A screen shot of the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission online map shows the McKinley Park neighborhood – along with most of Bridgeport, Armor Square and Chinatown –  within a single ward.

Draft Ward Map Keeps McKinley Park Whole

Published September 14, 2021

The Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission has released the first draft of its proposed Chicago Ward map, showing ward boundaries based on population and community feedback. In the proposed map, the McKinley Park Community Area and adjacent Central Manufacturing District are kept entirely within a single ward.

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“We worked over many long nights and weekends to create a People’s Map that kept compact neighborhoods together as much as we could to empower the people of Chicago,” said Drea Hall, one of the volunteer commissioners on the project.

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“We all want and deserve more of a say in how our communities look, how they are organized and how we all are represented,” added Commissioner Debbie Liu.

Redistricting Every Decade

The redrawing of Chicago’s political boundaries takes place every decade based on U.S. Census results. The Chicago City Council and Chicago mayor’s office, which are working on their own ward redistricting map in secret, have to get at least 41 out of 50 aldermen and alderwomen to support their map: If 10 or more council members disagree and float their own map, the issue goes to a voter referendum.

A graphic from the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission illustrates its map-drawing process to date. A graphic from the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission illustrates its map-drawing process conducted thus far. Public testimony and submissions from Chicago residents have determined the ward borders within the commission’s map, including 24 virtual and in-person hearings, and submissions received though the commission’s website.

As reported here in the McKinley Park News, one of the commission’s feedback and mapping sessions took place on Thursday, August 26, 2021, at Horizon Science Academy – McKinley Park.

Greater Chinatown

“We committed to honoring the testimony and community of interest maps we received as much as possible,” Hall said.

The first draft of the commission’s map includes 13 majority Latino wards and 16 majority African-American wards, and it “attempts to keep the Chinatown community whole,” said a release from the commission. In the proposed map, the McKinley Park neighborhood would join most of the Bridgeport, Armour Square and Chinatown neighborhoods within the same ward.

“This historic effort to model open and transparent, people-focused redistricting never has been attempted before here,” said Commissioner Allen Linton. “We want all of Chicago to see the first results of our work together.”

Upcoming Public Hearings

Commissioner Graciela Covarrubias said the group will continue to work to refine its map, with additional feedback from Chicago residents. This will include a hybrid in-person and virtual public hearing at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at the Indo-American Center in the West Ridge neighborhood, and a virtual public hearing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 16.

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Additional hybrid public hearings take place on September 20 and 24, and virtual public hearings on September 28 and 30, 2021, and a final virtual public hearing on October 1. The Public Hearings & Training page of the Chicago Advisory Redistricting Commission website lists all details for these hearings.

“Democracy works best when an open and inclusive process is embraced that recognizes people, not just positions of power, and responds to the people's will,” Covarrubias said.

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