix Illinois' redistricting process through a Constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The amendment will take redistricting out of the hands of politicians and give it back to citizens through an independent, non-partisan and transparent commission tasked with drawing maps that will make elections more competitive in Illinois, and give voters the ability to hold legislators accountable. To date, the campaign has gathered nearly 400,000 signatures and will soon deliver them to the State Board of Elections in order to have the Constitutional amendment introduced on the November ballot.
“The redistricting process must be transparent, independent and non-partisan, providing meaningful opportunities for the public to participate.”
“Illinoisans 50 + are increasingly frustrated with a system where politicians are not accountable to them, and where legislation does not address the real needs of citizens,” said AARP Illinois State Director, Bob Gallo. “We strongly believe the Yes For Independent Maps Campaign can succeed in taking redistricting out from behind closed doors to ensure a fair, open, and transparent process. We are proud to endorse the campaign and we invite AARP members and the public to find out more and get involved.”
In addition to AARP, the Yes For Independent Maps Campaign is supported by the League of Women Voters, Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, the Latino Policy Forum, Metropolis Strategies, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Common Cause, Illinois PIRG, Change Illinois, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and many more.