SPRINGFIELD - In a State Journal-Register op-ed today, Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield - publicly supported the independent remap citizen effort that House Speaker Mike Madigan's allies are challenging in Cook County courts. From the op-ed:
Representative democracy does not work unless the process of representation is fair. The current system produces maps that are designed to protect the interests of those drawing the maps. Whether drawn by Democrats or Republicans, the distortions in those maps affect every policy decision made in Springfield.
That is why the Independent Maps proposal is so monumental. If adopted, it fundamentally will alter the nature of politics in Illinois in a positive direction by strengthening the linkages between citizens and their representatives.
This redistricting amendment is straightforward: Create an independent commission of Illinois citizens who would draw state maps in a transparent way, using nonpartisan, criteria. Those criteria would include keeping together communities of common interests — economic, social, racial, linguistic or cultural.