Tentative Agreement Reached on Chicago Ward Map Backed by Black Caucus | Chicago News

Members of the Chicago City Council meet on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (WTTW News)Members of the Chicago Metropolis Council meet on Wednesday, Might 26, 2021. (WTTW Information)

Members of the Chicago Metropolis Council have reached a tentative compromise over a brand new ward map based mostly on the 2020 census that can form Chicago politics for the following decade, retaining Black politicians’ benefit at Metropolis Corridor intact.

The settlement creates 14 wards with a majority of Latino voters, relatively than the 15 wards that the Metropolis Council’s Latino Caucus had demanded. 

The tentative ward map would have 16 wards with a majority of Black voters, one ward with a plurality of Black voters and one ward with a majority of Asian American voters — the primary in Chicago’s historical past — and largely follows the boundaries endorsed by the Metropolis Council’s Black Caucus on the South and West sides.

The deal makes some adjustments to the map supported by the Black Caucus on the Northwest and Southwest sides, which embrace closely Latino neighborhoods, sources advised WTTW Information.

The stress to achieve a deal grew to a fever pitch in current weeks as highly effective — and rich — labor unions lined up behind the map supported by the Black Caucus, making it clear that the trouble backed by the Latino Caucus can be outspent throughout a tough fought and politically perilous marketing campaign, sources advised WTTW Information.

Ald. Gilbert Villegas (thirty sixth Ward), the chair of the Latino Caucus, advised WTTW Information the tentative settlement had been reached over his objections, whilst he pushed for a compromise earlier than the Might 19 deadline for 41 alderpeople to approve a map.

“I’m not proud of this deal,” stated Villegas, who’s working to symbolize the newly drawn third District within the U.S. Home of Representatives. “The Latino neighborhood in Chicago had an opportunity for actual illustration that has been misplaced.”

Villegas acknowledged that working for Congress, serving as an alderperson and main the remap effort for the Latino Caucus had been tough.

At all times fraught, this yr’s remapping effort had been significantly tense due to town’s altering racial make-up. Whereas Chicago’s Black inhabitants dropped 10%, its Latino inhabitants jumped 5% and its Asian American inhabitants surged 30%, in keeping with the 2020 census. 

The present ward map has 18 wards with a majority of Black voters and 13 wards with a majority of Latino voters. The proposed map would unite all of Chinatown for the primary time in Chicago’s historical past to create a ward with a majority of Asian American voters.

State legislation requires Chicago wards to be “almost equal as practicable” whereas being as “contiguous” and “compact” as potential whereas complying with the Voting Rights Act, which is designed to guard the voting rights of Black, Latino and Asian residents.

Since Chicago’s inhabitants in 2020 was 2,746,388 residents, every ward ought to have 54,928 residents, in keeping with knowledge introduced to the Chicago Metropolis Council.

The folks of Chicago are 31.4% white, 29.9% Latino, 28.7% Black and 6.9% Asian, in keeping with the 2020 U.S. census.

An announcement from the marketing campaign in assist of the map backed by the Latino Caucus stated the deal signifies that “Latinos misplaced for the second decade in a row.” 

Latino members of the Metropolis Council have lengthy believed the 2011 remap didn’t precisely mirror Chicago’s Latino inhabitants and vowed at first of the remapping effort based mostly on the 2020 census to not “get performed once more.”

Ald. Jason Ervin (twenty eighth Ward), who declined to remark to WTTW Information concerning the tentative deal, stated repeatedly he wouldn’t settle for a map that creates 15 wards with a majority of Latino voters, telling WTTW Information on April 26: “As I’ve acknowledged earlier than, the African American neighborhood won’t dwell on its knees.”

If the tentative deal is ratified, it’s going to avert what would have been the primary ward map referendum in 30 years.

A compromise would additionally keep away from a brutal marketing campaign that might have pitted Black Chicagoans in opposition to Latino Chicagoans. 

Villegas had accused Ervin of echoing racist rhetoric utilized by former President Donald Trump by crafting a map utilizing the share of Chicagoans who’re residents older than 18, relatively than the variety of Chicagoans who’re older than 18.

Guidelines Committee Chair Ald. Michelle Harris (eighth Ward) calling members of the Latino Caucus “crybabies.” Harris is a member of the Black Caucus, and serves as Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s flooring chief.

A coalition of Chicago Asian American teams warned {that a} referendum would serve solely to fan “the flames of racial division.”

A marketing campaign flyer that would have began showing in mailboxes this week encompasses a image of Villegas, a Latino man, stomping on Harris’ head, asking “Why doesn’t Gil Villegas respect ladies?” 

Harris, a Black lady, has repeatedly accused Villegas the Latino Caucus of disrespecting her as a result of she is a girl.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]

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