Maybe it’s because of complacency that there isn’t much said in Oak Park about the legislative redistricting process currently being undertaken by the Illinois General Assembly. Not much has changed over the years for village voters, and maybe people are happy about that. Redistricting of my residence changed 10 years ago when gerrymandering moved my former state House district west by a half a block, relegating me to representation by Camille Lilly, not that I had anything to say about it as she again ran virtually unopposed for re-election in 2020.
Currently, the state legislature is proceeding with its decennial redistricting process that isn’t truly open to public comment. The hearings on the proposed maps for Senate, House, and the Courts are in two words, a joke. Released at the last minute, the House map doesn’t even specify the street boundaries for the districts.
Rep. Lilly’s local office wasn’t open yesterday for me to inquire if she or her staff had the complete proposed new map. The district office of her next-door neighbor was open, and State Senator Don Harmon’s staff was helpful, although they also didn’t have a detailed map. When I asked how public comment on the maps being considered for legislative voting this week could be made without complete information, I was told that was a good question. No answer mind you, but then again Senator Harmon is part of the problem.
Like his predecessor, retired state Senate President John Cullerton, Harmon continues to stand in the way of putting a referendum for a vote on the statewide ballot for amending the State Constitution to establish an independent voting commission for redistricting.
Harmon will undoubtedly be on the ballots for both the 2022 primary and general elections. The redistricting process should be among the significant issues raised with him during his campaigns.
Chris Donovan, Oak Park