This is the time of year when elected officials convene to craft the ward boundaries that will shape Chicago communities for the next 10 years. This is the IHCC President & CEO Jaime di Paulo’s speech, today at City Hall, about the Chicago Coalition Map:
Chicago needs a map that gives everyone a voice. A fair map.
The Latino Caucus laid down a marker in July when they started publicly engaging about the remap process. They knew that to get a fair map for everyone, they’d have to do three things:
1. Follow the Census data
2. Have conversations and public meetings with community members
3. Work collaboratively with aldermen outside of the Latino Caucus
And, what came out of that is a Coalition Map that the Caucus released last month. It’s a map that has the support of aldermen and community groups from throughout the city — including the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC).
Our City needs leadership and transparency on this. And, frankly, our City cannot afford to let the remap process languish right now, only to go to a referendum.
Any sort of complacency right now — during what should be a rigorous and transparent remap process — will lead to an irresponsible and costly referendum. Using millions of dollars of taxpayer money for a referendum should be the very last option — only after all sides have actually made a good faith effort to draw a fair map that reflects demographic facts, not feelings.
On behalf of the IHCC, I hope the City Council collaborates over a new City Council map right now, while they have the time and before we have to use City taxpayer dollars to support a referendum.