The City Council yesterday adopted new ward boundaries for Chicago’s fifty wards. Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s “one person, one vote” rule, all electoral districts must have their boundaries adjusted every ten years after the census, so that each district in a given political jurisdiction is approximately equal in population.
On the City’s far north side, I worked with my neighbors–40th Ward Alderman Patrick O’Connor, 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman and 50th Ward Alderman Debra Silverstein– to draw ward boundaries that corresponded as closely as possible to the local community area boundaries. Though population requirements prevented us from drawing wards identical to our community areas, I believe we did as well as we possibly could.
As a result, the 49th Ward lost all its Edgewater territory and about half its West Ridge territory. In return, the 49th Ward picked up a significant amount of territory in Rogers Park that has been in the 40th Ward for the last twenty years.
Below is a copy of the new 49th Ward map (courtesy of community activist, Kyle Hillman). The red lines represent the current boundaries. The shaded peach area with the green border represents the new boundaries.
For an interactive version of this map, as well as ward maps for the entire City (courtesy of WBEZ Radio),CLICK HERE.
Over the next few months, the aldermen gradually will morph into representing their new wards and the transition should be complete shortly after the March primary elections. At some point in the spring, I will host a town hall meeting to welcome my new Rogers Park constituents.
Practically speaking, the folks whose homes are being re-drawn into new wards will enjoy the short-term benefit of having two aldermen represent them. My staff and I will continue to diligently serve my current ward, but anyone who currently lives in the 40th Ward and is being re-mapped into the 49th Ward family, is more than welcome to call my office for any city service needs or other assistance. Alderman O’Connor and I will work closely and cooperatively to coordinate city service delivery.