Progress Illinois: Possible Deal On Ward Remap, But Few Happy
It's interesting that Ald. Richard Mell (33rd) made this quote at a remap hearing at DePaul University on Wednesday:
“I don’t think anybody likes either one of these maps,” said Ald. Richard Mell, (33rd), chairman of the council’s Rules committee, which is in charge of the remap, at a public hearing Wednesday at DePaul University.And you know he's right. I'm sure many here in the Sixth Ward are thrilled with either map. This is a difficult year because of the population changes most of the Black population leaving Chicago and an increase in Latino in this city. Also most of the population are clustered around downtown Chicago.
Anyway, a deal is in the works.We already posted a story about Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) who just so happens to be the Chairman of the Black Caucus of the city council:
According to Howard Brookins, 20th Ward alderman and chairman of the black caucus, the only obstacle left is a lawyer to confirm the map can withstand a lawsuit. “There is an understanding and once there is an opinion to the legality of it, we think a deal will be reached,” Brookins says.The legal issue. I've read that the MBC proposal is gaining favor but it could be challenged even if the city council votes in the affirmitive:
That would add the eight members of the Latino caucus to the 32 aldermen already in support of the Map for a Better Chicago – or 40 aldermen, leaving Map for a Better Chicago proponents needing to pick up just one more vote. Brookins says he is “confident that there will be sufficient enough aldermen” to get to 41 votes.
The Latino caucus is a bit more cautious. Victor Reyes, head lawyer for the caucus, said that given the request for a legal opinion it would be “difficult” to have the Latino caucus on board in time for the next City Council meeting, which is on Wednesday.
Plus, it is not a sure thing that the Map for a Better Chicago passes legal muster. The map probably adheres to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which protects the representative interests of racial minorities. There will be the 13 majority Latino wards and 18 majority African-American wards. But it might deviate too much from the “one man, one vote” rule. Many wards on the far South and far West sides have up to five percent fewer than the median 53,912 people in each ward. Many far North Side wards have up to five percent more than the median.What map would you support? Is there a map you would like to submit to the city clerk so that the city council could actually consider it?
With perhaps these deviations in mind, the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund released their own “Equitable Map” with much smaller deviations. MALDEF – which is independent of the City Council Latino caucus – could be poised to take legal action.
“They have positioned themselves in a good way if that’s the way they go,” says Paul Sajovec, chief of staff for Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) – who supported the Taxpayer Protection Map and has not taken a position on the potential compromise map.