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CHANGE Illinois

CHANGE Illinois is a nonpartisan, nonprofit leading systemic government and election reforms. CHANGE (the Coalition for Honest and New Government Ethics) champions ethical and efficient government and democracy and includes a diverse group of civic, philanthropic, business, labor, professional, and nonprofit organizations representing millions of Illinoisans. CHANGE Illinois works in collaboration with like-minded reform organizations, playing a leadership role in convening and facilitating efforts around shared policy agendas. The coalition works to improve challenges that undermine our democracy, including gerrymandering, restricted ballot access, voter suppression, uncompetitive elections, corruption, lack of government transparency and unethical lobbying, all of which have led to disillusionment and a decrease in civic participation.

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This next cycle of redistricting looks very similar to the last decade, in which most maps were subject to partisan gerrymandering.

Reform, interrupted: The new mapmakers mainly face the old  partisan rules

Next year's redistricting landscape is, at best, a mixed bag for good-governance advocates. Although the mapmaking process has become fairer and less politicized in a handful of states over the past decade, partisan gerrymandering will still have a profound impact on representation across most of the country.

Democrats had high hopes of taking back enough power in state legislatures to have close to parity in the line drawing with Republicans, but they were totally shut down on Election Day. At the same time, while Virginians voted to bleed politics out of the process, Missourians voted to push their state the opposite way. And proposals to reform the system in six states died because they could not get on the ballot, yet another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

The result is a power dynamic for the next drawing of congressional and legislative boundaries that's only marginally different than a decade ago. The two parties will retain control over the process in 39 states, just three fewer than last time. And the GOP will run the table in twice as many states again, with only a hair less dominance over the Democrats than in 2011.

It is a far cry from a central aspiration of the democracy reform movement, which has a mantra about what it will take to fix the system: Voters must be able to pick their politicians instead of the other way around. And that can't happen if elected officials have the power to use contorted cartography to ensconce themselves in power for 10 years at a time.

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Becoming A Democracy: How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Our Elections with author Kristin Eberhard

Organizer: Fix Democracy First

Join us for a special book release event for "Becoming A Democracy: How We Can Fix the Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Our Elections" with author Kristin Eberhard. This should be the last American election that works against the people. Kristin Eberhard, Director of the Democracy Program at Sightline Institute, has thoughtfully researched how the US election system is unjust, poorly designed, or broken, and walks you through 10 big but practical ideas for making our elections free, fair, and secure. Becoming a Democracy is a field guide to the most viable upgrades for our elections, so that America can truly be governed by and for the people.

Location: Webinar

Big Picture
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National Security leaders from both parties are urging President Trump to allow the transition to begin in order to head off another 9/11. Above: Biden watches a live feed of the raid that lead to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

National security veterans warn of transition delay as Trump digs back in

An all-star cast of national security officials from Republican and Democratic administrations on Monday pulled out what they hope will be the "Trump card" that compels the incumbent president to concede the election and permit his successor to start receiving intelligence briefings and build his team of experts.

Their ace-in-the-hole argument: Remember Sept. 11.

But the pleas from the likes of two former secretaries of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano and Michael Chertoff, continued to fall on deaf ears. On the 10th day since election results made it clear he had lost, President Trump was back on Twitter claiming "I won the Election."

Amid his flurry of six tweets pressing various conspiracy theories, Trump's lawyers appeared to abandon their only legal argument involving enough votes to potentially upend the outcome in one of the states decisive in his defeat. In this case, Pennsylvania.

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Ending prison gerrymandering is mainly justice for people on the outside

Miller is on the staff of the Bridge Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 civic engagement and democracy reform groups. (The Bridge Alliance Education Fund is a funder of The Fulcrum.)
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