Three map proposals for City Council

January 11, 2012

Three proposals to remap the Wards of the City of Chicago are expected to be deliberated at a public hearing tonight in the DePaul neighborhood. The meeting is expected to be energetic as the Lincoln Park community has reacted poorly to a leading proposal.

That proposal, the Map For A Better Chicago, is supported by the sponsorship of 33 aldermen, including all but one member of the Black Caucus and powerful white aldermen Ed Burke, Patrick O’Connor and Richard Mell.

Ald. Michele Smith has attacked that map charging it divides communities.

“Under this new map, Lincoln Park is divided up into FIVE wards: the 43rd, 44th, 32nd, 27th, and a brand new ward, the 2nd. This map puts Wrightwood Neighbors, Park West, and Ranch Triangle into two wards that are completely out of the 43rd Ward, and divides Sheffield Neighbors into three ward and Lincoln Central into four wards.”

┬áSmith’s argument about community may seem intuitive. When we identify with a ward, it becomes a shorthand for describing our neighborhood.

Plus, moving new wards into areas, such as that proposed for Roscoe Village, leaves those neighborhoods without effective representation until the next election, slated for 2015.

The Bulldog has written multiple articles on remapping this year. On May 14 The Bulldog published one of its few editorials laying out in detail what it believes are important principles in this process.

However, legal challenges to the maps are more likely to discuss race than ideas of compact neighborhoods and the fine lines that allow a person to walk a few blocks, crossing through multiple wards.

Below, The Bulldog lays out the current map and the three competing proposals in interactive Google maps. We’ve also attached tables to allow you to cross reference the key demographic details, i.e., the racial make-up of the proposals. Finally we’ve attached a definition of our terms.

The Current Map


View Current Chicago Ward Map in a larger map

The Map For a Better Chicago


View Map for a Better Chicago in a larger map


The Taxpayer Protection Map


View Taxpayer Protection Map in a larger map


Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund *MALDEF Map


View MALDEF Chicago Equity Map in a larger map




Target Population: 53,912
Black and Asian Majority Wards: > 50% VAP
Hispanic Majority Wards: > 65% VAP
Minority Influence Ward: >20 % <50 % VAP
Minority Coalition Wards: Combined >20 % < 50% VAP

Summary Table

[spreadsheet 0Appu2TS3dn4YdDNFT1dqbFlsMk9YZ3NFY0dPbGZ0dEE 450 450]


Read the MALDEF Redistricting Manual

 Read the University of California, Berkeley Law School Redistricting Paper on Influence Districts

Go to the City of Chicago Redistricting web site

See the announcement of the City Council Rules Committee announcements of public hearings– Jan. 11 at 6P 2250 N Sheffield

See the announcement of the City Council Rules Committee announcement of public hearings– Jan. 12 at 6P 3658 S Wentworth




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