Comparing the Ward Maps - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Comparing the Ward Maps



    Neither the City Council’s Latino Caucus nor Ald. Richard Mell’s Rules Committee have released detailed, street-level maps of their proposed new ward boundaries. So designer Nate Lynch pored over the legal descriptions filed with the City Clerk’s office, and produced the maps the politicians aren’t willing to show us yet. You can look at the Latino map here and the Mell map here.

    Comparing the two side-by-side, I have to say the Latino map makes more sense. It preserves the wards, as closely as possible, in their current shapes and locations.

    The biggest difference between the two maps is the disposition of the 2nd Ward. On the Latino map, it is still on the Near South Side, where it’s been for over 100 years. On the Mell map -- a.k.a. the Map For A Better Chicago -- it has been relocated to the North Side, taking in parts of Lake View, Roscoe Village and Logan Square. (This would explain why 2nd Ward Ald. Bob Fioretti has signed on to the Latino caucus map. Under the map favored by Mell and the Black Caucus, he’d become an alderman without a ward.)

    According to legislation filed with the City Clerk’s office, the Mell map creates 13 Latino majority wards, and another two wards with a Latino population over 38 percent. The Latino map creates 14 Latino-majority wards, and another -- the 1st -- with a 44 percent Latino population. 1st Ward Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno is also popular with the hipsters, and would have no trouble winning re-election in white-majority ward.

    Interestingly, on Mell’s map, his ward is 47.8 percent Latino -- slightly less than its current percentage. On the Latino map, it’s 53.5 percent -- slightly more. It’s good to be in charge of drawing the boundaries.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!