We're (In) #1! But What Will Chicago-Based Congressional District Mean For Mokena?
A legal challenge is brewing against the new congressional district maps Gov. Quinn approved on Friday.
Think of Mokena. Think of the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Englewood. What do they have in common?
If the new congressional map Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Friday morning has anything to say about it, one person will have to represent both areas' interests.
But can one man handle the varied interests from Elwood to Englewood? Or is this new map just a power play to push into the newly elected Kinzinger's GOP stronghold?
In a joint statement, Republican U.S. legislators from Illinois districts pledged to challenge the new map in court, and lambasted Quinn for signing a "flawed map" into law.
"Governor Quinn said that the way in which district lines are drawn contributes to the success of our democracy," the statement reads in part. "Yet the map he approved seeks to reverse the results of a democratic election. Governor Quinn advocated for a fair and open process. Instead, he has guaranteed an unfair and closed one."
Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki understands what Mokena faces. In the last reapportionment 10 years ago, a portion of his town moved under Rush. In the new plans, nearly all of Tinley would be under the 1st.
Zabrocki said Rush has been good for his suburban community, citing examples such as Rush helping secure money for a partial interchange at Ridgeland Avenue.
"He's been very responsive to us," Zabrocki said. "Any time we had to go to him he was there."
Other local mayors weren't as sure. Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin, whose town moved from the 13th to a split between the 1st and the 3rd, called it "ridiculous."
"Bobby Rush has the right intentions, but I think a district going from the South Side of Chicago out to roughly Crete is absolutely ridiculous," McLaughlin said.
Zabrocki, however, criticized the map itself, calling it "gerrymandering."
"It's extremely a political map," Zabrocki said.
Mokena Mayor Joe Werner could not immediately be reached Friday afternoon.