Posted on June 2, 2011

Minority Groups: Illinois Redistricting Maps “Unfair”

Aricka Flowers, Progress Illinois, May 31, 2011

Some members of the Asian-American and Latino communities are taking issue with the proposed redistricting map that could be approved as early as today in the General Assembly.

Chicago’s burgeoning Chinatown neighborhood should be in one congressional district, rather than fractured into three separate federal voting districts. That’s the consensus of a coalition of Asian-American organizations that are calling on the Illinois General Assembly to “fine tune” the state’s new map of congressional districts.

But the group, the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC), may be up against tall odds since a vote on the political map could come as early as today. {snip}

C.W. Chan, the Asian group’s [Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC)] chairman, said the political map–made public last week–flies in the face of “well over a year of hard work including discussions, advocacy, and public testimony emphasizing the need for the community to be kept intact at all levels in the redistricting process.”

Chan said the CBCAC considers this new development to be a setback in its effort to gain fair voting rights for residents of Chinatown; home to about 30,000 people–a 50 percent increase from a decade ago, according to federal census data. That data also shows the Asian population in Illinois grew by 38.6 percent, the fastest rate among minority groups in Illinois.

The new map, like the former map, has Chinatown divided between U.S. Reps., Danny Davis (7th), Daniel Lipinski (3rd), and Luis V. Gutierrez (4th).

CBCAC is a project of eight major service organizations in the community. Their mission is to empower Chinese American communities in Greater Chicago through organizing, civic participation, education, and coalition building. {snip}