Tuesday letters: Gerrymandered districts ‘ignore’ will of voters

SHARE Tuesday letters: Gerrymandered districts ‘ignore’ will of voters

Gerrymandering in Illinois has results in many uncontested local elections — and others in which incumbents have only token opposition.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Thank you so much for your insightful editorial on Monday, “Gerrymandering has robbed you of a real vote.” After multiple tries and more than 4,000 signatures that I personally obtained in all kinds of weather, I was more than a little disappointed that the Independent Map Amendment is not on the ballot in 2016. In throwing out this amendment, the Illinois Supreme Court used faulty reasoning and very little of it. It seemed they could not be bothered to think about this issue seriously.

Your editorial wisely named all of the problems with politicians who “run” for re-election with no opponents or with very limited opposition. To ignore the feelings of more than a half million registered voters, most or all of the editorial boards of Illinois’ newspapers, and dozens of civic-minded organizations, is outrageous. All of us need to make multiple demands on each of our state representatives and force them to draw a fair map in 2020.

Gerrymandering has been around since the term was coined in the 1820’s. It is a far bigger problem than Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. Both parties have drawn legislative and congressional districts to consolidate their power. The only way to chip away at that power is for people to demand that elected officials protect the democratic process.

Jan Goldberg, Riverside

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

Road funding amendment good for all

Columnist Andy Shaw’s arguments against the Lock Box Amendment are disingenuous. It isn’t just contractors and labor groups that will benefit from having properly maintained roads, bridges, railways, and airports. Everyone benefits from these things. Amending the constitution will not prioritize roads over people. Things like education , social services and healthcare should be funded from revenues generated by the general public rather than placing the burden disproportionately on motorists. Certain bureaucrats claim we need to raise fuel taxes to maintain roads, when this will simply give them more money to misappropriate for their pet projects. At the federal level, 25 percent of the Highway Trust Fund revenue is now diverted for other uses.

Laws of this type are in place in 30 states. It is a needed step to enforce transparency with regard to managing these revenues. Using money generated from these funds for other purposes to the detriment of our infrastructure is akin to selling the goose’s golden eggs and not using the sales revenue to buy food for the goose.

Earl Weiss, Skokie

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