Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ald. Cappleman on the Ward Remap

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter (read the whole thing here):

"Today I voted yes for the "For A Better Chicago" remap of the 50 wards in the City of Chicago.  The 41 "yes" votes in City Council mean that we received the minimum required number of votes to avoid a City-wide referendum.

With the new addition of the Uptown Theatre, Annoyance Theater, and the historic Green Mill within the 46th Ward, I will have the ability to better coordinate efforts to make the Entertainment District a destination point for the entire Chicago metropolitan area.  The 46th Ward already includes the Aragon Ballroom and the Riviera Theatre.

My goal for the process was to avoid gerrymandering and to protect the many different neighborhoods that make up Chicago.  Although some of this did take place, I believe the passage of this map will discourage a very costly city referendum and a lawsuit that could cost the City around $70 million.  This money is better used for libraries, schools, health care, parks, and the police.

It is still possible that a group could contest this map, but with the majority of aldermen voting in favor, it is unlikely a challenge would be successful.  This was the one map that was supported by all aldermen including those that represent African-American and Latino communities.

To view the full ordinance, today's City Council proceedings, and the City's new map, click here."


  1. The Tribune has the best online map of the new ward boundaries - with side by side comparison of current and new maps along with neighborhood designations.,-87.66866683959961,13,48,48,41.982718244683426,-87.65630722045898

  2. Why don't they use the 30 million TIF that Sedgewick lighthouse project wants for the Uptown Theatre instead. This would have a much greater econmic impact on our ward now that it will be part of it.

  3. jtizzle: It is certainly a great argument to be made that spending TIF dollars on rehabbing the Uptown Theatre would have a greater economic impact on the ward instead of the Maryville project. However, simply spending the Maryville money on the Uptown Theatre isn't how TIFs work.
    TIFs are created by carving out very specific geographic areas, redirecting tax money from those areas to fund projects specific to that designated area. The Maryville TIF doesn't geographically include the Uptown Theatre. Whatever project the Maryville TIF ultimately funds (according to the current state laws regarding TIFs) it must be within that area.

  4. I understand why the Capplemaniac voted for this map. I would have too, but I fully expect a legal challenge. At least we avoided the costs of a referendum and the almost inevitable challenge.

    I haven't seen any breakdown by ward, but reports have the wards varying by over nine percent in terms of population.

    To paraphrase the first Prez Bush or the Big Lebowski "this won't stand man, this mapatrocity won't stand."

    Federal Courts will basically let legislatures draw any kind of ridiculous lines they want on a redistricting map. Those maps have to do two things though. First, if there are a significant number of racial or ethnic minorities in an area they have to be given a decent shot at electing an official or at least allow those minorities "influence".

    The proposed map does that. What it doesn't do is satisfy the requirement of "equal representation". That means each district has to be very close in actual number of people to other districts. In the new map of Illinois congressional districts the districts vary in size by ONE person. Not ONE percent, but ONE person.

    Now because of the smaller size of Chicago wards it would be difficult to have the wards vary by only ONE person, but with current mapping software it would be easy to have them vary by 50 people or so. Which would be less than one tenth of one percent.

    My guess is that a big fat lawsuit is coming. In 1990 the courts ordered the legal fees of the litigants be paid for by the city. In other words some underemployed lawyer can sue and likely get a big fat payday.

    All said lawyer has to do is find a citizen with "standing" and the lawsuit will go forward. Likely any citizen of Chicago would have standing and certainly any citizen of an oversized ward could take part in the lawsuit.

    Now I know that Rahm Emmanuel follows me around on the internet. How do I know this? I took off my tinfoil hat and heard the radio waves.

    Therefore, if he wants to avoid a huge amount of city paid legal fees Rahmbo needs to listen to me.

    First, he should have his buddy President Obama instruct the US Justice Department to file suit against the city over the map. "Equal Representation" being the reason. Then refuse to have the city corporation council or outside lawyers defend the map. This will force the aldercritters to pass a map that will pass federal scrutiny and avoid a shitload of legal fees.

    I will send my bill to one of his political funds.