Chicago Blacks Defending Political Map

September 14, 2011  |  

(Chicago Tribune) — A coalition of African-American civil rights groups is seeking to join Illinois Democratsin defending a newly drawn legislative district map that Republicans are challenging in federal court.  In a request to a special three-judge federal panel considering the GOP lawsuit, the organization African Americans for Legislative Redistricting asks to be added as a defendant because its members helped Democrats craft new boundary lines for the state’s 59 Senate districts and 118 House districts.  The organization is made up of the Chicago Urban League, the Rainbow Push Coalition founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., the Woodlawn Community Development Corp. led by Rev. Leon Finney and the Cook County Bar Association, an African-American lawyers’ organization.  The coalition said it offered testimony to legislative committees, consulted with groups that focused on minority rights relating to new boundary lines and created its own redistricting plan that was submitted to the General Assembly.

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