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Illinois Virtual Re-Districting Hearing

Illinois General Assembly

Time is running out for residents of Illinois who want to have a "say" in the redistricting process. Friday night the House Redistricting Committee will hold one of its final hearings virtually.

State Representative Mike Halpin from Rock Island says this only happens once every ten years following a new federal census - drawing new congressional and legislative maps.

"When it comes to either the African American community or the Latino community, or in our case in the Quad Cities, a strong manufacturing working class area, we want to make sure that those communities of interest are kept together and not split up so that their representation is divided and perhaps candidates that don't understand those needs would represent each of those districts."

That contrasts with Iowa where districts are basically drawn by computer, that doesn't take "communities" into consideration, only aiming for equal numbers of residents. Halpin says the General Assembly hopes to have maps approved by the end of the session in May.

People can stream tonight's hearing ( www.ilga.gov/houseaudvid.asp ), or to participate contact the Illinois House Redistricting Committee (RedistrictingCommittee@hds.ilga.gov). Written testimony will also be accepted.

The hearing begins at 6 pm.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.