Abernathy slams state high court ruling against redistricting-reform ballot measure
Remapping efforts in Illinois suffered a hugh defeat late last week when the Illinois Supreme Court voted 4-3 against putting the Independent Map Amendment on November’s ballot.
The ruling upheld Cook County Circuit Judge Diane Larsen’s previous ruling that said the measure did not fit the narrow legal guidelines for citizen initiatives to change the 1970 Illinois Constitution.
Dawn Abernathy, Republican candidate for the District 59 State House seat, said this ruling is a loss for Illinois voters.
“The Illinois Supreme Court ruling against the Fair Map Amendment proves that the people of Illinois no longer have a voice in Springfield,” Abernathy told the Lake County Gazette. “Mike Madigan and his political elite have manipulated the court system once again. Fair mapping, fair redistricting and fair elections are not in Mike Madigan's Illinois.”
Abernathy said she will fight for the voice of the voters. She has accused her opponent, State Rep. Carol Sente, of not doing her job representing the district.
“I will go to Springfield and fight the corruption,” Abernathy said. “Carol Sente has been silent on this. She is too busy protecting her job than doing her job. It is time to elect someone that will represent the people.”
Like Abernathy, many voters feel like their legislators are not representing their interests and are instead focusing on self interests or self preservation. This is why the “No Budget No Pay” bill proposed by State Comptroller Leslie Munger has put many lawmakers in a bind. The bill demands that lawmakers not get paid until the budget impasse is solved.
Abernathy applauds Munger’s initiative.
“Comptroller Munger is 100 percent correct,” Abernathy said. “Why should politicians’ pay be prioritized over paying nonprofits, vendors and human service providers that are taking care of seniors, children with disabilities and our veterans?”
Abernathy said Sente refused to make waves and went with the flow, instead of working for the people.
“Carol Sente has been in Springfield for seven years,” Abernathy said. “She has had an opportunity to reform the system and ensure those in need are served. Instead, she cashed her paycheck and stood quietly by, touting her independence. We need leaders that will stand and fight for the people they represent instead of fighting for their pay."
Abernathy promises that, if elected, she will fight for the people and bring accountability to what she calls an out-of-touch government. The notion of standing up for those without a voice is dear to her, and she has nothing but praise for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent signing of the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. The new law grants various domestic workers basic working rights such as a minimum wage, protection from discrimination and sexual harassment, and one day of rest for every seven days for workers employed by one employer for at least 20 hours a week.
“Domestic rights are long overdue,” Abernathy said. “People have been abusing home workers, making them work long hours for little pay. Domestic workers usually had no recourse when they felt they were being unfairly treated.”
While domestic workers achieved this victory this month, the overall workforce in Illinois suffered some setbacks. The July jobs number revealed that the state's workforce shrank by around 33,600 people. This is the third consecutive month of shrinkage.
A low workforce is the result of few job opportunities, and Illinois needs to tackle the issue or the state will continue to see its base deteriorate, Abernathy said.
“The workforce in Illinois is dwindling because we are depleting job opportunities,’ Abernathy said. “If we don’t do something to grow the economic climate in Illinois, this will continue to happen each month. Illinois is at the bottom of the list for job growth, unemployment and new business. If we don’t have spending reforms, tax reform to encourage growth and economic regulatory reform to encourage business development, we are going to continue to see a decline.
Abernathy said the people are upset with Springfield and its lack of effort to get anything done.