Under a draft congressional redistricting plan the Democratic-controlled Illinois legislature unveiled on Friday, Hyde Park would be covered by three congressional districts instead of two, as it currently is.
Illinois’ 7th congressional district could cover all of East Hyde Park north of 56th Street. It would also cover parts of southern Kenwood west of Lake Park Avenue and an irregularly shaped patch of North Kenwood. Rep. Danny Davis, whose district currently covers downtown, the West Side and the western suburbs — as well as North Kenwood — has been that district’s incumbent since 1997.
Illinois’ 2nd congressional district would include the 5700 and 5800 blocks of Stony Island Avenue, Jackson Park, a bit of Woodlawn, most of South Shore and the rest of the Southeast Side and much of the south suburbs, including Matteson, where Rep. Robin Kelly, in office since 2012, lives. It would also continue to include Kankakee. If the plan passes as drafted and she is reelected, she would no longer be the congresswoman for most of East Hyde Park.
Illinois’ 1st congressional district, where Rep. Bobby Rush has been the incumbent since 1993, would include the rest of Hyde Park as well as a streak of Bronzeville, where he lives, sharing that neighborhood with the 7th district. It would include western Kenwood, southern Washington Park and the park itself (the 7th has the northern half of the neighborhood), the majority of Woodlawn as well as a great many other South Side and south suburban communities.
Rep. Bobby Rush had harsh words for the draft remapping.
“The map that I’m seeing is an absolute non-starter. It’s a horrendous map that does not take into consideration cultural affinities," he said in a statement to the Herald. "It begins at a place called absurd and it ends at a place called ridiculous. The best thing about this map is that my southern boundaries are not in Iowa.”
Ten out of the state’s 17 districts are partly or wholly mapped into Chicagoland. The new draft maps include 17 congressional districts, down from the current 18 due to the state’s population loss recorded in the 2020 census.
The maps will be subject to legislative changes as lawmakers return to the Capitol next week for their fall veto session. The congressional maps will be one of the top agenda items as lawmakers return.
Illinois is an important state for Democrats nationally as they look to maintain control of the U.S. House in the 2022 midterm elections. Currently, Democrats have a 224-214 advantage in the chamber. The state’s primary elections are scheduled for June 28.
The map is seen to have been gerrymandered to give congressional Democrats a 14-3 advantage.
State legislative redistricting, which continues to divide Hyde Park-Kenwood into two state House districts, has already been signed into law.
Capitol News Illinois bureau chief Jerry Nowicki reported from Springfield. CNI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
via Hyde Park Herald
October 15, 2021 at 06:00PM