Latino aldermen want to create a new South Side Latino ward at the expense of a predominantly Black ward as they seek to increase their representation on the City Council in light of U.S. Census data that showed Chicago’s Hispanic population has surpassed that of its decreasing Black population.© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune Ald. Jason Ervin during a City Council meeting in 2019. © Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th, at a City Council meeting in July.
Another far South Side majority-Black ward would get moved to the booming West Loop and near North Side in the map the Latino Caucus will introduce to the City Council next week as its opening move in the once-per-decade remap fight.© Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Ald. David Moore, 17th, speaks during a City Council meeting on May 26, 2021 at City Hall.
Black aldermen called the proposal a nonstarter, and said they will be bringing forward their own plan.
The Latino map would include 16 majority-Black wards, down from 18 in the current map.
There would be 15 Latino-majority wards and 15 majority-white wards in the map.
The Latino Caucus chairman, 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas, insisted his group simply “followed the data” in drawing the lines. And he acknowledged this map is a jumping-off point to start negotiations with colleagues, particularly those in the 20-strong Black Caucus who don’t want to give up any seats in spite of Black population loss.© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune Ald. Gilbert Villegas listens in during a City Council meeting in 2019.
“The bottom line is, it has to start somewhere,” Villegas said. “This is our start. We’ve been communicating with our colleagues. And we’ve been talking to them, mapping with them, working with them to try to get to a point, those that want to work with us.”
The South Side 17th Ward, currently a majority-Black ward represented by Black Ald. David Moore that includes parts of the Auburn-Gresham, Englewood and Marquette Park neighborhoods, would be pushed west into the heavily Latino Marquette Park and Chicago Lawn neighborhoods. That would make Moore, a two-term alderman who’s running for Secretary of State, the odd man out.
“That won’t fly,” Moore said. “You come over there and try to pull out a Black ward, they won’t be able to get majority support for that.”
And Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, called the move by the Latino Caucus “a little bit of desperation on their part.”
“The Latino Caucus is setting up an unnecessary fight that could have a lasting impact,” Ervin said. “I think maybe they didn’t like the way things were going in discussions about this, and so they put out this version.”
Ervin said the Latino version would “face a lengthy and costly court fight, that they’ll lose” because it infringes on the rights of Black voters, a protected class under the voting rights act.
The Latino Caucus also proposes moving the far South Side 34th Ward —- now represented by veteran Black Ald. Carrie Austin, who’s under federal indictment — into the North Side.
Another ward is needed near downtown because of the exploding population of young professionals now living in that part of the city. And the population loss in heavily Black South Side neighborhoods makes it the place to remove a ward, Villegas said. The 34th Ward currently includes parts of the West Pullman, Morgan Park and Roseland neighborhoods.
The 11th Ward, the historic seat of the Daley family, would see its northeast border shifted to take in more of Chinatown. That would increase the ward’s Asian population to around 49% from 41%.
And three North Side wards would be “majority minority” with pluralities of different groups represented, Villegas said. Those wards are currently represented by one Latino, one Black and one white alderman.
The remap process is contentious under the best circumstances, as various Chicago constituencies try to increase or maintain their power in the council and incumbent aldermen scratch and claw to protect their seats in favorably drawn wards.
This year the atmosphere is particularly charged, as the Census revealed a change in the city’s racial dynamic.
Data showed Chicago’s Latino population went up by more than 40,000 over the past decade. That group now represents nearly 30% of the city’s residents, making them Chicago’s second-largest racial and ethnic group.
The city’s Black population fell by almost 10% in the same time, with a loss of nearly 85,000 residents. Black residents now make up nearly 29% of the city’s residents.
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White Chicagoans make up 31% of the population. The Census found the Asian population grew to almost 7% of the total.
Chicago’s population increased slightly overall, to about 2.75 million.
So in a new map where all 50 wards are supposed to be of substantially equal population, each should have about 55,000 people.
If at least 41 aldermen agree on a single map by Dec. 1, then those boundaries become the standard for the 2023 municipal election.
That’s what happened following the 2010 Census, when aldermen emerged from the proverbial smoke-filled room and approved a ward map with 18 Black wards and 13 Latino wards.
If 41 aldermen don’t support a single map, then any 10 aldermen could bring forward their own map, and voters would choose in a ballot referendum.
Already, the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission has unveiled its ward map. The group says its aim was to craft a proposal free of pressure from special interests that respects the boundaries of the city’s neighborhoods.
And the City Council Black Caucus is certain to push back with its own plan. Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, has been saying for months he expects his group to maintain their 18 majority-Black wards.
Twenty Black aldermen sit on the council, with two representing North Side wards, one that has a white majority and one that has a plurality of different groups.
Villegas said the council could get to 41 and avoid the referendum “if people are willing to negotiate and compromise. If there are people who do not want to negotiate and compromise, then potentially we could find ourselves short of the 41.”
Today, there are 12 Latino aldermen on the council. Southwest Side Ald. Ed Burke, who is under federal indictment, represents the 13th Latino ward.
In the past decade, 35 of the 50 wards have elected a new alderman. After the 2019 election, the City Council for the first time in its history no longer had a majority of white aldermen.
Source : https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/chicago-gained-latino-and-lost-black-residents-in-2020-census-latino-aldermen-want-new-city-council-ward-map-to-reflect-population-shift/ar-AAPPCQg1770