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Tuesday Letters: Amendment would prevent gerrymandering

The League of Women Voters of Cook County is proud to support the Independent Map Amendment that will be on the ballot this November. This will be the third time that we have worked hard to get this amendment to the voters. The LWV has always promoted fair elections. Currently we have neither fair nor competitive elections since the current Illinois Constitution allows the General Assembly to draw the district maps after each census. The party in power gets to draw districts that ensures the re-election of all its members. Over 60 percent of the representatives in Springfield had no opponents last election. Most of those who did had only nominal opposition. This is not democracy.

Mapmakers or both parties have sliced, diced, and chopped up suburbs and small towns to fit their political agendas. They have squeezed, squished, cut and pasted neighborhoods in large cities to ensure their favored political outcomes. When legislators are not accountable to the voters they do whatever they please, or do nothing. They have twice violated their constitutional oath by refusing to set up a full budget two years in a row.

The Illinois Constitution allows the citizens to amend the document through a petition drive and a referendum on the amendment during a general election. The petition drive has been successful. Twice the number of necessary signatures were gathered to put this amendment on the ballot. The Illinois State Board of Elections has certified this amendment. This bipartisanship does not happen often.

Our state is in trouble. The voters of Illinois have a real chance to make the representatives in Springfield actually represent the people, run for real reelection campaigns, and be accountable to the voters. California has had this system in place since the last census. Their assembly now reflects their population and they are solving their state’s problems. Arizona’s independent redistricting efforts were recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is time for Illinois to embrace real reform. Vote “YES” on the independent map amendment.

Diane Edmundson, Park Ridge

Karin Hribar, Arlington Heights

Incorrect theory

Well, well, well, now we have the perfect example of why we need guns. Have I got this right? The Dallas sniper was licensed to carry, he had an assault rifle and he was trained in the use of this weapon. Isn’t this what advocates of the “right to bear arms” suggest will reduce or alleviate mass shootings of innocent people? Seems a somewhat stupid suggestion if you ask me, because the Dallas tragedy proves this theory to be horribly incorrect.

Edwina Jackson, Longwood Manor

Threat of overpopulation

Our Earth is facing a melting ice cap, record heat and life destroying drought. Many of those in positions of influence refuse to admit that our planet is being destroyed by manmade activities. It seems that changing the way we use our environment poses a threat to those with financial interests in traditional energy production. We may be close to the tipping point after which no changes in man’s activities will make a difference. We all should firmly hope that this is not true and that we can make a difference to save our planet for our children and grandchildren.

Sadly, even if we change the way we produce energy and stop the destruction of our atmosphere, there is another threat to our world that is just as dangerous as global warming. That threat is overpopulation. There is a way to stop this threat. It is called birth control. It is proven that societies that control the birth rate are more prosperous and are able to better support their people. Women who are able to control their reproduction have better lives and can provide better for the children they do have.

We must decide, now, how we will work to preserve the only planet we have. There will be no quick exit to another safe place when this one becomes inhabitable. The road to that extreme could be soon, and it will not be pleasant. Even those who believe in the Rapture should take heed.

Our use of fossil fuels and our lack of population control each will spell disaster for us. Together there will be sure annihilation.

We need to overcome political, economic, and religious walls that would prevent us from saving our planet and our civilization. We must all work together or none of us nor our descendants will survive. We need to heed that proverb and realize that what we do will directly affect those to come after us. We must be able to face them and know we have done all we could to protect this planet for them.

Karen Wagner, Rolling Meadows

Mistaken analysis

In your Saturday edition, Gene Lyons, became yet another in the line of the so-called “unbiased” to tell us that “another Hillary scandal collapsed.” Apparently Mr. Lyons was not first asked to watch what Mr. Comey, the FBI director, offered to Congress … that Hillary Clinton lied about everything she had previously told Congress’ as well as everything she told the FBI’ about her personal e-mail server, etc., etc. Mr. Comey also added that if any of his underlings had performed their duties as Clinton had, they would certainly be assessed some consequences, possibly severe. Still in all, for reasons the real world can’t fathom, she will suffer not a single condemnation from his office. Mr. Comey then added that if she performed the same way while in the Oval Office, she would likely walk away unscathed as well. Furthermore, by existing law, her transgressions would eliminate her from ever receiving classified documents. Your “opinionated” Mr. Lyons interprets this as a collapsed scandal. So I guess, in that manner of journalistic logic, O.J. really was innocent.

Stuart Rudy, Wheeling