Common Cause director Young says redistricting hearings ‘left observers with more questions than answers’

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Common Cause director Young says redistricting hearings ‘left observers with more questions than answers’ (Chicago, IL) – Common Cause Illinois Executive Director Jay Young has advice for those redrawing the state’s legislative maps.

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“We should just make sure that the lines reflect the communities that we all live in,” Young said in a video posted to YouTube from a recent hearing on the issue. “The committee held more than 45 sparsely attended, mostly virtual hearings that usually left observers with more questions than answers.”

Young isn’t the only one worried that the new maps now taking shape won’t resemble anything close to the state’s true makeup.

While the once-every-decade job of map redistricting typically falls to the party in charge, Republicans had hoped for a fairer process this cycle given U.S. Census Bureau data usually relied on when drawing the maps isn’t expected to be available by an end-of-June deadline.

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The Illinois constitution states that lawmakers and the governor have until June 30 to approve a map. If that deadline is missed, an eight-member bipartisan commission must be formed with four members from each party to finish redrawing the districts by Aug. 10.

Young can only hope that all the hard work that’s already been put in by local groups toward an accurate count doesn’t go to waste.

“I can’t tell you the number of times that I sat with our Census Office’s co-directors, Marishonta Wilkerson and Oswaldo Alverez, and listened to them gush about the innovation of subgrantees all across this city, from stickers on fresh tortilla wrappers to caravans to All-Star Game watch parties,” he said. “We didn’t end up as the nation’s seventh-best state in terms of its self-response rate, or our #1 ranking among states with over nine million people by accident,” he said. “Thanks to the leadership of this body, we responded to a global pandemic, a shameful partisan effort to hijack the process through a citizenship question, and the pain that spilled out into the streets following George Floyd’s murder.”

Common Cause director Young says redistricting hearings ‘left observers with more questions than answers’

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