New redistricting map would split South Loop between four aldermen
Endorsed by Ald. Bob Fioretti, map would give up much of South Loop to 4th Ward Ald. Will Burns
12/16/2011 7:13 PM
The first map of Chicago’s political battle lines was submitted to City Council Thursday, and it adds two new aldermen to the South Loop, splitting the neighborhood between a total of four representatives in city council.
Pitched by the council’s Hispanic Caucus, it would divvy up the South Loop, which right now is almost entirely represented by Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd), with the exception of a sliver represented by Pat Dowell (4th).
The neighborhood’s massive population boom in the last 10 years made the 2nd Ward one of the few in the city that gained population, while most others lost people. Though it’s often used as a political tool, the remap’s goal is ostensibly to balance out the wards to balance population between them.
As a result, the South Loop was prime to be split up, and it has been. In the Hispanic Caucus’ map, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) moves south from downtown to claim the neighborhood east of State Street but north of Roosevelt Road. Ald. Will Burns (4th) moves north from Hyde Park and Bronzeville to claim the entire neighborhood south of Roosevelt.
Fioretti maintains only a sliver of the neighborhood, keeping the South Loop west of State and north of Roosevelt — essentially Printers Row and part of Dearborn Park.
The West Loop, University Village and Pilsen are mostly unaffected, with the same faces (27th Ward Ald. Walter Burnett, 25th Ward Ald. Danny Solis and Fioretti) but boundaries slightly shifted.
Mapmakers have dubbed it the taxpayer protection map because they believe it can withstand legal scrutiny. In addition to the Hispanic Caucus, aldermen John Pope (10th), James Balcer (11th), Marty Quinn (13th), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Michele Smith (43rd), John Arena (45th) and James Cappleman (46th) have signed off on it.
It does eliminate two majority black wards, while adding three majority Hispanic wards; it also moves Ald. Willie Cochran’s 20th Ward from the South Side to the North Side. The council’s black caucus has previously cried foul at any attempts to cut their number of seats in the city council.
For any map to take affect, it must get 41 votes in the city council. Otherwise, voters would choose a map in a referendum.