Doubek selected to lead CHANGE Illinois, sustain push for anti-gerrymandering reforms

By Gabriel Neves | Dec 20, 2018

CHICAGO – Political coalition CHANGE Illinois has a new executive director.

Madeleine Doubek was announced on Dec. 11 by the board of directors as the new leader of the organization, succeeding John Sirek, who served as the interim executive director for about a year.

Doubek most recently served as vice president of policy at the Better Government Association, and has also served as published of Reboot Illinois and for more than three decades worked as a reporter and editor at The Daily Herald.

“I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to dig in and lead the charge in Illinois for fair and open elections and ethical and efficient government throughout Illinois,” Doubek said in a prepared statement included in a press release announcing her new post at CHANGE Illinois. 

Doubek   Chicago Sun-Times; supplied by CHANGE Illinois

CHANGE Illinois spokesman Jeff Raines told the Cook County Record that Doubek's priorities at the organization "are to pick up the baton and lead the charge for fair and open elections and ethical and efficient government."

"In the new year and beyond, we will be championing policies and legislation to encourage and create the type of government we all deserve," Raines said.

Raines said the organization's mission will be the same it has been.

"Our mission will continue to be working to pursue a stronger democracy and greater civic participation in Illinois, as will our current work to bring government reform to Illinois. We also will broaden our focus to engaging citizens and championing ethical and efficient government initiatives," Raines said.

Raines said CHANGE Illinois is "always looking for new and improved ways to advocate for change," as its strategy "focuses on building public awareness around these issues and why they matter." 

Raines said the organization under Doubek believes it can continue to fight for redistricing reform to end the practice of partisan gerrymandering - or drawing legislative district maps to favor one particular party - despite a Democratic majority in the legislature, which has resisted the idea, and Democratic leaders whose supporters and allies have litigated against attempts to allow voters to have a say on the issue.

"What we've learned throughout our work to fight gerrymandering is that Illinoisans of all political affiliations favor fair maps over politicians picking their own voters," Raines said. 

He said the group expects "bipartisan support for fair maps and the rest of our legislative agenda to grow next year."

Raines noted Illinois Gov.-elect JB Pritzker claimed he supported redistricting reform, "even going so far as to say he'd veto a gerrymandered map should one reach his desk. 

Raines said CHANGE Illinois plans "to work with (Pritzker's) office and lawmakers to encourage the fulfillment of that promise."

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