Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Give Chicago's Wards Names Instead of Numbers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Quick quiz: where’s the 34th Ward? Unless you live there, you probably have no idea. Same with the 8th, the 23rd, the 35th and the 47th.

    Our friends in Britain and Canada have a solution for this confusion. They don’t number their legislative districts, they name them. British Prime Minister David Cameron represents the constituency of Witney. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper represents the riding of Calgary Southwest.
    Given that Chicago is a city with strong neighborhood identities, it would make sense to name wards after the neighborhoods they encompass. We’d have a better sense of which part of town each alderman represents, and it might prevent the sort of gerrymandering that resulted in the 2nd Ward moving from the South Loop to all over the Near North Side.
    Here’s what I think the wards should be named. (This is based on the map currently in effect, not the new one adopted last year.)
    1st: Wicker Park
    2nd: South Loop
    3rd: Grand Boulevard
    4th: Bronzeville and Kenwood
    5th: Hyde Park
    6th: Chatham
    7th: South Shore
    8th: Avalon and Calumet Heights
    9th: Roseland
    10th: Southeast Side
    11th: Bridgeport
    12th: Back of the Yards
    13th: West Lawn
    14th: Brighton Park
    15th: Chicago Lawn
    16th: Englewood
    17th: Auburn Gresham
    18th: Ashburn
    19th: Beverly
    20th: Washington Park
    21st: Washington Heights
    22nd: Little Village
    23rd: Garfield Ridge
    24th: Lawndale
    25th: Pilsen
    26th: Logan Square
    27th: Near West Side
    28th: Garfield Park
    29th: Austin
    30th: Belmont Cragin
    31st: Hermosa
    32nd: Bucktown
    33rd: Albany Park
    34th: West Pullman
    35th: Avondale
    36th: Dunning
    37th: Humboldt Park
    38th: North Park
    39th: Sauganash
    40th: Bowmanville
    41st: Norwood Park and O’Hare
    42nd: Loop and Magnificent Mile
    43rd: Lincoln Park
    44th: Lake View
    45th: Jefferson Park
    46th: Uptown
    47th: Lincoln Square
    48th: Edgewater
    49th: East Rogers Park
    50th: West Rogers Park