Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly released proposed changes to the state’s congressional district map on Oct. 15, and while the district boundaries could change somewhat during the fall veto session, which starts Oct. 19, freshman Democratic Congresswoman Marie Newman appears none too happy about what’s being pitched for her 3rd District.
After campaigning on a progressive agenda and toppling longtime incumbent Dan Lipinski in 2020, Newman slammed the proposed boundaries of the new 3rd District, drawn in response to changes following the 2020 U.S. Census, which saw Illinois lose a congressional district.
“While our team continues to review the draft congressional map that was released earlier today, it is abundantly apparent that what has currently been proposed for Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District is not only retrogressive but substantially diminishes the diverse and progressive voices of Chicago’s Southwest Side and suburbs,” Newman said in a statement following the release of the maps on Oct. 15. “I know that IL-03’s constituents will ensure their voices are heard loud and clear at these public hearings over the coming days.”
An interactive version of the proposed map can be viewed by clicking here.
The 3rd District, which presently stretches southwest from Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood to just north of Joliet, includes Brookfield south of Southview Avenue and the southern tip of Riverside.
The proposed map enlarges the district substantially and would include Brookfield south of 31st Street and roughly the southern half of Riverside. But the new map sprawls southwest far beyond its present boundaries and includes heavily Republican rural areas all the way to western LaSalle County.
That area is presently part of the 16th District, which has been represented by Republican Adam Kinzinger since 2013. Kinzinger, a Channahon resident, has himself been drawn into the new 3rd District, whose voting population would remain majority Democratic.
In a statement released Oct. 15, Kinzinger also registered his displeasure with Illinois Democrats in what would appear to be an effort to map him out of office.
“Following the release of the new congressional maps for Illinois, my team and I will spend some time looking them over and reviewing all of the options, including those outside the House,” Kinzinger said. “This redistricting process has been anything but transparent, which comes as no surprise to anyone. I believe the people of Illinois deserve better.”
But one person who seems not so bothered by the proposed boundaries of the new 3rd District is Lipinski. After the map was unveiled on Oct. 15, Crain’s Chicago Business reported the former eight-term congressman was mulling a challenge to Newman next year.
4th District would shrink, locally
Meanwhile, lawmakers are also proposing changes to the boundaries of the 4th Congressional District, which would result in fewer Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside residents residing within that district.
Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who has represented the 4th District since 2019, would see his U-shaped district, which includes heavily Hispanic areas on the southwest and northwest side of Chicago, swallow up Bridgeport and some other Southwest Side neighborhoods that are now part of the 3rd District.
It would also encompass parts of Leyden Township that are now part of the 5th Congressional District, which is represented by Democrat Mike Quigley.
Right now the 4th District includes all but one precinct of Riverside, all but a few blocks of North Riverside and virtually all of Brookfield north of Southview Avenue.
If the proposed map is adopted, the 4th District would shrink in each village to essentially the north half of Riverside, all of North Riverside south of Cermak Road as far west as 9th Avenue and all of Brookfield north of 31st Street.
The 7th Congressional District, represented by Democratic Rep. Danny Davis, now includes North Riverside commercial property north of Cermak Road as well as the Illinois National Guard Armory and the residential area essentially west of 13th Avenue.
The proposed map would increase the North Riverside area of the 7th District to include all residential property west of 9th Avenue while maintaining the properties north of Cermak Road.