Will County Pride Coalition chair McIlvain urges legislators to engage ‘LGBTQIA communities that exist in Illinois’ in redistricting hearings (Plainfield, IL) – Jes McIlvain, Plainfield Pride’s executive director, urged members of the House and the Senate to include underrepresented sectors of the community in the redistricting process.
The Illinois state constitution sets a June 30 deadline for the General Assembly to complete legislative redistricting, and hearings have been conducted with the legislators inviting witnesses to say their piece about the process.
“I’m also the newly elected chair of the Will County Pride Coalition, which we oversee and will be helping to build and create and support all of the local Pride groups within Will County,” McIlvain said during the joint House and Senate redistricting hearing. “So, I am here today to speak on the lack of representation of members in my community through our districts and our census. And I would just like to say that I would hope while we are working on redistricting … that we are not further marginalizing our communities and leaving them even further without a voice which we tend to see.
“In general, we don’t have much representation for the LGBTQIA communities that exist in Illinois, especially the further away that we get from Chicago and the further south we’re going to see even more of a disparity in their representation,” McILvain said. “So, I hope as we are moving forward toward redistricting that we keep in mind that we have communities that aren’t represented that need services and need representation that we just don’t have.”
Transparency and voters’ voices are two of the most discussed themes in every redistricting hearing.
Another is the reference data that should be used for the once-a-decade remapping process because of the delay in the U.S. Census data due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McIlvain has a background in political science and LGBTQIA+ studies.
Will County Pride Coalition chair McIlvain urges legislators to engage ‘LGBTQIA communities that exist in Illinois’ in redistricting hearings