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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 14, 2011

Lt. Governor Simon calls for map hearings
Applauds efforts to improve public input

SPRINGFIELD – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today endorsed a plan to hold public hearings on a forthcoming state and congressional legislative map, so that voters can provide feedback on the proposed districts.

Simon, who was a member of the Illinois Reform Commission, said she supports the Senate Redistricting Committee’s plan to hold two public hearings after a proposed map is made public. She called for the hearings to be held in Northern and Southern Illinois in May.

“The remap is a once-in-a-decade event that helps determine how voters will be represented at the Statehouse and in Washington D.C.,” said Simon, who has met with legislative leaders from both parties. “We want voters to be heard.”

Governor Quinn signed the Illinois Voting Rights Act of 2011 and Redistricting Transparency and Public Participation Act in March. It established the first changes to the Illinois redistricting process since the 1970 Constitutional Convention and first voting rights act in Illinois history.

Simon said the Act “set a floor, not a ceiling” for the amount of public participation in the redistricting process, calling for at least four public hearings statewide to receive testimony and inform the public on the applicable existing districts.

Both the Senate and House redistricting committees have gone beyond what the law requires, putting Illinois on a path toward inclusion for all Illinoisans in the political process.

The Senate committee, chaired by Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) has held two public hearings to date with 11 more scheduled across the state before a map is drawn. Raoul said earlier this week that he also intends to add two public hearings after the map is drawn but before the Senate votes on it.

The House redistricting committee, chaired by Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), will host its first of 15 scheduled hearings on April 16 in Marengo. The remaining 14 hearings will be held in April at various locations throughout the state.

The redistricting committees also announced the availability of workstations and software that the public can use to submit maps for consideration in the redistricting process, adding another layer of public participation to the remap efforts. In addition to the workstation already present in the Stratton Office Building in Springfield, beginning April 19th the 7th floor of the Bilandic Building in Chicago will also host a workspace. Users will have access to census and demographic data and current district, ward, and county boundaries. Facilitators will also be present to offer technical assistance.

Redistricting refers to the process of redefining the political geographic boundaries including representative, senate, and congressional districts. The state Constitution gives the General Assembly the responsibility for redrawing legislative boundaries every 10 years after the release of the decennial Census.

 

 

Senate and House Redistricting Committee & Sub-Committee Hearings

 

DATE

LOCATION

TIME

4/16/11

Peoria Red Cross, 311 W. John Gwynn Jr. Ave., Peoria

10 a.m.

4/16/11

Iroquois Room (D152), Kankakee Community College, Kankakee

Noon

4/16/11

Parkland College, Tony Knoll Ag Building, Room W115

2400 W. Bradley Ave., Champaign

1:00 p.m.

4/16/11

Cicero Town Hall, Council Chambers, 4949 W. Cermak Rd., Cicero

1:00 p.m.

4/18/11

Marengo Community High School Auditorium, 110 Franks Rd., Marengo

10:00 a.m.

4/18/11

Illinois Math and Science Academy Auditorium, 1500 Sullivan Rd., Aurora

1:30 p.m.

4/18/11

East St. Louis Township Senior Center Room 3, 6755 State St.

4:00 p.m.

4/19/11

"New Cicero" Community Center, 2250 South 49th Ave., Cicero

4 p.m.

4/19/11

Centre of Elgin, Ballroom, 100 Symphony Way, Elgin

4:00 p.m.

4/19/11

Zeke Giorgi State of Illinois Building, Lower Level, 200 S. Wyman, Rockford

4:00 p.m.

4/19/11

South Suburban College, Preforming Arts Center

15800 S. State St., South Holland

4:00 p.m.

4/20/11

Waukegan City Hall, Council Chambers

100 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Waukegan

1:00 p.m.

4/20/11

Chicago State University, Library Auditorium
9501 S. Martin Luther King Dr., Chicago

4:00 p.m.

4/21/11

Room TBA, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale

TBA

4/21/11

Elmhurst City Hall, Elmhurst

TBA

4/21/11

Rock Island City Hall, Council Chambers, 1528 Third Ave., Rock Island

2:00 p.m.

4/21/11

Bilandic Building, C600, 160 N. LaSalle, Chicago

10:30 a.m.

4/21/11

Joliet City Hall, City Council Chambers, 2nd floor, 150 W. Jefferson St.

4:00 p.m.

4/25/11

Peoria County Courthouse, County Board Room, 324 Main St., Peoria

4:00 p.m.

4/25/11

State Capitol, Room 114, Springfield

3:00 p.m.

4/26/11

Location TBA, Yorkville

TBA

4/28/11

Location TBA, South Suburbs

TBA

4/28/11

Location TBA, Macomb

TBA

4/30/11

Location TBA, Northwest Suburbs

TBA

5/2/11

Location TBA, Alton

TBA

5/2/11

Location TBA, Chicago’s Westside

TBA

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