Called by another name, it’s still gerrymandering
Gerrymandering isn’t simply diluting a group’s numbers; it also occurs when you concentrate a particular group into as few districts as possible.
I read dumbfoundedly an op-ed by a ChangeIllinois director about how gerrymandering can be fair if it’s done for the right reasons [“Why city’s earmuffs’ are about fairness — not about gerrymandering, March 13”].
The right reason to create incredibly contorted voting districts is to create a majority/minority district, so we can be sure that we get a minority representative, because that is fair. It is certainly not fair to all the non-minority residents who live in those districts.
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But it still meets the definition of gerrymandering.Gerrymandering isn’t simply diluting a group’s numbers; it also occurs when you concentrate a particular group into as few districts as possible.Oh, they may get their one or two candidates of choice, but they will be the only people looking out for their “unique” needs vs. having many representatives with a lot of those constituents in their districts.Any representative with a sizable group of any demographic in their district will always have their back.
True fairness, it seems to me, requires virtual districts.Let every person fill out a form defining their demographic in order of importance: race, ethnicity, religion, age, language, wealth.Then let the computers sort it all out.
We won’t number our districts anymore.We will have the black districts, the Latino, the rich, the Christian, the Muslim, the Jewish, the old people.But we will be linked together with all the other people whose values and interests best match ours, and then we will all truly be represented.
Other than that, I would recommend that districts be drawn blindly, compactly, following natural boundaries.Anything beyond that only leads to mischief.
Larry Craig, Wilmette
Give seniors a break
I will be 88 on March 25. I must take a driver’s exam every year before my birthday. I called the secretary of state’s office to see if any planshave been made to provide for a postponement due to the coronavirus. I was very impolitely told that I have to take it or lose it.
Not only does policy endanger seniors but also the personnel who sit in the car giving the road test. Last year when I went to renew my license I sat for two and a half hours in a room crowded with about 50 people.Not only will the individuals be endangered but also the potential for spreading this virus is greatly increased. I have not had a ticket or accident for at lease 40-plus years. It seems that temporary extensions of license renewals should be given to safe drivers during this pandemic. I also have completed the necessary eye exam with a certified eye doctor t so that is also not a problem.
Donald G. Lemke, North Riverside
Not a political system
Although I agree with much of what Peter Cunningham said in a recent opinion piece expect when he referenced “socialism” as a “system of government.”Socialism is an economic system that can be practiced by any government, be they democratic or autocratic.He is correct that capitalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive.Indeed, our government has implemented many successful and popular socialist programs.Equating socialism to a political system is, plainly, erroneous.Unfortunately, many Americans make the same mistake.
Dennis Gorecki. Orland Park
Don’t fan the flames
Why can’t the news media bombard us with the extremely high recovery rate from this thing rather than fan the flames of uncertainty and worry?