One of the themes that has emerged at the redistricting committee hearings state lawmakers are holding around Illinois has to do with community contiguity. Be they from Chicago's Chinatown or Little Village or from Shelby County or East St. Louis, leaders and neighborhood advocates have called on legislators to draw up maps that do not arbitrarily split areas with common interests into a confusing set of political territories.
The Democratic mapmakers drawing the state's new political borders are specifically instructed, per SB 3976, to consider racial and language miniorities as they create the maps. And the party, which struck redistricting gold by holding both General Assembly chambers and the governor's mansion in last year's election, is widely assumed to be mapmaking according to a political logic as well. There's an acknowledgement that not everyone is going to be satisfied with the maps.
Think you can do better? Click over to Dave Bradlee's redistricting web application. A project of the website ProgressCongress.org, the app allows users to draw their own congressional districts using 2010 census data.