I have immense respect for President (Barack) Obama and we’re always excited and honored when he comes back home to Illinois. But the president’s comments about redistricting were very general in nature and were not intended to be an endorsement of the misguided efforts to change redistricting here in Illinois.
The so-called “reforms” proposed in Illinois will devastate the voices of minority communities and minority voters. The NAACP itself has noted that so-called “reform” proposals must be viewed with a skeptical eye, stating that some redistricting reform efforts have suppressed minority voting rights.
As drafted, there is no way to ensure minority representation on the proposed commission and no way to ensure that communities of color would be protected. The minority community would lose the strong voice it currently has to ensure protection in Illinois’ remapping process. That would result in the loss of representation in the General Assembly for minorities, middle class families and struggling families that are the fabric of our neighborhoods and our state.