Alderman Reilly's Statement on the Chicago Ward Remap



42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly's Statement on Chicago Remap


Chicago, IL - January 23, 2012 - On Thursday, January 19th the City Council adopted new ward boundaries for Chicago's 50 wards. Per the U.S. Supreme Court, all electoral jurisdiction boundaries must be adjusted every ten years following the Census, to ensure each district in a political jurisdiction is roughly equal in population. Per the 2010 Census results, the population of a Chicago ward should be roughly 55,000 people. Here in the 42nd Ward we have a Census count of over 80,000 people.


During this difficult political process, I worked with my neighboring colleagues with the purpose of drawing ward boundaries that adhered as closely as possible to traditional community / neighborhood boundaries.


Because downtown Chicago's 42nd Ward is over-populated by 26,000 people - dramatic, painful changes to our ward boundaries were inevitable. Knowing this, I worked very long hours and did my level best to keep as many of our downtown neighborhoods as whole as possible. Although I believe we did as best as we could to accomplish this goal, a large portion of the Gold Coast and roughly 1/3rd of the Streeterville population were, unfortunately, removed from the new 42nd Ward.


Not many people are aware that the bulk of the 42nd Ward's population density is located in the north and eastern portions of the ward (in the Gold Coast and Streeterville). The south and western areas of the 42nd Ward are far less populous and also abutted wards that could not absorb more population. As such, our options were very limited in crafting a map that preserved as many traditional downtown community area boundaries as possible.


For an interactive version of this map and ward maps for the entire City of Chicago please CLICK HERE to view them on WBEZ Radio's website.


This was a very difficult process for me personally as I have been working very hard to serve each of the neighborhoods that currently comprise the 42nd Ward. For the past 5 years, I (and my excellent staff) have made it our daily mission to provide the best possible service to each neighborhood and have spent many hours working to improve our communities, literally block-by-block.


As was stated during the City Council debate over the new ward maps, my personal preference would have been to continue to represent the nearly double-sized ward that I currently represent today. However, the Federal Voting Rights Act and the "one person, one vote" Supreme Court ruling prevents me from maintaining and continuing to serve our current population and ward boundaries. I truly wish that I could retain every single block of our current downtown ward.


In the coming months, the City Council will work to adopt protocols to allow aldermen and their constituents a smooth transition into their newly constituted ward boundaries. Please note that the new ward maps do NOT impact the upcoming March 20th Primary Election, but will impact the November 6th General Election.


Once we have more detailed information regarding the coming transition of wards, I will share it with you directly via Reilly Reports and through my website.


In the meantime, for those people who are being drawn into new wards - you can (and should) continue to call upon me to assist with any service requests or complaints you may have. My office will continue to provide service to all current 42nd Ward residents until transition protocols have been established for constituent requests, zoning proposals and ward services.   It has been my pleasure and honor to serve every business and resident of the 42nd Ward.  


Please know I will do everything possible to ensure a smooth and painless transition - so that constituent and neighborhood services continue to be provided in a customer-friendly and efficient basis.


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