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Ward Politics Wed Jan 11 2012
Is Water Tower Place in Lincoln Park? Is Old Town in the same ward as the United Center?
Yes, according to the Map for a Better Chicago, a proposed re-drawing of ward boundaries that received almost unanimous disapproval from the 500 Chicagoans who attended a hearing held on Depaul's campus on Wednesday.
"We're a little angry tonight," said Alderman Michele Smith, 43rd Ward, whose Lincoln Park constituency would be split into five wards on this map.
"Although I'm sure [2nd Ward] Alderman Fioretti is a nice gentleman, I didn't vote for him," said Colleen Daley, a 43rd Ward resident who would be in the 2nd Ward on the Map for a Better Chicago.
Ald. Smith is in favor of an alternative proposed by the Hispanic caucus of the Council: the Taxpayer Protection Map.
This hearing was the first in a series of hearings on ward re-mapping, although the Council could vote on a new map as early as next week, said Smith.
Every 10 years, the city re-draws its wards in accordance with the census. The city population is divided by the number of wards, and the result is the ideal population of each ward. If a map deviates from this magic number too much, it could be brought to court for violating the constitutional principle of one person, one vote. The 1991 ward map was brought to federal court on the grounds that it excluded minority groups, costing the city more than $3 million in legal fees.
According to Ald. Smith, The Map for a Better Chicago has deviation around 5% in some areas, while the Taxpayer Protection Map deviates less and is more legally defensible.