This story describes redistricting conflicts in Chicago between Latino and Black representatives and groups that is likely to come up in a number of places in this decade’s redistrictings.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Latino aldermen want to create a new South Side Latino ward at the expense of a predominantly Black ward as they seek to increase their representation on the City Council in light of U.S. census data that showed Chicago’s Hispanic population has surpassed that of its decreasing Black population.
Another Far South Side majority-Black ward would get moved to the booming West Loop and Near North Side in the map the Latino Caucus will introduce to the City Council next week as its opening move in the once-per-decade remap fight….
Black aldermen called the proposal a nonstarter, and said they will be bringing forward their own plan.
The Latino map would include 16 majority-Black wards, down from 18 in the current map.
There would be 15 Latino-majority wards and 15 majority-white wards in the map….
And Black Caucus Chairman Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th, called the move by the Latino Caucus “a little bit of desperation on their part.”
“The Latino Caucus is setting up an unnecessary fight that could have a lasting impact,” Ervin said. “I think maybe they didn’t like the way things were going in discussions about this, and so they put out this version.”
Ervin said the Latino version would “face a lengthy and costly court fight, that they’ll lose” because it infringes on the rights of Black voters, a protected class under the Voting Rights Act….
This year the atmosphere is particularly charged, as the census revealed a change in the city’s racial dynamic.
Data showed Chicago’s Latino population went up by more than 40,000 over the past decade. That group now represents nearly 30% of the city’s residents, making them Chicago’s second-largest racial and ethnic group.
The city’s Black population fell by almost 10% in the same time, with a loss of nearly 85,000 residents. Black residents now make up nearly 29% of the city’s residents….
So in a new map where all 50 wards are supposed to be of substantially equal population, each should have about 55,000 people.
If at least 41 aldermen agree on a single map by Dec. 1, then those boundaries become the standard for the 2023 municipal election.
That’s what happened following the 2010 census, when aldermen emerged from the proverbial smoke-filled room and approved a ward map with 18 Black wards and 13 Latino wards.
If 41 aldermen don’t support a single map, then any 10 aldermen could bring forward their own map, and voters would choose in a ballot referendum.