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Top Issues in Illinois in 2024: An Overview

3 min read
Good Party Politics Team · Mar 13, 2024

The Illinois election season has come around once again. Illinois politics remain as competitive as ever, with a variety of issues driving local political involvement and statewide election priorities alike. The current Illinois political climate ensures there is plenty of room for grassroots activism and a variety of opportunities to volunteer, vote, or even run for office.

Understanding the Political Landscape in Illinois

Illinois' top issues range from concerns over redistricting to practical issues like housing costs and the environment. Local issues in Illinois are also important and vary significantly between cities. 

Illinois is considered a Democratic stronghold, but as is often the case, regional political dynamics are more complicated than simply having one dominant party. Republicans have significant influence at the local level, especially in rural areas. Independent voters also play an important part in the Illinois political landscape.

Issue #1: Redistricting and Representation

Concerns over redistricting and gerrymandering are among the most pressing issues facing Illinois.

Redistricting is the process by which electoral districts are redrawn to determine who votes for each seat in the government. This is one of the key concerns in Illinois because residents are worried that redistricting can bias the vote in favor of a single party and disenfranchise voters. That has the potential to undermine voters’ involvement in local politics, especially among those who find themselves in the minority in a new district.

Several states, including California and Arizona, use independent redistricting commissions to draw voting districts in order to eliminate bias. The idea is popular across the United States, and there is some pressure for Illinois to adopt the policy as well.

Issue #2: Handling Housing Costs

The cost of housing is Illinois' top issue for many voters and is one of the most important urban issues in Illinois. 

The state has a housing shortage in spite of an ongoing decline in population. The housing supply has been down 65% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Luxury properties are the exception to the rule, with far more properties available than agents can sell. 

Kam Buckner, a state representative, recently introduced a bill titled the Single-Family Zoning Ban Act, HB 4795. The bill would ban single-family-only zoning in eight cities, including Chicago, to address the housing shortage. The bill remains controversial, with some worrying that a high-level approach will interfere with community involvement by centralizing control over local zoning issues. The fate of the bill remains to be seen, but it will likely depend on the state of the political landscape in Illinois in the coming months.

Issue #3: Balancing Environmental Concerns

Statewide election priorities vary between urban and rural areas, with Illinois politics often being dominated by urban concerns. However, many voters from both camps can agree that environmental issues are among the most important statewide policy focus areas. 

Environmental conservation is a pertinent issue among Illinois farmers. Because all of Illinois' major rivers flow into the Mississippi River system, agricultural runoff from Illinois contributes to environmental issues in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, farmers depend on the fertilizers that create this runoff to produce their crops. This situation puts broader environmental concerns into conflict with local economic considerations.

Major Challenges in Illinois’ Top Cities

While statewide issues are important as the 2024 election season heats up, local and municipal issues often have the greatest impact on the average voter. Here are some of the top concerns in Illinois’ largest cities:

Chicago’s Top Issues

Chicago is the most populous city in Illinois and one of the largest in the country, so it can sometimes seem like Chicago's issues are synonymous with Illinois’ statewide election priorities. However, Chicago residents face unique challenges compared to the rest of the state.

Education is one of the biggest of Chicago's issues in 2024. People have been campaigning for changes to the education system  for years, both through grassroots efforts and political campaigns. Mayor Brandon Johnson has recently pushed some changes through in relation to Chicago Public Schools, but they remain controversial. Education has the potential to be a major factor in Chicago’s upcoming municipal elections — especially as Chicago voters will cast their ballots for the city’s school board on November 5, 2024.

Schaumburg’s Top Issues

For the most part, Schaumburg's top issues reflect the general Illinois electoral landscape, with voters worrying about the cost of housing, the environment, and various social issues. Improving infrastructure has dominated the local political conversation, with spending priorities being some of the largest of Schaumburg's issues. 

Naperville’s Top Issues

Recently, Naperville's issues have revolved around law and public order. While crime statistics have been down in Naperville, the new arrival of migrants has turned both public order and public funding into some of the largest of Naperville's issues. Naperville's issues connect to the national conversation about immigration, as the local community adapts to changing needs and demographics.

Getting Involved in Illinois Politics

Addressing the top issues in Illinois in 2024 starts with more Illinois residents getting involved in local politics and making a difference in their communities.

Want to be part of the movement for change? There are several ways you can get started, like registering to vote, staying informed about the latest news in your town or city, and finding ways to volunteer for causes you care about. You can also make a big impact by running for local office. 

Explore the offices up for election near you here. Then, get in touch with Good Party’s team of campaign experts for a free consultation about launching a campaign for local office. Running for office is one of the most powerful ways to influence change in your community, and with the right tools and support, you can address Illinois’ local issues and become a voice for your community.

Photo by stephan cassara on Unsplash


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By Good Party Politics Team
The politics team is focused on transforming the political landscape by promoting transparency, accountability, and positive change. They aim to engage citizens in the political process, encourage informed decision-making, and support candidates who prioritize the common good. Their mission revolves around creating a more fair and just political system, fostering collaboration, and breaking down traditional barriers of partisanship.