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Latino Groups Map Out Political Power Play

Illinois State Capitol

Illinois State Capitol buillding in Springfield (AP Photo)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) — Several Latino groups have mapped out their proposal for increasing their power in the state legislature, as lawmakers prepare to redraw district boundaries.

Ahead of three legislative redistricting hearings on Saturday, the United Neighborhood Organization and other groups showed reporters maps with greater Latino representation in Elgin, Waukegan and near O’Hare airport.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty Reports

UNO Chief Executive Officer Juan Rangel says there are currently eight majority Latino state legislative districts.

Under UNO’s proposal, there would be 13.

“We’re all in it to ensure that [Latinos keep] representation that we have but maximizing the population that exists now,” Rangel said.

Rangel says their map reflects the growth of Latinos in Illinois, which has kept the state from losing population.

Jorge Perez with the Hispanic-American Construction Industry Association says consolidating Latinos — instead of splintering them — allows for fair representation.

Legislative hearings on the new map are slated for Saturday in Peoria, Kankakee and Cicero.

A hearing on Thursday will be held in Elmhurst.