QUestion: Should Chicago become the 51st state?

By: Emma Hoyt

As of Thursday Feb. 7, 2019, three Illinois republicans are in pursuit of making Chicago the 51st state, hitting close to home for Quincy University students.

Daniela Mancilla, a freshman at Quincy University, is from Chicago.

Mancilla in her hometown of Chicago.

“I love Chicago! I am very proud to say that I’m from Chicago. I love the city life. I love the diversity and being able to meet so many people from so many backgrounds,” Mancilla said.

House Resolution 101 filed by Representatives Brad Holbrook, Chris Miller and Darren Bailey proposes to divide Chicago from the rest of Illinois in order to create a 51st state.

The resolution suggests Chicago and downstate Illinois should split because the two areas do not share the same political views.

The majority of residents in downstate Illinois disagree with City of Chicago residents on key issues such as gun ownership, abortion, immigration, and other policy issues.

-House Resolution 101

According to the resolution, this isn’t the first time that United States citizens have thought of this, resolutions were filed in Illinois in 1925 and 1981. There has also been the same talk of breaking up California into several pieces.

The dissension between downstate Illinois and the City of Chicago spans the nearly 200-year history of the State, and there have been several attempts in the past to divide Illinois into two states.

-House Resolution 101

The bill has been assigned to the rules committee.

“I think it would benefit small towns a lot though,” Mancilla said.

After talking to a group of current students, QUMedia found that 80 percent of the group thought that Chicago as a state would be a good idea, that would potentially benefit small towns like Quincy.

With Chicago being approximately 311 miles from Quincy, other QU students and Quincy natives are curious to see what will happen.

“I think Illinois would lose interest from tourists,” Devin Austin, QU student, said.

“My question is, why Chicago? What about all of the other major cities in the U.S.?” Erika Stollberg, QU student, said.

Illinois is home to approximately 12.8 million people, with Chicago making up for about 2.7 million of that number and people are seeing the impact.

The divide between the City of Chicago and downstate Illinois is frequently manifested in electoral results such as the 2010 gubernatorial election in which the Democrat candidate won the election despite only carrying four counties out of 102 counties, and, in fact, did not need to carry any other counties to win because of the margin of victory in Chicago and Cook County.

-House Resolution 101

The bill status is still in progress and is open to be monitored by the public by visiting the Illinois General Assembly website.

QUMedia wants to hear from you: House Resolution 101 proposes to split Illinois and make Chicago the 51st state, due to the conflict in political interests. What do you think?

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