Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sun-Times: Loss of 180,000 black residents will complicate Chicago ward remap

Something I learned from the Roseland Heights meeting last week, that it's a distinct possibility that Roseland Heights could become part of the Ald. Anthony Beale's 9th Ward. The President of the Roseland Heights Community Association (RHCA), Clevan Tucker, wants to Roderick Sawyer as Alderman because of how he chased down the organization to insure they received their grant. Let's hope RHCA is successful.

Now onto the Sun-Times article:
Chicago’s loss of 200,000 residents — more than 180,000 of them black — will make the process of crafting a new ward map “as challenging as it’s ever been,” a powerful aldermen warned Wednesday.

With Hispanics demanding more City Council seats and blacks determined to hold onto what they’ve got, the once-in-a-decade political sweepstakes to accommodate the 2010 U.S. Census will get under way on Aug. 1.

The City Council’s Finance and Rules Committees plans to hire consultants and set up a war room to begin the process of redrawing the city’s 50 wards, each with a population of 53,000 residents, down from 57,000 a decade ago.

It’s not going to be easy.

“We’re gonna try to, hopefully, keep ’em more compact and coherent [than last time], but you never know,” said Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), the chairman of the City Council Rules Committee. “It’s gonna be challenging — probably as challenging as it’s ever been. And I’ve been through the ’80s, ’90s and … this one.”
21st Ward Ald. Howard Brookins who is the Chairman of the city council's Black Caucus wants to be able to maintain the 20 black wards that currently exists.

Here's more from Clout Street:
The council has until Dec. 1 to approve a map, under state statute. But if any group of 10 or more aldermen endorse an alternative, the competing maps go to voters in a referendum next March, as they did two decades ago. That map still ended up being contested in court in a legal battle that lasted six years and cost $11 million.
Well the map for the Illinois General Assembly and US House districts are largely set, but now is the time to look at ward boundaries for the next decade!


  1. It's a strong possibility that this may happen. it would be a great loss to his power base. I would think that if you got to lose an area, the area west of Vincennes would be the one you would not mind losing.

  2. you mean cede some land to help unify Englewood under at least one or two aldermen?

  3. Based on Alderman Brookins comment that doesn't look like its going to happen but yes get out of that feud.

  4. To preserve 20 Black Majority wards seems like a tough sell anyway. I hope Ald. Sawyer is working on this map.

  5. i don't want to dump Englewood, but if they can get a stronger voice with fewer than 6 aldermen representing them, I think Worlee's suggestion would be wise.

    The question of re-map is HIGHLY relevant to this blog. How do we, the public, get our voices heard on this issue?

    Though it might be expensive, I think it is important enough to warrant a vote by the PEOPLE on it.

  6. Every one of 50 Wards will see changes in boundaries. The most dramatic changes will occur as boundaries shift to accommodate Wards that lost significant population. Looking at the map the Wards along the lakefront can't move east and thus are forced to more west, north or south. The greatest loss of population was south and the Wards on the City's southern border cannot move further south, so they have to push north, west and east. Each Ward's movement affects the adjoining Wards, so yes this remap will be complicated, as new areas are incorporated into new Wards. In 2000 the Vernon Park Community was mapped into the 9th Ward as a result of these same dynamics; however the population loss was not as great in that Census count.

    Community associations and residents will of course have opportunities for input as the elected representatives begin drawing the maps. RAGE, an organization in Englewood has already begun discussing the upcoming remapping among the community and elected officials. Park Manor Neighbors and other associations have also been discussing potential boundary changes.

    As to losing Black Wards, for the most part Blacks still live in concentrated (segregated) communities. That has not changed and the issue will likely be how to start with those areas and move to the abutting other communities and incorporating more non-Blacks, which will turn some 70-80% + Black Wards into 50-65% Black Wards. The issue of the Hispanic Wards is also not being accurately reflected in the media. Any gain of Hispanic Wards should start with counting those existing super majority Hispanic Wards (i.e. 10, 14, 33) before folks start talking about taking Black Wards. So it will be an interesting struggle.


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