Independent Maps Video Highlights President Obama and President Reagan in Bi-partisan Call for Mapmaking Reform

Feb 01, 2016, 13:58 ET from Independent Maps

CHICAGO, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The first web-based video by Independent Maps emphasizes the bi-partisan support for reform of the way legislative districts are drawn and uses video of remarks by two U.S. presidents – Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Ronald Reagan – calling for an end to the partisan practice of mapmaking.

The video is on the Independent Maps website ( and YouTube (

President Obama's words in the video are from his recent State of the Union Address when he told Congress: "I think we've got to end the practice of drawing our congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters, and not the other way around."

President Reagan made the same arguments before leaving office. In his final television interview from the White House in 1988, President Reagan called for redistricting by bi-partisan commissions. Reagan said: "This is a great conflict of interest — to ask men holding office elected from districts to change the lines of that district to fit the new population."

"President Obama and former President Reagan have more than Illinois roots in common," said Dennis FitzSimons, Chair of Independent Maps. "Both have voiced strong support for drawing legislative districts by an independent commission. While they were focused on congressional districts, their arguments support those that we are making about the need for reform of state legislative district maps.

"Next week, President Obama will travel to Springfield to address the Illinois General Assembly and the people of Illinois," FitzSimons said. "It would be the perfect opportunity to repeat his call to 'change the system to reflect our better selves' and change to a fair and impartial system of drawing maps."

Independent Maps coalition members include AARP-Illinois, the Illinois Farm Bureau, CHANGE Illinois, Common Cause Illinois, Latino Policy Forum, League of Women Voters of Illinois, IVI-IPO, Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation, Union League Club of Chicago, and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The full list of supporters is available on the Independent Maps website ( where voters can download a petition and make contributions.

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SOURCE Independent Maps