Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gerrymandering the Sloop

The debate over the new ward boundaries for the city (and obviously the Sloop) is set to shake things up as we head into the future. As most of us know, Bob Fioretti has manned most of our neighborhood these past couple of years. This could be changing.

Two dueling maps are aiming to redraw Chicago’s political battle lines, and both upset the apple cart for aldermen in the South Loop, adding new politicians to the dense area’s mix.

One map, led by the council’s Hispanic Caucus and independents, adds two new aldermen to the South Loop, splitting the neighborhood between a total of four representatives in city council. Another, submitted by the council’s Black Caucus and old-school Democrats, would keep the South Loop mainly in two wards, save for a few small slices.

The neighborhood’s massive population boom in the last 10 years made the 2nd Ward one of the few in the city that gained population, while most others lost people. Though it’s often used as a political tool, the remap’s goal is ostensibly to balance out the population between the wards.
For those of you who are more visual here are two links to the different proposals:
  • Hispanic Caucus and independents (map on page 3) - split Sloop with 4 aldermen
  • Black Caucus and old-school Democrats (map towards the end and above) - keep Sloop with 2 aldermen
To be honest, we don't know what to think, so would love to hear some good debate on the pros and cons of these proposed changes.

On one hand, it would be good to see one "alderman" be our point person and to be THE person that we go to when we need something done for the betterment of the neighborhood. On the other hand, our neighborhood has seen explosive population growth and maybe we deserve to have numerous aldermen fighting for our interests in city hall.

Let's hear your thoughts?

(Hat tip: SC!)


Anonymous said...

I'm digging the proposal to shrink the city council to 25 aldermen and to lay out the 25 new wards like a grid (or even aligned with our 25 police districts). Screw the current remap proposals and the aldermen who only care about protecting their little kingdoms.

As it stands, in both of these proposals, Fioretti and the South Loop get the shaft.

Anonymous said...

Agree! Both are bad for us.

Anonymous said...

At a time when the completion of already approved schools, parks, and infrastructure is lagging despite the money from a successful TIF plan, (troubling enough), dividing up the South Loop for 3 or 4 Alderman with enough other 'free votes' base elsewhere in their ward, that they won't have skin in the game to care, this sucks.

So much for a successful diverse experiment like the South Loop bringing together people of different backgrounds sharing common vision and general economic achievements, only to have other areas who remain segregated foist their problems on us.

1. Shaft is and understatement - What can he say or do? About all he could say is "Si", "no", or "Mas por favor" to the questions "Would you like some lubrication while we cornhole you?" and "Do you mind if we dance with your dates?"

2. Ironic that 'Hispanic' and 'Black' Caucus, whose only goal is to strengthen segregation and control in their areas, get to draw the maps to destroy elected representation of one of the most diverse areas in the city, just to satisfy "racial equality".

That Dowell signed this garbage confirms what many have been noting about her hidden racist colors.

3. Hypocrisy redaux - Just this year, you had the Chicago Fire Department pay out a rediculous settlemenst for a problem where CFD entance examps, redesigned to ensure more minorities would make it, actually had as many failing anyway. Yet racial Ward design, to increase segregation is allowed?

Anonymous said...

The lesson is clear. Folks need to pay attention and start electing reformers at all levels of government. We are doomed until people take a stand.

Anonymous said...

I've been following the redistricting and so far have not been impressed with any of the officially proposed maps. There have been some articles written which mentions a map done by Pro Bono Thinking Society that looks at population and census data. Anyways, thought it was interesting, lacks gerrymandering, AND makes sense...shocking! It's worth checking out...hopefully those that make decisions will be open to a change...

Anonymous said...

You avoid the shaft by not showboating and doing the work to build trusting relationships with your fellow alderman, or by having having a good relationship with the Mayor or the power structure. When you announce you are running for every office other than the one you have, you don't end up being in favor with the council, which is filled with long term office holders. Look, you either think of your constituents or think of yourself, and when you do the latter the constituents suffer.

The new maps don't favor the S. Loop, but at least it appears the alderman who will be in charge may have more power within the council than the shafted one.

tayiah said...

No surprise here, that the black politicians are so desperate to hold on to power that would pull this stunt. They are so desperate because they aren't qualified for jobs in the private sector that pays as well. In the future when douglas gentrifies there will be more non-black people and we will be able to have a real election.

Anonymous said...

All this remaping is RACIST!
It is 2012...the very fact that the Alderpersons allow this to happen makes them contributors to racism. Start at O'Hare Airport make 15-20 wards based on geographic boundries based on the City of Chicago streets that resemble a square or rectangle. Then have an Alderperson represent that area. Many of the current Alderpersons are in the best job they have ever had and could never make this type of money in the private sector. Many are remapping their wards to keep their power!

New rules...
You gotta live in the ward for 3 years prior to running, 3 year term, can only run 3 terms, the pay is based on the average of your last 3 years personal US tax return....say 75% of that is a part time job.
No car, No body guards, use the City of Chicago Ward Office as your office...No office allowance, No government pension...No double dipping on a pensions, save your own money for your future like everybody else, pay your own Health Insurance, get rid of the tax increases....TIFs', that is a start.

People wake up and smell the coffee. We are getting shafted at Christmas Time by the very people we elected to represent and help us.

Anonymous said...

Just legal speak brainstorm here, but I find it surprising from that such a unscientific,fraudulent, and openly biased process such as redistricting, which openly targets racial objectives, attacks the concept of representation by people actually elected to serve your area, allows census data and further city 'estimated data' beyond the census (that includes non-legal citizen status when counting population demographics), actually withstands any basic validity in any legal court review

Anonymous said...

The maps are a pain in the A$$ to read. Does anyone have the time to do a google layer or something? I really don't have the time to read a page of boundry descriptions.