Group pushes for state of Illinois to secede from Chicago

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Group pushes for state of Illinois to secede from Chicago
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A group is pushing to make the city of Chicago its own state, separate from Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- To many people, the idea of making the city of Chicago its own state has been a joke for years. But now one group is pushing to make the separation a reality, WICS reports.

"I'm a White Sox fan and I hate giving up that territory. But when it comes down to it, this state is a sinking ship," said Collin Cliburn, the man who started the petition to secede.

Cliburn is ready for change to come to Illinois - and his hope for change would start with the state seceding from Chicago.

"I know we have so many failing communities because the people up there that are used to the city life, don't understand how to get by down here," he said.

This isn't the first time a plan for seceding has been proposed.

"This is something that has come up from time to time in recent years and it's an issue that goes back as far as statehood," said Christopher Mooney, a professor of state politics at UIC.

But Cliburn said his proposal will be different, as he believes decisions made by Chicago-based politicians are negatively affecting people outside of the city.

"We don't want a $578 sticker for our car and we don't want a new progressive income tax and we don't want a recommended one percent property tax," Cliburn said.

Despite past attempts never truly making an impact, Cliburn is hoping his will stand out.

"It's almost certainly never going to happen. It could legally, it could happen but the state has to agree to it and the only time any state has ever divided up into pieces was when Virginia had West Virginia lopped off of it," Mooney said.

Cliburn said all counties except for Cook are eligible to be admitted to this hypothetical new state and has compared it to how West Virginia was created from part of Virginia.

Cliburn also hopes counties will put it on the ballot this November - and if even one county approves it, he said he is ready to take this to the federal level.