Chicago’s 10th Ward maintains Latino majority under new map
For an area that has one of Chicago’s oldest Spanish-speaking enclaves, the Southeast Side doesn’t reflect that fact in its political representation in City Hall.
Over the past five decades, the aldermen coming out of the 10th Ward have had names like Buchanan, Vrdolyak, Vrdolyak’s younger brother, Buchanan again, and since 1999, John Pope.
But with the City Council having voted 41-8 Thursday to redraw ward boundaries once again to reflect current population trends in Chicago, there are those who wonder if the 10th Ward finally will start electing Latino officials to represent it in the City Council.
The new map calls for 18 African-American majority wards, with 17 white wards, 13 Latino wards and two other wards with Latino majorities — but not large enough that election of a Latino official would be considered a sure thing. It is based on the idea that the African-American portion of Chicago’s 2.7 million population declined by about 181,000 people during the past decade, while the Latino population increased by 25,000.
There were at least three different maps being considered at one point, with differing goals of preserving the number of African-American aldermen as much as possible as opposed to bolstering the number of Latino aldermen.
Yet all of the maps offer similar boundaries for the 10th Ward, in that they include the entirety of the Hegewisch, East Side and South Deering neighborhoods along with the bulk of the South Chicago neighborhood — which has had a significant Latino population since the days just after World War I and has Chicago’s oldest (since 1928) Mexican-oriented Catholic church at Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3200 E. 91st St.
The only difference between the various map proposals is where between 79th and 83rd streets they put the ward’s northern boundary.
A map proposed by the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund called for a 10th Ward that was 65 percent Latino, and 62.02 percent of its voting age population being Latino. It would have an 18 percent white population and 16 percent African-American.
Read the full story at NWI Times