Ward remap passes: 2nd Ward blown up, 3rd and 4th Wards split South Loop
Ald. Fioretti mounts last-ditch effort to delay map, but overruled by Emanuel, Burke
01/19/2012 12:00 PM
After months of backroom wheeling and dealing, the South Loop has gained a new alderman and lost another, as Ald. Bob Fioretti’s 2nd Ward has officially been blown up and banished to the North Side in Chicago's next ward remap.
The Chicago City Council unveiled its new ward boundaries Thursday morning at a special meeting, then promptly approved them minutes later.
The new map takes Fioretti’s 2nd Ward from the South Loop, West Loop and Near West Side, and turns it into a scribble-shaped ward that stretches from the Gold Coast to Ukrainian Village.
In the 2nd Ward’s wake, Ald. Pat Dowell’s 3rd Ward and Will Burns’ 4th Ward take over most of the South Loop, with Ald. Danny Solis taking a chunk as well.
In the West Loop and the Near West Side, Ald. Walter Burnett’s 27th Ward takes over most of the turf, with Solis taking a small chunk.
Fioretti’s home on Jackson Boulevard just east of Ashland Avenue has been added to the new 28th Ward, which has been gerrymandered to include his home by mere feet. The 28th Ward, which used to be mostly Austin and other Far West Side neighborhoods, now includes much of University Village.
When the council meeting began soon after copies of the new map were passed out, it was clear that Fioretti was outflanked. So with Ald. Nick Sposato from the Northwest Side — whose mostly white ward was being turned into a mostly Hispanic one — they tried to delay a vote on the map.
They were promptly rejected, though, and the council passed the new map by a vote of 41 to 8. Voting no were aldermen Fioretti, Scott Waguespack (32nd), Rey Colon (35th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Michael Zalewski (23rd), Michael Chandler (24th), John Arena (45th) and Nick Sposato (36th). Toni Foulkes (15th) was absent.
The 41 votes in favor of the map mean that no referendum can be held on it. However, it doesn’t mean a lawsuit can’t be filed against the city, which could nullify the map.
After the vote, Fioretti said he was considering his options in terms of a lawsuit, but he would continue to serve the current 2nd Ward until 2015.
“The current map remains in effect until the next election, contrary to what thoughts are. We were elected to represent the political boundaries that were in effect for the last election,” Fioretti said. “Why was this done the way it was done? Who knows. This was controlled from the fifth floor and the silver-haired caucus. It was predictable.”
Fioretti also said he was going to be paying close attention to the new 2nd Ward boundaries, though he stopped short of saying he’d be campaigning for reelection there.
“I’m going to be listening very carefully to the new 2nd Ward,” Fioretti said.
Check back to ChicagoJournal.com for more updates.