Yes for Independent Maps: a good proposal

I read with interest Brad Barber’s article on The Daily Illini’s Opinions page on March 31. It endorsed an end to gerrymandering in the Illinois House and Senate electoral districts statewide by way of a proposed constitutional amendment. This proposition would establish an independent commission to draw the districts from which our esteemed legislators are elected, rather than having them draw their own districts, as is now the case. This is a good government proposal.

The current broken system has led to a concentration of power in the hands of the leadership in the Illinois House and Senate. Legislators choosing their voters instead of the other way around results in districts shaped like snakes and safe seats for incumbents. In the 2012 election, 97 percent of incumbent legislators that ran again were re-elected and two-thirds of them had no opponent because of their safe seats. 

Whichever party is in control of the legislature when redistricting happens every 10 years does all it can to maintain its control by rigging the district maps.

We have two weeks left to get 300,000 signatures of Illinois registered voters on petitions to put this Yes for Independent Maps amendment on the November ballot. Learn about this at www.independentmaps.org then go to Neutral Cycle at 624 S. Fifth St. (just south of Green St.) in Campustown to sign a petition. Thanks.

Trent Shepard, University alumnus, 1973