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Durkin bashes Illinois Democrats for first proposed congressional map

State lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for six scheduled days of veto session.
State lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for six scheduled days of veto session.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (Gray TV) -State lawmakers return to Springfield Tuesday for six scheduled days of veto session. While legislators could discuss various topics, the most significant debate will surround the new congressional map.

Illinois Democrats are trying to strengthen their majority while also helping U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) says Democrats continue to exert too much power during the redistricting process.

The current proposal cuts two Republican districts, making the statewide ratio 14-3 in favor of Democrats. However, National Democrats hope to see Illinois leaders make another Democratic district. That would make the divide 15-2, further diminishing the Republican voice in Congress.

Durkin says Pritzker and every House Democrat will lie again about their role in the mapmaking process.

“The fact that they have this power shows that they absolutely are tone deaf when it comes to the attitudes o people of Illinois towards redistricting but also checks and balances,” Durkin said.

Organizations say the legislative maps “undermine the rights of Black voters”

Meanwhile, another group has filed a federal lawsuit against Democratic legislative leaders for gerrymandering districts in the legislative maps.

The East St. Louis branch of the NAACP, Illinois State Conference of the NAACP, and the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations filed suit Friday. Those organizations argue the maps signed into law undermine the rights of Black voters in East St. Louis.

The lawsuit alleges Democrats moved one-fifth of the Black voting-age population out of the 114th district in the House. They also state Democrats put “thousands” more white voters in the 114th to help incumbents in surrounding districts.

Rep. LaToya Greenwood currently serves the 114th district. The plaintiffs also explained that the district has had a Black lawmaker for decades.

“Redistricting is a chance to ensure that our democracy represents all people, including communities that are already marginalized. The NAACP is filing this lawsuit to protect the rights of Black voters in East St. Louis,” said Illinois NAACP President Teresa Haley.

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