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Opinion: Give Chicago's Wards Names Instead of Numbers

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Opinion: Give Chicago's Wards Names Instead of Numbers

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
 

Related Topics Opinion, Rahm Emanuel, Ward Names
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