Choosing power over fairness in politics

Posted5/15/2021 1:00 AM

State Sen. Melinda Bush penned an op-ed in the Daily Herald last year warning that the future of democracy in Illinois was at stake. In her own words, she said "Gerrymandering is an enemy of democracy."

Sen. Melinda Bush was a vocal supporter and sponsor of the "Fair Maps Amendment." In addition to her op-ed, she spoke at press conferences and held rallies promoting her legislation to end gerrymandering. Her campaign website still heralds her as "leading the fight against gerrymandering."


Today, there is legislation in the General Assembly that would accomplish what Sen. Bush claims she supports. The People's Independent Maps Act, Senate Bill 1325, uses identical language to legislation Bush supported last year. Yet, Sen. Bush refuses to support redistricting reforms.

What has changed in a year? Is our democracy no longer at stake? Or is it that reforms would mean redistricting could be taken out of the hands of her party? Sen. Bush was vocal when it was politically beneficial and reforms had little chance of passing. Now that it is time to redraw the maps for the next ten years, Sen. Bush is nowhere to be found.

Instead, Sen. Bush won't commit to supporting The People's Independent Maps Act and is falling in line with politicians like Gov. Pritzker, Speaker Welch and all the others who promised independent maps, but don't have the courage to give them to us. They would rather protect their power than risk giving us a say in our elections.

In her op-ed, Sen. Bush asked readers to call on their legislators and demand they pass the Fair Maps Amendment. A year later, I hope you'll join me in calling Sen. Bush and other lawmakers and demand they keep their promise to support Independent Maps.

Shawna Weber


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