Blacks could lose one seat in the State Senate.
Democrats in charge of redistricting in Illinois have two goals: draw new lines that will keep Republicans in the minority for the next 10 years and keep the Latinos and African-Americans happy. After months of closed-door meetings, they released a new map on Thursday.
The 2010 census figures showed that Chicago’s African-American population has experienced a significant decline, while the number of Latinos increased. The new map reduces the number of majority Black districts by just one but the number of Black legislators in the State Senate may not actually change. The number of Black voters in the district represented by State Sen. Kimberly Lightford would dip to 49 percent, but she would continue to be “highly competitive,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports. In addition, the map would add just one new Latino district to reflect that.
Republicans didn’t fare so well. The new map would force eight Republican senators to compete in four districts. A spokeswoman for Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno lamented what many Republicans consider to be a lack of transparency in the process.
“There have been numerous hearings, obviously, citizens providing their input,” Patty Schuh told the Sun-Times.
(Photo: Kimberly Lightford, Courtesy of Illinois General Assembly)