Chicago Tribune gives some early coverage to the city remap process:
City population loss, race issue make council remap tricky
By John Byrne and Hal Dardick Clout Street
4:32 p.m. CDT, July 6, 2011
Veteran Ald. Richard Mell laid out the basics of redrawing the lines of Chicago’s 50 wards on Wednesday, saying this go-around will be the most challenging in recent memory.
Two of the biggest challenges involve race: The city’s African-American population dropped by more than 181,000, while the city’s Latino population grew by about 25,000 according to last year’s federal census.
Black aldermen would prefer not to lose City Council seats while Latino aldermen are looking to pick up a few seats as the new ward boundaries are drawn.
“I ask you to keep an open mind if you possibly can, to understand that even though your ward may be statistically almost right, the ward next to you could be statistically way off, which will affect everybody. So nobody’s ward is going to remain exactly the same,” Mell, 33rd, told colleagues.
Mell expects the process – in which ward boundaries are redrawn to reflect population changes so that each ward has roughly the same population – to begin in earnest around Aug. 1…(read full)