Redistricting of Chicago’s 50 Wards

A decade can fly by pretty fast. Before you know it, it’s time to refurbish, revamp, redo, and make a few necessary changes.

A lot can happen over ten years. Populations grow. People move in and people move out. According to the 2010 Census, certain sections and communities in Chicago have experienced expansive growth. This is good for our city and everyone who lives, works, and plays here.

Some Chi-Town citizens may not be aware of the fact that every 10 years, boundary lines for wards must be re-established as a result of this population increase. It’s a law with a purpose to keep ward populations balanced at the predetermined number of residents for each alderman: 54,000.

Growth to our city is the good news. An increase in urban dwellers here in the downtown area is great for business and adds vibrancy to this central location. On the flip side, because of this growth, our ward may be reduced by approximately 25,000 residents or more. These individuals and families will more than likely will find themselves excluded from the 42nd Ward once the new boundary lines have been drawn. As map plans are being considered, keep in mind what will ultimately determine each of the ward boundaries: the 50 alderman, competing maps, community input, and the political process of the alderman, who vote on the final maps and boundary proposals.

The “overflow” of residents here in the 42nd Ward, led by Alderman Brendan Reilly, will be assigned to other aldermen. Three map proposals to re-establish boundaries have been presented by major interests groups: the Latino Caucus of the City Council; the Black Caucus; and MALDEF, a voting-rights public interest group.

However, I believe the main objective should be to save the city some cash. To achieve this, let’s downsize the traditional number of aldermen, from 50 to 25, and avoid major restructuring of boundaries that would displace residents. Doing this would allow neighborhoods to grow without separating communities and families that have acclimated to their particular ward’s leadership, police beat, and way of life. This plan would make a definite impact on our city deficit, further reducing those big numbers holding our city down.

At least four additional meetings will be called to address this important topic. The dates will soon be announced and each Chi-Town citizen should plan to attend. Hopefully, residents and communities all over the city will speak out publicly, or submit a written statement. You may send your written statement to: Alderman Richard Mell–33rd Ward, Chairman of the Rules Committee, 3649 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618. Email Ald. Mell at [email protected].

Reduce the number of aldermen. Don’t change our neighborhoods and communities.

To view current population map of Chicago, go here.

Got questions? Call Ald. Brendan Reilly at 312-642-4242; 312-744-3062; or visit his website here.

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