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An abundance of progressives. Two Illinois Latinx districts.
I want Marie Newman to remain in the House. And Chuy too.
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The new Illinois Congressional remap, passed last night by the Illinois Senate and House, reduces the Illinois delegation from five Republican seats to three. The next delegation should have 14 Democrats.
I currently live in the 4th Illinois District represented by Jesus Chuy Garcia.
I’ve supported Chuy for years.
He was part of the historic rainbow coalition that elected and supported Harold Washington. I supported him for Chicago Alder and the County Board.
When my friend, Karen Lewis, was forced to drop out of the mayoral race against Rahm Emanuel for health reasons, she supported Chuy to run in her place.
I knocked on doors for Chuy for mayor and our progressive movement forced an incumbent Chicago mayor into a run-off.
It was a historic achievement.
The 4th Congressional District takes a crazy shape. It was created decades ago to give representation to what was Chicago’s growing Latinx community of Mexican American and Puerto Rican voters. The community was geographically divided between the south and north sides. The district lines were drawn to include both in a single district.
When the census date was released a few months ago, I made the observation that the Latinx population had grown large enough in Illinois that a second Latinx district was called for.
That is what has happened with the new congressional map.
I’m hoping that the new congressional lines put me in Chuy’s district once again.
Another part of the southwest side of the city is represented by Marie Newman. Her district extends out to the southwest suburbs, home to many Chicago area Middle Eastern immigrants.
Marie won a historic victory two years ago when she defeated Dan Lipinski in the 3rd district.
Marie’s win was a result of a genuine grassroots movement.
Lipinski and his father, former congressman Bill Lipinski, were Democratic Party hacks. They were loyal Machine Democrats. Bill was often listed in polls as the most reactionary Democrat in Congress and a loud voice against women’s reproductive choice.
Marie ran against him four years ago and lost by a few thousand votes. Last time she nailed it.
In Congress she has been a voice for women’s rights and for a just solution in the Middle East for Palestinians.
When the remap was first released I was concerned.
The last thing I want is for Chuy and Marie to have to run against each other.
The good news is that Marie can run in the new 6th district which contains two thirds of her old 3rd.
It’s the solution when we have an abundance of progressive voices in Illinois.