Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hispanic aldermen welcome proposal to cut City Council in half - Chicago Sun-Times

Hispanic aldermen welcome proposal to cut City Council in half - Chicago Sun-Times

First a report about drafting a map for 35 aldermen and now the Latino Caucus wants to draw a map for 25 Alderman. I'm wondering if this is one way for Mayor Rahm Emanuel to intervene in this redistricting fight. Not too many Aldermen want to give on this remap and compromise doesn't look very promising at this point. So what other option is there other than to possible reduce the number of Aldermen?
The 25-ward map drafted by the Hispanic Caucus includes eight majority white wards, eight majority black wards, seven majority Hispanic wards, one Hispanic “influence” ward and one black influence ward.

That more fairly represents a city now 32.9 percent black, 31.7 percent white and 28.9 percent Hispanic, according to Ald. Danny Solis (25th), chairman of the City Council’s Hispanic Caucus.

“If it was 25 wards, we would be much better and more fairly represented because you’re starting from scratch. This would be welcomed by the caucus and me,” Solis said.

“It was an issue in the last election. Editorial boards asked the question. It’s been mentioned in several of the meetings that the mayor might push this. We would be open to it and confident the end result would more accurately reflect the population.”
21st Ward Ald. Howard Brookins doesn't like this idea or at least why Solis and his caucus are pursuing it:
“They think they’re gonna beat Ald. Ed Burke in a ward that’s double the population and he’s got $9 million in the bank? That’s a pipe dream. They will not fare better. It’ll be harder to run, harder to win and require more money,” Brookins said.
The debate over how many ward the city should have isn't brand new. It actually came up during the mayoral election as noted by this article at CBS Chicago. Mayor Emanuel even brought it up during the course of the campaign although it certainly can't be counted as one of his campaign promises. Of course it is also noted:

City Council floor leader Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th) said earlier this week that Mayor Emanuel might issue a non-binding referendum that would poll Chicagoans on whether the City Council should be halved, if aldermen don’t agree on a remap, the Sun-Times reported.
Any change in the Council structure would have to be made by the Illinois General Assembly, or by Chicago voters through a binding referendum.
Here's a proposal since I don't know why this particular proposal won't be offered as a biding referendum. Why not put this reduction proposal on the ballot along with any potential maps with 50 aldermen in mind? And it has to be binding either way. Besides it would be more than appropriate since it appears no one would be very happy with whatever proposal the city council could ever come up with.

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