Independent Map Amendment
“With the petition drive on target to meet our goal of 600,000 signatures, we now can begin to gear up for a larger education campaign and the expansion of our statewide network of volunteers,” said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps. “Our campaign is well underway, and we have added two seasoned veterans of statewide campaigns to help lead us to victory at the polls in 2016.”
Hilltop Public Solutions specializes in coalition building and managing high-stakes, high-profile campaigns by using the strategies and tactics it takes to win modern campaigns.
“Hilltop’s Bill Hyers, who managed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 campaign and has extensive campaign experience across the country, will lead the Hilltop team in Illinois for the Independent Map Amendment,” FitzSimons said. “Hyers, who has been named a rising star by Politics magazine, has a reputation as one of the top campaign managers and political strategists in the United States.”
"Its time to bring fair elections back to Illinois, and I'm thrilled to be a part of this talented and experienced team,” Hyers said. “For too long, voters in Illinois have suffered from a partisan process that has called into question the very concept of fair elections. With the gridlock in Springfield, now more than ever Illinoisans need an open, transparent government that puts people before politics."
Hilltop’s Elizabeth Lucas will be part of the team assisting Independent Maps. Lucas, founder of The Initiative Group, has worked on and advised hundreds of ballot initiatives around the country. She served as Political Director at the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center and field director for the Ohio Democratic Party against the anti-union SB5, a statewide voter referendum defeated by an overwhelming majority in 2011. She also has served as State Director of Organizing for America in Pennsylvania and on several presidential and state-level campaigns in battleground states.
“Dave Mellet, who was campaign manager for former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s 2014 campaign for comptroller, will be our campaign manager and execute the non-partisan coalition’s campaign strategy,” FitzSimons said.
Mellet has worked on state and local campaigns for close to 10 years. After receiving a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Mellet started his career working on Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's successful 2006 reelection campaign. He went on to staff and manage campaigns for mayor, city council, state senate, and alderman. He has lived in Illinois for several years, working as a staffer for a direct mail firm and as the campaign manager for Simon last year.
Cindi Canary, who has been serving as executive director since June, will continue in that position during a transition period through the end of the year, when she will become a senior consultant to our board.
“Cindi’s leadership has been key to expanding our base of volunteers and putting us ahead of schedule on our signature collection timeline,” FitzSimons said. “She also helped us recruit and interview campaign manager and consultant candidates, and we’re pleased that she will remain very much involved.”
Read more about our expanding campaign team HERE »
Need a primer on redistricting?
This informative and entertaining explanation, courtesy of CHANGE Illinois, explains Everything You Need To Know About Redistricting. Click on it. Learn. And then subscribe HERE for occasional updates about the Independent Map Amendment.
The Illinois Farm Bureau, a statewide organization with more than 400,000 members, has been a big help “harvesting” signatures on Independent Map Amendment petitions.
Every Farm Bureau office has petitions available for anyone interested in collecting petition signatures. And you can drop off completed and notarized petitions at the same offices.
To find the county Farm Bureau office closest to you, click HERE»
“We are delighted the Illinois Farm Bureau has joined the fight for fairness in the redistricting process,” said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps. “Illinois farm families want a fair shake in Springfield and understand that the current way state legislative districts are drawn makes that more difficult.
To learn more about the Illinois Farm Bureau’s effort, read the “Why I Support The Independent Map Amendment” blog post by David Erickson, vice president of the Illinois Farm Bureau, HERE »
LWV volunteer Jan Goldberg collecting another signature!
ALSO AT THE BLOG: We owe a lot of our success to our wonderful volunteers. We have received so much immense support from the League of Women Voters of Illinois that we are designating LWV members as our Volunteers of the Month joining the ranks of many other superstar volunteers.
With several chapters throughout Illinois, the League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. Many LWVIL members have done amazing work supporting the Independent Map Amendment.
We asked some of our superstar LWVIL volunteers why independent redistricting is important to them. Read their comments on our BLOG. »
The Independent Map Amendment will create a system where the voters choose their representatives instead of the representatives choosing their voters.
By adopting the Independent Map Amendment, the redistricting process in Illinois will:
- Produce Illinois House and Senate districts drawn without regard to incumbency or partisanship;
- Attract more candidates for the General Assembly and more competition for legislative seats, resulting in more choices for voters;
- Protect the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities and prohibit drawing maps that dilute or diminish the ability of racial or language minority communities to elect the candidates of their choice;
- Respect communities with shared interests and avoid breaking through political and geographic boundaries; and
- Allow the public to view and participate in redistricting. Illinoisans deserve legislative elections where issues are debated, candidates listen to their constituents and voters have choices.