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Ward Politics Fri Dec 02 2011

Are You Concerned About the Ward Remap?

Since we're past the deadline for the City Council to agree on a new ward map, this is as good a time as any to start talking about it here.

For the record, I live in one area that will be affected by the remap process. I've been to meetings regarding the ward remap. This includes neighborhood meetings as well as public hearings about the remap.

If you've followed the stories about this we already know what the deal is. Basically the blacks of Chicago who have lost 180,000+ and the Latinos have gained 25,000+ people. Of course the Asians don't have enough numbers to justify giving that ethnic group their own ward. Also I read that even the city's Polish community want their own ward.

So now there's a new battle which was bound to brew as the City Council Black Caucus want to maintain as much of their city council representation as possible, while the Hispanic Caucus want to gain more representation on the City Council. So while the politicians continue to negotiate ward boundaries, many of those who are concerned about which ward they will lie remain in a sort of limbo until the politicians decide what map will past muster with not only their City Council colleagues, but with the courts as well.

In the 6th Ward, there are three neighborhoods -- Chesterfield, West Chesterfield, and Roseland Heights -- that are very concerned about what ward they will reside in for the next 10 years. If the Black Caucus proposal were to be accepted, those neighborhoods would instead be drawn into a much enlarged 9th Ward under Ald. Anthony Beale, which has lost significant population within the last decade. In those neighborhoods there is opposition mainly because they elected Ald. Roderick Sawyer into office earlier this year and they do not wish to be represented by someone they didn't vote for. Another reason is concern over property values or insurance rates.

Today, I'm sure those neighborhoods and others are holding their breaths on this remap. Since I've only seen one full proposal so far, I'm sure there are many around the city that are waiting to see how the ward map will look. The three neighborhoods of the 6th Ward are still waiting to see what ward they will reside in.

I forgot to note there are quite a few people who reside in those neighborhoods who wouldn't be sad if a few black wards were lost if it meant that they would remain in the 6th Ward. So the news of losing two wards in this remap process might make them happy. Although currently there's little information as to whether or not those neighborhoods will in fact not be drawn into the 9th Ward.

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Chicagotm / December 2, 2011 11:53 AM

Actually, it's slightly inaccurate to say that Asians don't have the numbers for that ethnic group to have their own ward. In the Chinatown area, there are over 25,000 Asians clustered closely enough together so that they would make up almost 45 percent of a ward-sized area. Just a few thousand more and the Federal Voting Rights Act would have mandated it, so why not do what's right and make it happen now? This population is currently split between the 11th and 25th wards, neither of which has any intention of allowing a ward with an Asian plurality. Nonetheless, the writing is on the wall. If not this remap, then undoubtedly in 2021 there will be an Asian-majority ward.

PhDoh / December 2, 2011 12:17 PM

The first sentence isn't even a complete sentence. Aren't there editors?

IrishPirate / December 2, 2011 10:09 PM

Hey I posted a comment with 3 links. No sausage.

Could you free it from internet limbo?

Levois / December 2, 2011 11:31 PM

Long time no see IrishPirate, how is everything?

IrishPirate / December 3, 2011 2:30 PM

I'm doing ok, Levois.

Certainly better than Herman Cain.

Galewood / December 5, 2011 1:20 PM

The whole process is making me sick. I live in an area that has all the racial groups and I like it that way. I don't want to live in a black/white/Hispanic/Polish/Asian ward. How will we get past looking at each other's skin color if the city has to be carved up by the way each of us looks? I propose wards be constructed to incorporate 25% of each group - no majorities - at least look at keeping neighborhoods intact.

Levois / December 6, 2011 10:10 AM

I should've produced some links into this posting, but Galewood I'm sure you might like this proposal.

That proposal seeks to use census tracts to determine ward boundaries and not areas populated by particular racial or ethnic groups.

Levois / December 6, 2011 10:13 AM

I should've produced some links into this posting, but Galewood I'm sure you might like this proposal.

That proposal seeks to use census tracts to determine ward boundaries and not areas populated by particular racial or ethnic groups.

Galewood / December 8, 2011 4:20 PM

I live in Galewood and there are a lot of people in both Galewood and Montclare who are angry. There is a petition being circulated and protests being discussed. The proposed maps that we have seen and what Ald. Sposato is telling us is that we will be put into the 29th ward. This will put Ald. Sposato outside of the 36th ward which he was elected to. Ald. Sposato is doing a good job of listening to the voice of the citizens by having open meetings, communicating to the constituents and generally being available and we want to keep him as our alderman. Secondly, we do not feel affinity with most of the 29th ward. The 29th ward has a lot of social problems that we don't have and I don't see how an alderman of the 29th ward would be able to respond to our needs when compared to the problems of central Austin.

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