Less than two hours after putting the finishing touches on a new map of the city's 50 wards, the Chicago City Council approved it over the vehement objections of some aldermen whose political futures are imperiled by the redrawn boundaries.
The vote was 41-8, a strong enough majority to avoid putting dueling maps before voters in an election.
But the lopsided approval of the map does not avoid the possibility of a lawsuit, which several aldermen said was inevitable.
At issue were the different population sizes, with some South Side wards having more than 4,000 fewer constituents than their North Side counterparts. Some aldermen said those deviations violated the one-man, one-vote principle.
Ald. Robert Fioretti, 2nd, whose ward was shifted from south and west of the Loop to a ribbon-shaped area south and west of Lincoln Park, decried what he called an unnecessary rush. There's no city election under the new boundaries until 2015.
An attempt by Fioretti and Ald. Nicholas Sposato, 36th, to invoke a routine delay of the vote, in part to give the public a chance to review it, was out-flanked by a parliamentary maneuver.
At one point before the meeting, Fioretti yelled at Maria Guerra, who works in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, as she explained the impending maneuver to him.
"Don't people have a right to see this?" he asked afterward.
It does seem strange that they can just shift an elected official out of the area that voted him into the office. We assume some legal wrangling is next up.
Anyway, somewhat connected and of interest to us is Fioretti's push to turn Motor Row into an entertainment district. It seemed like he had the vision for this, but given the newest developments it seems like this is going to take a back seat as Alderman Fioretti now has to fight for his "south side" life.
(Hat tip: ND!)
(Image from Chicago Tribune)