CHICAGO — There’s a tentative deal for a new Chicago ward map, but not everybody got what they wanted.
In the last few weeks, pressure to reach a deal by next Thursday loomed. The Black Caucus and the Latino Caucus were at a crossroads with neither wanting to give up any ground.
“I didn’t fold. Um, uh, we stayed all the way to the end. And we tried to figure a way to compromise,” Ald. Gil Villegas said. “There’s more Latinos in the City of Chicago than African Americans.”
The map is supposed to be based on data from the latest Census. In this case, Chicago’s Black population decreased by ten percent. Latinos increased by five percent and Asians jumped by 30 percent.
The proposed map would unite all of Chinatown for the first time — creating a ward with a majority of Asian American voters.
Fourteen wards will have majority of Latino voters and 16 wards will have a majority of Black voters. It’s a deal Latinos and so-called “fair map” groups say is at odds with the Fair Voting Rights Act and the actual demographics of the city.
“Not everyone got exactly what they wanted, but forging a compromise and avoiding a referendum is in everyone’s best interests,” Mayor Lightfoot said in a statement.
Villegas said the mayor tried to make peace between Latino and Black coalitions at the very end, but her efforts were “too little, too late.”
“They wanted it to be 18 African American wards, despite the fact the numbers didn’t justify that and then try to map toward it,” Ald. Villegas said. “Instead of let data decide and draw the maps accordingly.”
The People’s Coalition Map, an organization committed to giving actual taxpayers a say in ward lines, reacted to the tentative deal, saying that Latinos have lost for the second decade in a row.
The next chance to redraw the map will not be in 2031. The vote is scheduled for May 19.
When asked for comment, Black Caucus Chair Ald. Jason Ervin did not get back to WGN News.