Rules Committee Chair Alderman Michelle Harris to hold more hearings on new ward maps
In a continued commitment to ensuring the city’s ward Redistricting process is open to public participation and input, Chairman Michelle Harris, 8th Ward, is holding additional public hearings this week, inviting feedback on the proposed draft map and data published online.
“Redistricting is, and must be, a democratic process, and we must honor that by listening to all points of view on how to craft and tweak a map,” said Harris.
“Taking the time to ensure that interested community members and organizations have a say in what the wards look like is essential in my view, and I welcome those with opinions to find the best way they feel comfortable to share them.”
Harris released a proposed map on Wednesday, December 1 and published the street-level map and detailed demographic data at: app.mydistricting.com/legdistricting/comments/plan/135/26.
This map came from months of collaborative work among members of the City Council, informed by citizen input given at prior hearings, offered in writing, shared at local meetings held by aldermen, and submitted through a free, online redistricting tool.
Harris characterized the map as a starting point to further negotiations.
“My priority in leading the city’s re-mapping has always been to push for compromise and consensus that results in the fairest map for all communities,” said Harris. “I am asking all council members to work together, to listen to what the public is asking for, and to try to agree on a map that best serves all the diverse communities of Chicago for the next decade.”
The Committee on Committees and Rules has hosted 6 public hearings on Redistricting since September and has announced two more for this week, to be held:
- Tuesday, December 7 at 3:00 p.m.
- Friday, December 10 at 1:00 p.m.
The public can watch the hearings by visiting the Chicago City Clerk’s website at www.ChiCityClerk.com and clicking on the event link that will be live at the hearing’s scheduled start time. The Chicago City Clerk’s website shows instructions for how to participate in oral public comment at these hearings. Written public comment will be accepted at Michelle.Evans@cityofchicago.org until 10:00 a.m. the day before each hearing. Out of consideration for safety during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the hearings will be held virtually.
The free, interactive redistricting tool is available at https://app.mydistricting.com/legdistricting/chicago. The public can share ideas for mapping by registering for a free account and creating and submitting either full wards or smaller communities of interest for Council members to consider in this process.
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Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.
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