Sens. Julie A. Morrison, Melinda Bush and Adriane Johnson

Redistricting hearings continue to ensure Illinois residents have say in fair map

GRAYSLAKE – State Senators Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest), Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) are leading efforts to gather input from communities of interest to create a fair map that reflects the broad racial and geographic diversity of Lake and McHenry Counties. 

The three Lake County Senators recently chaired one of more than a dozen regional hearings scheduled to be held by the Senate Redistricting Caucus in the coming weeks as lawmakers seek input from the public in order to craft a fair map that reflects the diversity of Illinois. That includes the state’s racial and geographic diversity, among other factors.

“Nothing is more important that ensuring the residents who are affected by redistricting have their needs considered,” Morrison said. “Coming together with community leaders who work with people throughout the area allow us to learn what we must prioritize during our remap.”

The Senate Democratic Caucus is focused on inclusion, with hearings being held both in person and virtually, allowing for say from stakeholders in all of Illinois’ 102 counties. For the first time, anyone who wishes to propose a new legislative boundary map can draw a map online by visiting ilsenateredistricting.com/draw-your-own-map.

“We must provide the people we serve with a fair map that makes it possible for voters to hold their leaders accountable,” Bush said. “I am pleased we are working together with the community to do just that.”

Redistricting occurs every ten years, as each state is required to draw new boundaries for legislative districts in response to shifts in population. While each state has a unique process for redistricting, legislative districts must conform to several constitutional and statutory standards, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Voting Rights Act provides that citizens’ right to vote shall not be denied or abridged based on race or color, and prohibits the drawing of redistricting plans that result in the denial or abridgement of the right to vote based on race, color or membership in a language minority.

“Minority communities deserve to have their voice heard and to be fairly and accurately represented,” Johnson said. “This hearing put us one step closer toward more equitable legislative districts.”

Building on that federal law, Illinois Senate Democrats spearheaded the passage and implementation of the Illinois Voting Rights Act in 2011, which also ensures redistricting plans are crafted in a way that preserves clusters of minority voters if they are of size or cohesion to exert collective electoral power.

In Illinois, legislative redistricting maps must also meet four requirements, including: districts must be substantially equal in population; districts must be configured in such a way as to provide adequate representation to minorities and other special interests protected by state and federal law; districts must be compact and contiguous; and maps must meet all legal requirements regarding political fairness.

The Democratic members of the Senate Redistricting Committee are dedicated to meeting the Constitutional June 30 deadline for a new redistricting plan to be approved, as it is the best way to ensure the creation of a fair map. Failing to meet that deadline would turn the redistricting process over to a committee of political appointees, resulting in an outcome that puts the wishes of a handful of political insiders ahead of the interests of the citizens of Illinois.

For more information about redistricting hearings or to testify or submit testimony, visit ilsenateredistricting.com or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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