Backdoor Redistricting Deal Divides McKinley Park Between 11th, 12th Wards

Published May 17, 2022

Last-minute collusion between Chicago City Council members has resulted in a heavily gerrymandered ward map that will irregularly subdivide the McKinley Park Community Area between 11th and 12th wards. On Monday, May 16, 2022, the council voted to adopt an internally drawn map of Chicago's wards with the support of 43 out of 50 alderwomen and aldermen, avoiding a voter referendum in the coming primary election on June 28, 2022.

 
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All three city council representatives who lead wards currently covering McKinley Park voted to approve the gerrymandered map: 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas, 25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez and newly instated 11th Ward Alderwoman Nicole Lee.

 
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As previously reported here in the McKinley Park News, the decision on a ward map had come down to the wire, with the internally drawn ward map potentially facing a map initially supported by the council's Latino Caucus. This Latino Caucus map would have kept McKinley Park entirely within the 12th Ward.

Community Opposes Map

Also as previously reported here, on Thursday, May 12, a group of McKinley Park community groups, elected officials, enterprises and institutions issued a public letter advocating that the neighborhood remain within a single ward. A Change.org poll with the advocacy letter has attracted more than 60 fellow co-signatories to date.

The newly adopted map subdivides the McKinley Park neighborhood between 11th (brown) and 12th (green) wards.The newly adopted map subdivides the McKinley Park neighborhood between 11th (brown) and 12th (green) wards.The McKinley Park Development Council has also spoken out in favor of keeping McKinley Park within a single ward, issuing a January 21, 2022, letter and petition to Cardenas advocating adoption of the Latino Caucus map.

This is especially important in the context of the McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan, the letter said, as "the execution of this plan and the interests of the community as a whole require that the McKinley Park neighborhood and Central Manufacturing District (CMD) be consolidated within one continuous ward."

 
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The CHANGE Illinois Action Fund, which has run ward redistricting meetings citywide, including in McKinley Park, had issued its final map that would have subdivided McKinley Park into two wards, but this map was not included for final consideration.

The New Map

"For so many elected officials to turn their backs on the people and break their repeated promises in order to yet again serve their own self interests is beyond disheartening," the action fund said in a statement about the redistricting.

The new ward map extends the 11th Ward across Bubbly Creek south of 35th Street to encompass all of the Original East District of the historic Central Manufacturing District, as it does in the current ward map.

However, the new 11th Ward borders also irregularly extend west and north across South Ashland Avenue into residential areas, including a triangular chunk south of South Archer Avenue and north of West 35th Street, and a bump to cover the Pepsi plant on the north side of 35th Street, plus all the residences — including a bevvy of newer luxury townhomes — on South Justine Street.

 
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Ward Change in 2023

In the new map, a tendril of the 11th Ward reaches across Ashland to encompass the 3800 blocks of South Paulina Street and South Hermitage Avenue, containing only large, recently built, single family homes commanding some of the highest housing prices in the neighborhood.

The new map will go into effect on May 20, 2023, barring delays from lawsuits, which have been common in past ward redistricting.

Good story … fake progressives they are no different than the old machine
so i guess i was moved into the 11th ward... i wish i had a better understanding what kind of impact this will have
Justin Kerr
Thanks for your comment. I wrote an op/ed last year about some of the effects the neighborhood has suffered in the past when divided between wards:
https://mckinleypark.news/news/opinion-editorial/1425-mckinley-park-deserves-to-be-in-a-single-ward


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