When Illinois Democrats first unveiled their redistricting proposals for the state House and Senate back in May, it looked as if voters in the Landmark coverage area would end up being represented by fewer state legislators.
But Democrats amended their maps prior to the legislature settling on a final proposal, which was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on June 3. The result is that the area will again be chopped into several districts.
The big difference is that the villages will no longer have Republican representation in either state house as Democrats used their position to control the mapping process and consolidate their base in Cook County. State Republicans have vowed to challenge the maps in court.
In a press release issued shortly after Quinn signed off on the redistricting, state Sen. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) said, “Democrats used their advantage controlling the House, Senate and governor’s office to advance partisan maps designed to protect incumbents, placing their political concerns ahead of those of the people of Illinois.”
Sandack, whose 21st District currently includes parts of Riverside, North Riverside and Brookfield, was one of the GOP legislators who was drawn out of Cook County and placed into a new district that includes the home of another incumbent Republican state senator, Christine Radogno.
Assuming the maps stand as signed into law by Quinn, candidates will begin vying for seats in the newly drawn districts beginning in the March 2012 primary election.
The approved proposal for the state House, indicates that Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside will be divided among four districts. Both Riverside and Brookfield will each be represented by three House districts and two Senate districts, while North Riverside will be contained within one House district and one Senate district.
All of North Riverside will be part of Chicago Democrat LaShawn Ford’s 8th District, which has grown to include a portion of Brookfield north of Washington Avenue. Ford will be new to his constituents in Brookfield, although he has served the eastern end of North Riverside since he was first elected in 2007.
The Hollywood section of Brookfield, along with a chunk of the village bounded roughly by Grant, Madison, Shields and Custer avenues will become part of the 24th District, which is represented by Cicero Democrat Lisa Hernandez.
The remainder of Brookfield, including Brookfield Zoo, will become part of the 23rd District, an area now represented by Riverside Democrat Mike Zalewski.
Riverside will also share representation in the 23rd and 24th districts. The 23rd District will include most of Riverside north of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad tracks.
The 24th District, meanwhile, will dart through the village through a narrow band that includes residents living on East Burlington Street as well as Forest, Pine, Kimbark, Lincoln, Groveland and West avenues and Park Place. The 24th District will also include the areas of Riverside west of First Avenue and south of Ridgewood Road.
Riverside south of the railroad tracks will become part of the 21st District, a sprawling area running southwest from Western Avenue and Cermak Road in Chicago all the way to the Lyons/Summit area.
The new district does not have an incumbent candidate living within its boundaries and should draw a number of candidates seeking to represent it. Democrats obviously believe the district will not draw a serious Republican challenge. The new district is currently part of the 1st District and was represented by Susana Mendoza until she was elected Chicago City Clerk in February.
State Senate districts each include specific House districts within their borders. Those living in the new 23rd and 24th districts will be part of Senate District 12. The incumbent legislator in that district will be Bridgeview Democrat Steve Landek, who currently represents parts of Brookfield and Riverside.
North Riverside will be contained within the 4th Senate District, which is home to incumbent Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat. She currently represents the eastern portion of North Riverside.
Riversiders living in the new 21st House District south of the tracks will also be part of the new 11th Senate District, whose incumbent senator would be Chicago Democrat Martin Sandoval.