Thursday, December 1, 2011

Proposed Chicago ward remap could add 3 Latino seats on council, part 2

Please read PART 1 HERE!

I'm doing it this way because the way I was going that last post was starting to get too long. Anyway, I wanted to post a quote from former Alderman, now Judge Lyle in the Sun-Times about the latest development:
“If a map is passed that has 17 African-American wards, there will be another map introduced by ten African-American aldermen. A 17-ward map is an insult,” said former Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th), an attorney hired to represent the Black Caucus who is about to step aside after being appointed a Circuit Court judge.

“It’s gonna be a tremendously costly endeavor to go to a referendum and three times as costly to finance litigation. There’ll be lawyers on all sides. It’s a cost the city can’t bear. And it just reopens [racial] scars of days gone by.”
Judge Lyle of course was the legal counsel for the city council Black Caucus for the purposes of this ward remap.

Apparently negotiations are still ongoing on this map according to the Tribune. In fact some Alderman have seen versions of the map as it would affect them. Of course still no map available to the public yet. I as a citizen would still like to see the other proposals!
Mell was showing parts of the map to each caucus, but not revealing a citywide plan, even as negotiations on final borders continued, the sources said. He had several meetings scheduled for Thursday with groups of aldermen whose wards bordered one another, aldermen confirmed.

"I would not say lines are drawn, these are proposed," said Ald. Thomas Tunney, 44th, who planned to meet Thursday morning with other lakefront aldermen and Mell. "I don't think it's a done deal. The tough negotiating is happening right now."
While the Black caucus may have to brace for some changes as far as Black representation on the city goes some white Alderman may have to brace for some changes as well:
On the Northwest Side, freshman Ald. Nicholas Sposato, 36th, would see his ethnic white ward turn predominantly Latino. On the Southwest Side, Ald. Michael Zalewski, 23rd, would see his ward go from about half Latino to mostly Latino. Zalewski still could survive politically, though, much like other old-guard white Democrats have done in majority-Hispanic wards in that part of Chicago.
Sposato was quoted by the Sun-Times, he's a rookie Alderman who took out a favored incumbent:
“It’s gonna totally change my ward. I was all the way West. Now, you’re moving me all the way east. That’s not the people [who] elected me. It’s not fair to the people. It’s not fair to me,” Sposato said Wednesday.
These other wards currently represented by white Alderman are to be drawn as Latino "influenced" wards:
Additional Hispanic wards could be created in the 10th, 23rd and 13th Wards now represented by whites. The 1st Ward would go from a Hispanic majority ward to Hispanic “influence” ward.
I mentioned a little about the process of approving a ward map. The city council have to approve a map, however if they can't agree the votes must approve one in a referendum voted on in next year's Presidential Primary. This is from the Tribune:
To avoid a referendum, at least 41 aldermen would have to sign off on a map. Some aldermen speculated a coalition of protected white and black aldermen, along with all Latino council members, could achieve that mark. That, however, could fracture the Black Caucus.
Then here's a caveat by the Sun-Times:
If at least ten aldermen unite behind an alternate map, Chicago voters would choose between the two versions when they go to the polls next March. That could set the stage for a federal lawsuit.
Next March of course will be the month of our state's Presidential primary.

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