Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chicago Ward Redrawing - The Black Caucus Proposal

We've been getting comments here on the draft ward maps drawn by the city council's black caucus and a blogger (strannik01) dropped by to share a link to his thoughts on that draft map. Here's his section concerning Englewood:
Englewood is one of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Chicago. Today, Englewood is divided between five wards. One might assume that this would mean that Englewood residents would be happy to have five aldermen defending their interests. However, unlike Hyde Park, Englewood does not have a strong network of institutions and community organizations that would rally the voters to elect candidates and hold them accountable. So the aldermen tend to focus their energies in neighborhoods where they have substantial territory. The few efforts they make on Englewood's behalf tend to be sporadic. The fact that none of the aldermen involved have their ward offices in Englewood only re-enforces the sense that in Chicago politics, this impoverished community is an afterthought.

Under the Black Caucus proposal, Englewood would be split between four wards. While that's better than five, it still doesn't address the issue. At least one Englewood community group has been lobbying for fewer wards, but so far, the Black Caucus doesn't seem to be listening.
I know many in the 6th Ward are concerned about the remap, but to keep things in perspective there are a lot of conflicts to navigate in this remapping process. The question is who will get what they're looking for in this remap and who won't!

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