A Word from the Logan Square Neighborhood Association on Ward Remapping

                                                photo by: Matthew Avery

I’ve just received a message from John at the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, who would like to pass along some pertinent information regarding the city council’s decision to alter the ward maps. A compromise ward map would still slice up Logan Square, and can have a lot of consequences for residents. Here’s the complete message from John:

As you probably know, two groups of aldermen have introduced proposals for
Chicago’s new ward boundaries. Neither map has the 40 votes needed to
pass.  On Wednesday, WBEZ reported that a compromise could be getting
closer, with a meeting between the two groups expected on Friday.

*What you may not know is that BOTH of the current proposed maps would
divide much of Logan Square into very small slices.*  So a compromise map
could actually be bad news for Logan Square.

Unless there have been dramatic changes behind the scenes, BOTH maps would:

- attach many of the blocks along Logan and Kedzie boulevards and Palmer
Square to a new ward centered in West Lakeview (either the 2nd or the 20th
ward, which would be moved from its current location).  A thin arm of the
new ward would be inserted between the 35th and 1st wards.

- push the 1st Ward west from California to Sacramento and add the blocks
between Bloomingdale and Armitage all the way west to Central Park.

- create an ultra-thin slice of the 26th Ward that would hug the north side
of Armitage from about Kedize to Lawndale.

- bring much more of the 31st Ward back into Logan Square and Avondale.

- keep the Lathrop Homes in the 1st Ward, but put almost all of Lathrop’s
neighbors into the new 2nd or 20th ward.

The Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) urges residents to study
the proposed maps (see links below).

One map is proposed by the City Council’s Black Caucus in conjunction with
Ald, Mell and other aldermen.  The other is proposed by the Latino Caucus
in conjunction with other aldermen.  The upside of the stalemate is that it
has allowed the public to actually see the proposed maps before a deal is
done.  There are a few opportunities for neighborhoods to win some changes
in the final map — but it’s crucial to look at the maps and participate
NOW.

The City Council Rules Committee is holding *public hearings* on the remap.
The first was Wednesday evening in Lincoln Park.  *The SECOND hearing was
on Thursday evening (Jan. 12)* — at 6 pm at Progressive Baptist
Church, 3658 S. Wentworth (200 W), just south of US Cellular Field. 

The *THIRD hearing*, which is being scheduled in conjunction with the
Latino Caucus, could be as soon as this Friday or early next week.  The *FOURTH
hearing* will probably be at City Hall during next Tuesday during the day.

You can also submit comments in writing (see address below).  These
comments would become part of the public record in the event that the map
issue goes to court, helping to identify our neighborhood’s interest in
ward boundaries that respect community cohesion.

Meanwhile, MALDEF, the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund,
last week proposed its own “Equity” map.  This map would keep the existing
wards in Logan Square much more intact.  So far, no aldermen are endorsing
MALDEF’s map, but it could impact the process.

What happens next:  Technically, the two aldermanic proposals are only
being introduced at the City Council meeting next Wednesday, Jan. 18.  If
there is no compromise, any map with 10 or more aldermanic supporters
is included on a ballot referendum for the voters to decide.  But there is
a strong possibility that a compromise deal may be reached BEFORE the Jan.
18 meeting.  That’s why it’s so important to make your voice heard NOW.

John McDermott, Housing & Land Use Director
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
jmcdermott@lsna.net


Links to maps & resources:

The maps below do not name every street boundary, so I’m also
including the full text of the Brookins and Solis ordinances, which
include a list of street boundaries for each ward.  The first page of
these files tells you which aldermen are supporting which map.

- Map proposed by Ald. Solis, Latino Caucus & other aldermen (click to
enlarge):
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2750818/WardMap_1.jpg

- Solis map sponsors & full ordinance text, including ward-by-ward
boundaries:
http://www.chicityclerk.com/headlines/2011/dec/O2011-10252.pdf

- Map proposed by Ald. Brookins, Black Caucus, Ald. Mell & other
aldermen (click to enlarge):
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2750818/WardMap_2.jpg

- Brookins map sponsors & full ordinance text, including ward-by-ward
boundaries:
http://www.chicityclerk.com/headlines/2011/dec/F2011-371.pdf

- MALDEF Equity Map:
http://www.maldef.org/news/releases/equitymap_chicago/).

- ‘One person, one vote?  Not in Chicago’s new ward remap’ (Greg Hines
column, Crain’s Chicago Business)
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20111231/ISSUE05/312319966/one-person-one-vote-not-in-chicagos-new-ward-remap

- ‘Possible breakthrough on Chicago remap deal?’ (WBEZ Radio, Jan. 11, 2012)
http://www.wbez.org/story/breakthrough-chicago-remap-deal-95465

- WBEZ links and background on maps:
http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2012-01-09/are-chicago-ward-remaps-impossible-figure-out-95392#


To comment in writing:

Ald. Richard F. Mell, Chairman
Committee on Committees, Rules and Ethics
Chicago City Council
121 N. LaSalle, Room 200
Chicago, IL 60602

rmell@cityofchicago.org

City Hall office phone:  (312) 744-6825
City Hall office fax:  (312) 744-4843
33rd Ward office phone: (773) 478-8040
33rd Ward office fax:  (773) 478-8006

We recommend sending a COPY of your statement to:
- Mayor Emanuel
- Local aldermen (find their contact info. at
http://chicago.legistar.com/People.aspx)
- LSNA at jmcdermott@lsna.net