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City council is expected to vote on the new neighborhood map on Wednesday, but the public hasn’t seen it, and some are calling for an end to Gerrymandered neighborhoods that divide communities


CHICAGO (CBS) – If you live in Chicago and care about city services, take note of an important deadline ahead.

Wednesday is the day city council is supposed to vote on a new neighborhood plan – but no one has seen it yet. As CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov reported Tuesday night, many Chicago communities are hoping the new map will give them more unity – rather than leaving their neighborhoods divided into oddly shaped neighborhoods, each under the jurisdiction of a different alderman.

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In Ainslie Street and Central Park in Albany Park, walking from 35th Ward to 33rd Ward or 39th Ward involves a distance of a few meters. Three neighborhoods dividing one neighborhood equates to a fragmented representation at City Hall for residents. A new card could change that.

But here’s the problem – no one knows what the new neighborhood map will look like. Less than 24 hours before the aldermen are mandated by law to vote on this redesigned map, it is still shrouded in secrecy.

Some watchdogs say it all comes down to town hall business as usual.

“They basically did it in a back room with the doors closed, and not a lot of sun or transparency,” said Madeleine Doubek, executive director of Change Illinois.

Doubek said it should apply to everyone who lives in the Windy City – an appropriate use of the nickname in this case.

“What they’re doing is basically rigging the system to favor the incumbents and stay in power,” she said.

It’s an age-old practice in Chicago, despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign promises that it would be different this time around.

“We are terribly disappointed,” said Doubek.

Change Illinois sent a letter to Mayor Lightfoot on Tuesday expressing these concerns. The group has spent months working with the public on what they call a People’s Map, which keeps most neighborhoods in one neighborhood instead of dividing them up.

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The proposed People’s Map and the current map can be viewed side by side below.

Follow these links for a closer look at the current map and the proposed People’s map.

“There are communities like Englewood, like Logan Square, like Austin, and many others – Back of the Yards – that have been fragmented and divided historically,” said Doubek.

Chinatown is also one of those communities – in fact, it has never been encompassed in a single neighborhood, despite a decades-long struggle.

“Our whole motivation behind creating a predominantly Asian American neighborhood is to ensure that the voices of Asian Americans are heard in city council,” said Justin Sia of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Chicago.

Sia said they got promises that it will happen this time around. Otherwise, they will go to court.

But for those wondering why they should care, Doubek says the neighborhoods divided into multiple neighborhoods create confusion for people trying to get help from the city.

“It’s impossible for you to understand who you are supposed to reach and how you are supposed to get the government to respond to you,” she said.

Shattered neighborhoods also undermine the power of community groups and organizations.

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If there is no vote on the neighborhood map on Wednesday, that opens the door to a possible public vote on the map across the board. But that also has its obstacles.

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