CHICAGO, June 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Veteran government and political reform advocate Cynthia Canary has been named Executive Director of the Independent Maps campaign to end partisan legislative redistricting in Illinois.
"For more than two decades, Cindi has been at the forefront of every major fight for reform of government ethics and politics, and we're excited she will help lead the drive to end partisan gerrymandering and bring more competition and voter choices in legislative elections," said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of the Independent Maps coalition's board of directors. "A determined champion of reform, Cindi will build a strong, diverse coalition on behalf of fairness and a democracy that truly represents voters."
"Because partisan redistricting reduces the number of legislative districts where candidates from both major political parties have a chance of winning, fewer people bother to become candidates, and representative democracy is undermined," said FitzSimons, who noted that only one candidate was on the ballot in nearly 60 percent of legislative races last year. "It's no wonder so many voters feel powerless and voiceless."
"Independent Map Amendment can reconnect citizens to their government," Canary said. "By taking partisan politics out of the map-making process, voters will have more candidate choices. When candidates will have to compete for votes and listen to voters, the voters are the winners."
By creating an 11-member independent and diverse commission to draw district boundary lines in public, the Independent Map Amendment would end the practice of legislators choosing which voters will elect them to office. The commission drawn maps would be required to protect the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities, and the maps would be drawn without regard to incumbency or partisanship.
Former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon hired Canary to help him start the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform (ICPR), a non-partisan and non-profit organization. Under Canary's leadership from 1997 to 2011, ICPR became a trusted source of accurate campaign contribution research and led successful coalition efforts to enact legislation to reform government contracting, transparency, ethics and regulation of campaign finance.
Visit www.MapAmendment.org to read the full release.
Paid for by Support Independent Maps. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board's official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the Illinois State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.
SOURCE Independent Maps