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Last-ditch negotiations appear to have broken down among Chicago aldermen re-drawing the boundaries of the city wards. That means Chicago voters may get to choose between competing maps in a March referendum.Count Alderman Joe Moreno (1st ward) as one of those 16 Aldermen who sponsored the proposed map by the Latino caucus that you see above listed at the City Clerk page of the sponsors of this map:
It also means Chicago voters could be on the hook for expensive litigation that cost $20 million 20 years ago — the last time the city had an all-out fight over re-drawing ward boundaries.
Earlier Thursday, Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) said he nearly had the 41 votes necessary to avoid a referendum. But Hispanic Caucus Chairman Ald. Danny Solis (25th) said 16 aldermen including the Hispanics and eight white aldermen are going to file their own map which they think will better pass legal muster.
Here, here. Although now many of the people who are reading this blog are happy to see where they stand currently. I'm sure many of them aren't happy that they don't stand where they want to stand on this remap.I'm tired of waiting and I'm sure you are too.We needed to introduce something; Chicagoans need to know where they stand now.Filing this map today means the process has started. The map can still change, during the committee process, but now we can finally take these discussions into the open.
It looks like Aldermen Cochran & Foulkes could lose their wards in addition to city council rookie Nicholas Sposato:
The black caucus is fighting to keep its 19 wards. Under the Latino caucus proposal, three incumbents are in jeopardy of losing their seats, including Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th), Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) and Ald. Nick Sposato (36th).The 20th Ward will be located on the north side instead of the south side where it is currently. Justification:
“By moving one ward from the south to the north side of the City, the Taxpayer Protection Map holds together communities of interest, balances racial proportionality, and creates ward boundaries that are generally compact and contiguous. Other proposals over- populate wards on the North Side, and under-populate wards on the South Side,” the [Latino Caucus] release said.Expect another map to be filed tomorrow:
Mell later said that a coalition of the 18-member Black Caucus and council leaders, including Mell, Ald. Patrick O’Connor, 40th, and Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, would be filing their own map by Friday morning.That article from the Tribune linked above notes that there may be three maps to be considered. The Rules Committee map, the Latino Caucus map, even Mell thinks ward maps should be drawn by computer. I'm sure music to the ears of reformers. Yet there's more:
The map was based on the Black Caucus proposal, with adjustments, sources said.
Mell said he believed that the “coalition” map would be endorsed by more than 26 aldermen, but he pledged as Rules Committee chairman to present both maps, and any others that get filed, during at least three public hearings he hopes to hold before year’s end.Sheesh more hearings. Will any new hearings be more productive than those held in September, October, and November?
“We’ll take them out to the community,” Mell said. “The community will have an opportunity to look at ‘em. After we have input from the community, we will come back at City Council meeting, have another discussion I’m sure on the floor, and have an up-or-down vote.”