Some Illinois Democrats suggest that the legislative remapping initiative would have a negative impact upon minorities, as well as elect Republicans and reduce the middle class.
Others have criticized the current approach for reducing the number of competitive elections. For example, the elections last November had only one option for almost 6 in 10 (58%) races for the Illinois House and almost half had no opponent in both the primary and general election. This remapping initiative, they maintain, will reassign responsibility for these maps from politicians to people, which will allow them to form coalitions to elect representatives not from party affiliation but from particular interests.
Another problem, which is represented in the Democratic critique, is that arguments for the current approach reinforce a separatist mentality that foregrounds cultural differences rather than common interests. As such, this justification suggests that certain minorities might have interests that might not appeal to other minorities or even more mainstream individuals.
Discrimination has certainly been a part of the American legacy, but another part has been its multiculturalism, which exists even in its origins. This multiculturalism is a strength because it supplies resources and perspectives that enrich all our lives.
While more must be done to overcome the destructive discrimination, this remapping initiative not only reassigns responsibilities for legislative districts, as the Chicago Tribune suggests, from politicians to the people but also enables communities to transcend these differences in support of the political ideals that unite us. The result will better represent our communities in all their cultural differences.