The biggest difference is how the two blocs would accommodate a huge growth in white population in the central area of the city over the past decade.
Both proposed maps would move the 34th Ward, now represented by retiring Ald. Carrie Austin, miles to the north. But the Latino Caucus’ version would put the 34th on the Near Northwest Side, an effort to soak up excess population in lakefront wards farther north. The Black Caucus map would anchor the 34th in the area around and to the east of the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Doing so would allow Ald. Walter Burnett, 27th, to retain the Cabrini-Green area and part of Old Town in his ward, but force a bit of a crunch farther south and west.
That’s important, because the biggest clash is in the mid-South Side area, in and around the 16th, 17th, 18th and 20th wards. The Black Caucus map would spread the Latino population around or move it into other wards, retaining a Black-population majority in all four wards. The Latino Caucus map would give them a majority in the 17th Ward, and offer a shot at winning in the 18th.
Another huge difference is how the competing maps would treat pending mega real estate developments.
Under the Latino Caucus map, Related Midwest’s 78 project would stay in Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez’s 25th Ward; Lincoln Yards would stay in Ald. Brian Hopkins’ 2nd Ward; and One Central would be split between Ald. Pat Dowell’s 3rd Ward and Ald. Sophia King’s 4th Ward.
Under the Rules Committee map, the wards of King and Dowell would share One Central; Dowell’s 3rd would get the 78; and Scott Waguespack, 32nd, would get Lincoln Yards.
Other major points of difference:
• The 2nd Ward is rather ugly under either map, snaking from Streeterville to the Northwest Side miles away. But the stretch is particularly pronounced under the Rules Committee map.
• Indicted Ald. Edward Burke, 14th, would get a heavily Latino ward under either map. But under the Rules Committee map it would be farther to the south and west, into the West Lawn neighborhood, though not picking up precincts around Midway International Airport. The 14th ward would be farther to the north under the Latino Caucus map, picking up territory that would be less friendly to the longtime incumbent.
• The 11th Ward, legendary home of the Daley clan, would become majority-Asian (almost all Chinese-American) under either map. But the two maps treat the McKinley Park neighborhood differently.
• The 35th Ward now represented by Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who often is a fierce critic of Mayor Lori Lightfoot, would be barely Latino under the Rules Committee map—just 51%—potentially making him vulnerable to a re-election foe. At the same time, the ward of Latino Caucus Chairman Gil Villegas, 36th, who is running for Congress, would be stretched almost across the city under the committee map, running from Western Avenue almost to Harlem Avenue.
• The Southeast Side 9th and 10th wards have somewhat different boundaries under the two maps, but 9th Ward Ald. Tony Beale, another sharp Lightfoot critic, would keep the Far South Side Pullman area under either map, as he’s strongly insisted.
• Most North Side wards are very similar in either map, though some differences emerge father west in the 45th Ward area.
• One thing that appears to be absolutely the same under either map: the Far Southwest Side 19th Ward. Apparently, it still has the clout to defend its turf.
• The Latino Caucus map does a better job of keeping the Hyde Park neighborhood together than the Rules Committee map, dividing it among two wards rather than three.
Again, none of this is final—especially the Rules Committee map, which, unlike the Latino Caucus map, has not been formally submitted for a referendum. But consider this a working guide of what’s at stake, neighborhood by neighborhood.
This story has been corrected to note that the Latino Caucus map would give Latinos a majority in the 17th Ward, not the 16th.
The Latino Caucus proposed map:
via Crain’s Chicago Business
December 2, 2021 at 05:44PM