Chicago

Chicago City Council passes new ward map after bitter combat, avoiding a voter referendum – Chicago Tribune

The Chicago City Council adopted a new map of the town’s 50 wards Monday, forestalling a poll referendum on competing designs by Black and Latino aldermen and their allies and ending a racially charged confrontation over the boundaries between the 2 teams.

The map handed 43-7, simply two extra votes than wanted to short-circuit the June 28 referendum when Chicago voters would have picked the design of the wards for the following decade. The vote got here three days earlier than a deadline to keep away from having the referendum go to voters on the June major election poll.

For a lot of Chicagoans, their alderman is by far their most intimate and necessary relationship with an elected official. Starting subsequent year, hundreds of residents might want to get used to a new level of contact for a lot of native providers and complaints because of the redrawn map placing them in several wards.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and lots of aldermen in current days have stated the council compromising is a higher final result than the referendum, and so they hope the physique can transfer previous the months of acrimony.

The map that handed has 16 Black-majority wards and 14 Latino-majority wards, one fewer Latino ward than the Latino Caucus needed in mild of Latino inhabitants features citywide. It additionally consists of Chicago’s first Asian-majority ward.

Northwest Side Ald. Felix Cardona, thirty first, was one of many first Latino aldermen to signal on to the compromise. The deal places residents first by avoiding the doubtless expensive, divisive referendum, he stated.

“As caucus members and non-caucus members we had to come to a compromise, and this was the best compromise for us,” Cardona stated. “But we will continue to fight for our Latino community, for our businesses and so forth, because it doesn’t end here. It doesn’t end today.”

But whereas it received assist from the overwhelming majority of aldermen, the new map isn’t universally cherished.

Far South Side Ald. Anthony Beale, ninth, stated he tried to work with colleagues early on however was locked out of the method because the council Rules Committee got down to make adjustments to his boundaries with out his enter.

“I guess I’m one of the few that’s not part of the kumbaya club,” Beale stated. This isn’t a compromise. This is a backroom deal map.”

That drew an offended rebuke from Black Caucus Chair Ald. Jason Ervin, twenty eighth, who stated Beale walked away from his Black Caucus colleagues through the map design course of. Beale demanded an apology, which was not forthcoming from Ervin through the debate.

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In addition to Beale, the no votes got here from Southwest Side aldermen Edward Burke, 14th, Raymond Lopez, fifteenth, and Silvana Tabares, twenty third; Near North Side Ald. Brian Hopkins, 2nd; Northwest Side Ald. Gilbert Villegas, thirty sixth; and North Side Ald. Andre Vasquez, fortieth.

Aldermen Maria Hadden and Byron Sigcho-Lopez voted in favor of the map, however urged the town to undertake processes that enable extra enter from residents sooner or later.

Many thirty sixth Ward residents are offended concerning the unusual snaking design of their new ward.

Villegas chairs the Latino Caucus and led the unsuccessful combat for 15 Latino wards. He has pointed to the design of his ward within the new map as “a real red flag” for anybody seeking to file a lawsuit difficult the boundaries.

And Latino Caucus mapmaker Frank Calabrese famous compactness is a authorized requirement for designing legislative districts in Illinois. “The 36th Ward is drawn to be as not compact as possible” underneath the compromise map, Calabrese stated.

Still, Villegas, who’s operating for Congress, has additionally stated he hopes the council can put the map combat behind it.

The map will take impact with the 2023 municipal elections. Until then, aldermen proceed to characterize the wards they had been elected to in 2019, although observers can be watching to see if council members begin making choices to attempt to curry favor with voters within the new wards who they’ll have to impress to win re-election subsequent year.

Check again for updates on this breaking story.

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